I Used to Be

It’s been eight years since I started writing again. When I started this blog and posted for the first time, it was for an audience of two: my mom and God. Reflecting on my concluding thoughts at this point my journey is encouraging. Did it make me a writer? Kind of!

Writer's Growth

I used to be a writer and a poet and a novelist. And a singer. And an actress. And a media tech. And a computer repair geek. I used to be a little sister and a big sister, a babysitter, a housekeeper, a business owner, a gardener, a receptionist at a hair salon, an intern at a church, a tutor at a private school, a certified personal trainer, a model, a Nashvillian. I used to be so many things. Even a wife.

Now, I sit on the front porch of a rented three bed room house in the middle of Virginia pushing thoughts of teaching out of my mind to free up the room to write again. Even as my fingers depress keys in a sequence of muscle memory so automatic it’s like breathing, my mind is still churning out a never-ending to do list of ostensibly unimportant dimensions: compile…

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When You’re Not a Mother

Mother’s Day can bring mixed emotions for men and women alike. Several years ago, I processed some of that in this post.

Writer's Growth

I love my mother, but not Mother’s Day. It comes every year. I can set my biological watch by it. Like the incremental changes in my garden that happen while I’m not looking, my dislike of the holiday that began as a small seed years ago now has deep roots and casts an even longer shadow.

Just like that biological clock that used to be contented to tick quietly in the background of my everyday routine got a figurative tech upgrade shortly after I hit thirty and now sounds an alarm every time I see a baby or a pregnant belly. I’m not a person to hit snooze in the morning. I set my alarm each night for the latest possible moment I can wake up and not be late. That alarm sounds, and I hit the carpet running.

This biological alarm clock is different. I never know when it’s…

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And He’ll Do It Again

Six years ago, my brother P.J. battled an ulcer that sought to make a widow of his wife and leave my nieces and nephew fatherless. My family battled right back in prayer, and God worked a miracle. Today, a similar circumstance reminds me of this story, where I raised an Ebenezer worth revisiting now.

Writer's Growth

It’s the first night in a week I haven’t been up on the surgical floor at Sentara tracking my brother’s progress. I feel the need to just be still. The air in the evening calm after the afternoon lightning storm rekindles a creative fire dormant in these days spent pacing, swapping updates, and riding the ups and downs of a treacherous terrain.

Just after I posted last Tuesday night, P.J. was rushed to the hospital after vomiting blood. Mom called while I was in the shower the next morning to let me know she was driving down to Hampton. The voicemail chilled my clean skin. She called back while I was getting in the car, unsure where I would be going. “I don’t want you getting in the car,” Mom said. “Your brother might not make it.”

That’s how it began for me, really, though I imagine that each one…

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Share Your Cup with Me

Coffee.  Teach virtually.  Work out.  Eat.  Sleep.  Repeat.  That had become my relentless cycle of life over the past ten months.  So many weeks would pass without physical contact that the occasional hug felt awkward.  The world became very small.  I became smaller.  The unilateral impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is global disruption of the daily routine.  The best laid coping strategies of mice and men have been leveled in the wake of the social hurricane to the point where...

My Digital Pawprint

Five years ago, it happened like it did tonight, yet on a night so unlike tonight.  I had to write.  I started this blog.  Now, it’s been 287 days since I posted, and were it not for my neighbor’s prompting, I might not be tapping to the pings of the raindrops beyond my front porch.  … Continue reading My Digital Pawprint

Demystifying Depression

It’s still light out, the overcast kind of day where indigo lines the clouds.  Birds chirp.  Children play.  My next door neighbor sits on his front porch, too.  It’s the kind of Hampton summer night with that dip in temperature that invites the average person outside to enjoy it.  I’m not average though.  I wrote … Continue reading Demystifying Depression

Doing Things Anyway

It wouldn’t matter if my street were alive or silent.  No outside factors could set the tone for writing night to be uplifting or chaotic.  I don’t feel like writing.  I don’t feel like doing anything these days.  Sitting down to put metaphorical pen to paper requires something inside me to generate content, and I’m … Continue reading Doing Things Anyway

Truth vs. Transparency

The Phantoms and the Hurricanes battle it out at Darling a couple of blocks south.  The stadium lights illuminate the treetops between us; though I can’t see the football game, a familiar voice announces the plays; though it won’t be quiet on my street tonight, the loudspeaker is drowned out by the devil on my … Continue reading Truth vs. Transparency

Should I Stop Blogging?

I invited the rain to accompany me for writing night.  It declined.  Instead, I type into the calm comfort of an October in Hampton Roads.  The stillness is punctuated only by the scent of my neighbor’s cigar and his R&B mix drifting over from next door.  I crave the quiet.  I prefer it, certainly.  Yet, … Continue reading Should I Stop Blogging?

Firsts, Lasts, and Always

The brisk air, nocturnal melodies, and charcoal smoke carried by a breeze from down the street make fall’s arrival undeniable.  Summer heat finally surrendered, having hung on far too long already, and autumn’s reign sees the colors changing.  Changing like I’m changing as I remember falling in love with fall three years ago while I … Continue reading Firsts, Lasts, and Always