So…You’re 18 again!

So…today is my best friend’s birthday. She is 18 again!!!

Once upon a time, a girl named Kim met a girl named Karen in sixth grade. Kim thought Karen was a snooty rich girl. Karen thought Kim was a goody two shoes. They avoided each other and had no idea what waited for them just the next semester.

I constantly heard people say, “are you Karen?” or “you look like Ms. McWhite’s daughter. Is that your sister?” I didn’t like her the first day of school because way too many people asked me that question and I had not even met the girl! I even got in trouble a few times because I’m sure Mrs. Kuykendall or Mrs. King or Mrs. Cross SOMEHOW got us confused and somehow gave me an ‘NI’ in the “refrains from unnecessary talking” section on the report card. She was the popular one!!!! No me knew me enough to talk to me during class!

Well, at Valentine’s day, Karen’s mom sent us both carnations through the little school fundraiser and the note attached to mine said, “to my other daughter”. That single act opened the door to us talking. Once we started…we never stopped! Well…not for real…

We’ve been friends for nearly 25 years. We know where each other’s skeletons are hidden! It’s always great to have someone to help you keep your head on straight. We think the same thoughts! Well…sometimes…when I’m not thinking straight, she helps me get right.

One of the things I’ve always admired about my friend is that she believes she can do anything she set her mind to. When we were in high school, she KNEW she’d one day be a University of Alabama alum….and sure enough…she is!!! She also knew her occupation…and gosh darn it doo hickey to heck…she is doing the daggum thing! I’m so proud to call her friend. I’m humbled that she calls ME friend. I love that girl!

They say we look alike…well…I’m not sold on that. But we sure are close. I’m grateful to have met her and more grateful that we overcame our differences to be friends. The only friend I’ve had longer is my sister. So…I’m happy to call Miss Karen my wonderful sisterfriend. She rocks!

So…when she’s 99 and I’m 100…we’ll be sitting on the front porch…fussing at somebody’s great grandchildren to go get some tea or lemonade…we’ll not remember that we didn’t like each other at first…we’ll not remember the times one has let the other down…we’ll only remember that…well…she’s 99…and I’m 100…and we’re thirsty! BOY BRANG THAT LEMONADE!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

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So…Awwwwkweeeerrrrrd!

So…Awwwwkweeeerrrrrd!

So…we’ve all had ’em…you know…awkward moments…no matter who you are or what you’ve done…you’ve had AT LEAST one!

Well…awkward moments seem to follow me wherever I go…so..I just wanted to share a few of mine….

Awkward Moments in Exercise

1.  …when you’re listening to your music and you are jamming and realize you’re singing way louder than you should.  The guy on the treadmill next to you is trying not to lose his cool by laughing at you.

2.  …when your favorite song on your walking mix comes on and you want to dance, but because you’re in the gym you suppress it, but still manage to jerk slightly to the beat to do “light” dancing.

3.  …when your favorite song on your walking mix comes on and you dance anyway, but forget that you’re on the treadmill, so you look REALLY funny doing it.

4.  …when you try to walk in time to the song you hear, only to find out it’s MUCH faster than you’re ready to handle, so you have to skip that song.

5.  …when you decide to clap and step to the beat, but somehow you miss the belt on the treadmill and hit the side, and you promptly fall off.

6.  …when you are walking outside, down a hill and suddenly the song that comes on makes you want to dance…like those girls in the front of a Historically Black College’s marching band…(y’all know who I’m talkin’ about…The Passionettes?)

7.  …when you stop to stretch and bend over…your derriere is in the air and on one side, you see no one, but when you turn to the other side, there’s someone watching…in amazement…(WHATCHU LOOKIN’ AT?)

8.  …when you are walking outside, and stop take a breath and someone stops to ask if you need a ride.  (I’m workin’ out here!  Get outta here!)

9.  …when you are walking outside, and you’re singing to the top of your lungs and dancing with your eyes closed, then open them only to see people walking toward you grinning…(WHAT?  You’re just mad because my workout is more fun!)

10. …when you ask the podiatrist if the cortisone shot he gave you will prevent you from running tomorrow and he almost gets whiplash looking back at you to see if YOU asked that question…(I really wanna know!)

11.  …when you sprint at intervals during your walk and people look to see if you’re running from something.

12.  …when you realize…you really don’t care what other people are thinking…you’re feeling that rhythm whether from the music or just a good exercise beat and you’re getting healthier.

Okay..so that last one isn’t awkward…but it sure feels good!  I see all kinds of things and people when I’m walking.  I’m always irritated though when folks want to stop and hold a conversation!  Excuse me…I’m trying to keep my heart rate up…either come walk with me or shut the heck up!

So…the next time you see a fat chick walking, running, dancing and/or singing, whether in the gym, on the street, in the rain or at the park, if you’re not going to get beside her, don’t judge…just pray that she keeps it up.  Shoot her a thumbs up even.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Step Into Summer Aqua Blue Book Tour

So…Step Into Summer Aqua Blue Book Tour

Today on So Says Kimyatta…Meet Marian L. Thomas!  From her website:

Clean Fiction novelist, Marian L. Thomas is a dynamic story-teller with three engaging and dramatic novels to her credit.  Her books have been seen on national television stations such as, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on many broadcast and online radio stations. Her titles, “My Father’s Colors” and “Strings of Color”, both received the USA Best Book Finalist Award. Each of her books have reached a #1 bestseller position on Amazon.com for their respective categories and have placed on the bestseller’s list for Barnes & Noble.com, as well.

What makes her books, unique? Mrs. Thomas might be the first African American pioneer of contemporary women’s clean fiction. She refuses to lace her work with explicit sexual themes or profanity. What does she include in her books? “A refreshing and engaging dramatic story that revolves around strong female characters,” stated, the author.

Ms. Thomas’ books, are rich with ever-intriguing themes of race, family strife, love, divorce, friendship and abuse. And yet, her tales which seem to pre-stage current tabloid headlines are spelled out in ways that suit the delicate moral tastes of both the Christian Fiction reader and the Clean Fiction book reader.

Without further adieu…Marian L. Thomas!

SSK:  Thank you Marian for agreeing to let So Says Kimyatta be a part of your tour!  I’m super excited to have you!

So…we’re here to talk about your new release:  Aqua Blue.  Tell us a little bit about the book.

MLT:  From the back of the book:

In 1968 a child was born. Her father’s eyes boast a beautiful green and her mother was born with hazel. Yet, Aqua Blue was brought into the world with neither.

Haley wishes her parents would forget her. Her mother wants to control her, her father constantly beats on her and Haley, however, just wants to dance on Broadway. Will her dreams cost her more than she ever expected?

Jonathan Jacob Benjamin Brown is running from the memory of a mother he loved. His journey will thrust him into a world filled with secrets so shocking, he must determine whether he will forgive or walk away.

As they each step foot into the intoxicating city of New York, their dreams are standing before them with open arms. Yet, in order to embrace the possibilities, they must first learn to live, love, and breathe.

SSK:  Where did you get the idea for this book?  I love when her friend, Haley, finally asks her about her eyes!

MLT:  My hubby and I were driving through a rural part of Tennessee when I couldn’t help but notice the dirt roads, the old and barely able to stand gas stations, the carts that lined the roadway where goods had been sold and the one small car sales lot that had cars that were probably older than it.

Everyone seemed to be at the same starting point.

As I watched a few individuals travel along the sidewalks, I wondered what it would be like for them to escape a place such as that and travel to a major city, like New York. The story took off in my head from there.

SSK:  So…there’s a contest associated with this blog tour…can you give us some information on that? 

MLT:  The Step Into Summer AQUA BLUE Book Tour, is a great contest that features a $25 Visa E-Card that will be given away to one winner. Another winner will receive a copy of AQUA BLUE. It’s easy and fun to enter.

(1) Leave a comment on a blog that I’m stopping by (such as this one).

(2) Visit this website: http://mlt0925.wix.com/aquabluebooktour

(3) Enter the contest.

SSK: Well that’s easy enough.  Did you see where she said followers/fans/readers?  Leave a comment on a blog?  Yeah…like this one!

SSK:  What kinds of things do you like to read? 

MLT:  Poetry is my favorite.

SSK:  Do you have a favorite book? 

MLT:  I have had the opportunity to be in the company of many talented authors, so picking a favorite book from them, would be hard.

SSK:  Yeah.  I have trouble answering that question too!  lol.  Good to know I’m not alone.

SSK:  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

MLT:  No journey can start unless you put two feet on it and start walking. Being an author is a journey. You start by writing. You continue by writing with passion. You grow by writing with purpose.

SSK:  Truer words were never spoken.  I’m sitting here with my mouth open…wow…

SSK:  What can we expect next from you?

MLT:  I am looking forward to releasing a new book in 2014 called: Precious Blue.

SSK:  How can fans get in touch with you?

MLT:  http://www.marianlthomas.com

Again Marian…I sooooooooooo appreciate you coming to talk to us!  Aqua Blue is really…REALLY awesome so far!  I’m mad that I’m reading it so slowly!  (My fault..not the book’s…got a lot going on!)  Go ahead and pick up your copy wherever books are sold!  You will not be sorry.  You can read the first chapter on Marian’s website…when you do…you’ll NEED to get the book!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…The Girl is twelve!

So…The Girl is twelve!

LAWD HAMMERCY!  WHAT IS I’M GWINE DO!  (translation for you non-southerners…Lord have mercy!  What am I going to do?)

It’s my baby’s TWELFTH (why is there an f in that word?) birthday!  I can HARDLY believe it…Lord knows this has been a journey.  I remember it like it was yesterday!

4:30 am….Tuesday, August 7th…I felt a pain that was so strong I was jarred from my sleep.  I lay there thinking…”Oh Lord, Jesus…am I dying?”  I looked at the clock trying to figure out who to call at this hour!  I waited.  It only lasted a minute…then everything was fine.  I tried to go back to sleep, but 10 minutes later, I felt it AGAIN.  This time, it was so strong, it brought tears to my eyes.  Then it hit me.  “Am I in labor?”  I couldn’t fathom that just yet.  I just wasn’t ready.

I was two weeks away from my due date.  I’d just had an ultrasound the day before.  I remember the doctor saying to me that my baby was fully developed and was considered full term and any time after that day, she could be born without worries of premature birth.  I thought, “cool! alright…I”m about to meet my daughter.”  I’d just found her middle name using some program they had.  See…her dad is from Enugu, Nigeria…and I’d wanted to give her a name reflective of her African heritage.  Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found (that’s another story entirely!)…so I couldn’t ask him….so…I was on my on.  But I’d found…the PERFECT NAME…Akanke – It was Nigerian…Yoruba…and it meant…”To know her is to love her.”

Anyway…back to the birthing story…I rubbed my belly after leaving the doctor and said, “alright little one…I’m ready to meet you…so whenever you’re ready, come on!”  I mean..I knew she could hear me and all…because I read to her and sang to her every day.  I didn’t know she was actually LISTENING though!

I waited in that bed for a full hour before I said a word about the labor.  My pains were coming every ten minutes and lasted a full minute.  Never in my life have I had the kind of pain that is so horrible that you cry the whole time it’s happening then stop as soon as the pain stops!  Craziest thing ever.  Well, at 5:30 am…after that pain ended…I figured I needed to find out if I was really in labor.  So…I called my best friend Karen who lived in a time zone one hour behind me…somehow, that didn’t occur to me.  It also didn’t occur to me that 1) she didn’t have any children and had not experienced labor, 2) if she could answer my question, it’d take her at least 3 hours to get to me and 3) my aunt was in the next bedroom.  So I got Karen on the phone…

Me:  Karen?  Are you up?

Karen:  No.  What’s up?

Me:  Sorry to wake you but I have a quick question.

Karen:  Okay.

Me:  (whispering)  What does labor feel like?

Karen:  Why are you whispering?

Me:  (crying) I don’t know.  I think I’m in labor.  Hold on.

I cried through the next contraction.  Then went back to our conversation.  The most hilarious thing I ever heard (well..looking back it is!)

I still waited a full 2 hours before I told my aunt.  I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and believed that I could make it at least until the doctor’s office opened.  I called them at 8 am and let them know that I’d been having contractions every ten minutes since 430.  They told me to come on in.  I finally told my aunt who was so flustered and excited that she began to have trouble getting dressed.  I also called my mom who happened to be starting her first day of a new school year with a new principal.  I later found out that she walked into the office and informed them…”Umm…hey…I gotta go…Grandbaby on the way…I need a sub..” and promptly left the building!  lol…

When I got to the doctor, I was disappointed and relieved to find out that I was not dilated and my doctor was about to send me home.  The doc left the room then came back 2 minutes later and said, “Umm…your blood pressure is a little elevated.  We’ll go ahead and get you admitted today.  Go on home, and call the hospital around 3 so that we can get you in alright?  I’ll see you later.”  I left the office and the person at the desk made me an appointment for the following week.  I laughed and said…”I don’t think I’ll make it…but okay.”

My aunt and I finally made it home and I when I tell you I had the darnedest time getting through to the hospital that day!  Every time I called, I was being told that my name was not on the list.  FINALLY about 7 pm, my mom (who arrived in record time!) called the doctor…never occurred to me to do that.  She hung up the phone and I kid you not….LESS THAN ONE MINUTE LATER, the phone rang.  It was the hospital calling…apologizing profusely and giving excuses about the nurses..charge nurse…blah blah blah…So…off we went to the hospital!

I got there and got checked in still crying every ten minutes for a full minute.  The doctor came in and was all nice and loving and she quickly informed me that I WAS STILL NOT DILATING…(for those of you that don’t know what that means…well..I’m sorry…look it up…lol…).  She said…”Because of your blood pressure though, we’re going to go ahead and induce you.”  She explained what all that meant.  I was angry!  After a perfect…and I do mean PERFECT pregnancy….I get to the labor and have trouble!  I was sooooo confused.  So..they gave me the daggum pitocin…that was supposedly going to speed up my labor…yeah…no such thing…all it did was make the contractions MUCH MORE PAINFUL!

So…yeah…if that speeded up the labor…I’d HATE to see how long it would have lasted had I not had it…I went all night and half the next day…FINALLY at 2:38 pm on August 8th…she made her appearance into the world.  She did not cry…..the only noise she made was a little whimper which made me nervous….My sister who’d found herself caught like a deer in headlights at the sight of the crowning…I love my sister…but…er…um…yeah…I don’t think she REALLY wanted to get to know me like that…I blame my friend Allan for the long labor…he always joked that I would have at least 36 hours of labor….well…34 hours and 38 minutes is pretty dang close!  When he showed at the hospital a day or two after she was born…I heard my family huddled in corner whispering…”is he the dad?”…NO!  lol…and to this day they still ask!  He’s just a friend…for real!

Anyway…we’ve had some tough times…and days I’ve really wondered where she came from….because sure no child of mine would…<insert thing here>…but she’s mine…mine…mine (okay..so she’s on loan from God…)  I love that lil girl…IDK what I’m going to do with her.  Guess I’ll just love her!

Happy twelfth birthday baby girl!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

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So…Marissa…You’ve Got It Bad!

So…Marissa…You’ve Got It Bad!

Today on So Says Kimyatta…The fabulous…Marissa Monteilh (pronounced Mon-Tay)!  Welcome!

SSK:  Thanks for allowing So Says Kimyatta to be a participant in this blog tour!  I’m so excited to have you Marissa!
Let’s jump right in…shall we?  Tell us a little bit about You’ve Got it Bad. 

MM:  The good doctor, Dr. Makkai Worthy, returns as Dr. Feelgood in the steamy sequel of a handsome, popular heart surgeon who repairs hearts in his professional life, yet breaks them in his personal life.

Dr. Makkai Worthy is a playboy from the heart and a chip off the old rolling-stone block, as his father has more children than he can even name. Makkai’s daughter, Fonda, is now five-years old and soon will be looking to her father to show her by example how a male should cherish a female. Mary Jane Cherry and Dr. Lois Taylor keep Makkai’s playboy plate full, along with a few new characters. One sequence of dramatic events leads to another, and if Makkai plans to save himself, he’ll need to break the generational curses that bind and face some unexpected truths. Will his love of women continue to rule his world, or will he break all the rules and prove to himself that having it bad, ain’t good?

SSK:  I’m sure there are some surprises in store.  This book takes place after five years have passed.  I have to wonder, has the good doctor changed any in that time?

MM:  You are so very correct in that there are surprises and changes in this sequel, and I will admit that the good doctor and Mary Jane have broken up and he is back to his old ways. Question is, will he ever learn? That remains to be seen.
SSK:  Do you foresee any other characters in the book having their own books?  I have to admit that Monday has me a little rattled.  I want to know more about what’s going on in her life!

MM:  I don’t see any other characters having their own books, even though there is one certain Imposter character who has been campaigning for some attention on my Facebook Author Page, and I’m thinking perhaps this character is trying to get his or her own book. Interesting! But it’ll NEVER happen! The pen is mightier than the Imposter!

Monday Askins, who’s birth name is Laurinda, which is the name she’ll be going by in this sequel, has rattled a few people. She is now a recovering alcoholic who claims to have her life together, with the help of a millionaire business man named Drew Warren, and she vows to now get her daughter, Fonda, back. But Makkai isn’t having it. So yes, she’s been up to a lot, with a lot more to be seen.

SSK:  How do you do to motivate yourself to write?  Do you have a special formula that works for you?

MM:  Deadlines motivate me to write, actually. There’s something about a looming deadline that kicks me right into gear. My formula is to first, write an outline. I spend time getting to know my characters, and I assign them scenes, much like a stage play. Once I have a writing road-map that gives me an idea of where they’re going, I’m more motivated to sit down and get them there, but they don’t always end up where I thought they would. That is one of the best things about writing. The destination can be a mystery. You surprise even yourself!

SSK:  Interesting.  I can see a deadline being a motivator!  lol…Tell us about some of your other titles.

MM:  I write women’s fiction, mainly relationship-type novels. I’ve written these type of stories: older women falling in love with younger men and how fatherly abandonment can affect our love lives in May December Souls, a wife with cervical cancer and a broken marriage in The Six-Letter Word, best-friends who cheat with each other’s sons and fathers in Turnabout is Fair Play, self-image issues and a nip-tuck in Morgan’s Makeover, a woman who physically abuses her police officer husband in Something He Can Feel, and more. I love to write fiction-friction, with issues that go against the grain and make people a little uncomfortable, yet hopefully ones that readers are unable to put down.

SSK:  Fiction Friction…well alright now!   What can readers expect next from you?

MM:  I have a series of Erotic City books under my pen name, PYNK, which come out every six months through the end of 2014, and then in 2015 I plan to write the final book in the Hot Boyz trilogy, called L.A. Husbands and Wives. I might write a non-fiction book along the way that will teach men and women how to be romantic.

SSK:  Is there anything else you’d like to share?

MM:  I’d like to share that it is very important for readers to tell someone about the books they are excited about, have read, and/or are about to read. Word of mouth is so important to authors, as well as reviews. Actually, reviews are word of mouth. We need your support, especially nowadays.

SSK:  How can readers contact you?

MM:  Readers can contact me via my website, Facebook, Twitter or email.

Facebook:  Marissa Monteilh Author Page

Twitter:  DivaWriterMM

Email:  divapublishing@aol.com

Thank you Kimyatta, my fellow author, for this interview, and for all that you do to support authors. You are a literary gem!

Aww…Marissa…you’re welcome!  Literary gem!  I love it!

So…go ahead and get your copy of You’ve Got It Bad….if you haven’t read Dr. Feelgood…check that out too!

SSKMM

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata