Sunday, August 28, 2011
Faydra D. Fields was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and raised in
She started my higher education at Kentucky State University in Frankfort,
KY, where she was a Whitney Young Honors Scholar and where she also became
a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Beta Zeta Chapter, 1989).
Faydra finished her time as an undergraduate at Howard University in
Washington, DC, with a degree in African-American Studies (Magna Cum,
While at Howard University, two of Faydra's most memorable internships
were with the Democratic National Committee and the Anti-Defamation
Faydra's first job after college was with the National Captioning
Institute in Vienna, VA, where she was a "live display captioner," doing
closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
Faydra eventually moved back to Tulsa and taught 8th grade American
Studies for two years before joining the Army as an Information Systems
After finishing her tour with the Army in 2006, Faydra became a computer
applications/web languages/social media trainer, web designer/developer,
blogger, columnist for Examiner.com and author. She is also an instructor
at Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus.
To learn more about Faydra, please visit her site at http://faydra.com.
Synopsis: Four women have two things in common. They're all mothers, and
the father of their children is the same man.
Although Emmanuel does everything he can to provide for his own household,
and four others, it's not enough to keep the mothers of his children from
just scraping by.
Xavari convinces Denise, Angela and Romina that the four of them must pick
up the slack where Emmanuel is unable.
"Manny about had a natural fit when I told him what I wanted to name the kids," Romina confessed with a newly blossoming smile.
It was a tradition in Emmanuel's family that the women named their babies. He learned this one summer when he was visiting his grandparents. His maternal grandmother explained to him that during slavery, it was usually the slave owners who named all the slaves. This was especially insulting to the slave women who had been raped and given birth to their masters' offspring. When the first baby in their family had been born after the final Emancipation Proclamation that abolished slavery, they started the tradition of allowing the mother to name her children.
"They are really… different," Xavari said.
"He wasn't too pleased with the name Sonjie, either," Angela said as she remembered his initial reaction.
"Now that you mention it, he threw up his hands when I told him I wanted to name our son Xavier," Xavari added as her gaze drifted to the playpen. The other ladies looked, too.
"What's his twin's name?" Romina wanted to know. Xavari, Sonjie, Angela and Romina's children burst out in unbridled laughter. Denise and Romina were totally confounded and had no idea what was so funny.
"That's not his twin. That's my baby, Marcus," Angela said between chuckles.
"Oh. My. Goodness," Denise and Romina said at the same time, eyes wide with astonishment.
"I know, right? That was exactly my reaction and my words when I saw that little one," Xavari said.
"That man got so strong genes. All these kids look alike," Angela observed.
All four ladies looked around the room at the children. It was true. They all looked like they could have come from the same womb.
"When Daddy has us all together, people trip out when me and Naomi tell'em we got different mommas," Sonjie interjected. She immediately looked at her mother and waited to be scolded for jumping back into the conversation. To her relief, Angela didn't say anything harsh.
"Sonjie, y'all take the babies back there in my room with Kelvin and the twins. I'm watching my sister kids. She got twins," Angela explained to the other ladies.
Social Media: Twitter (http://twitter.com/faydra_deon); Facebook
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Carrie Ann Woods has had enough. Sick and tired of allowing men to come in and out her life without a real commitment, she has convinced herself that she is worth much more and that she deserves to find true love. While remaining hesitant to give her heart away, she will recall the pain from her past and use everything she’s learned about love and life to her advantage in the novel, Sex Isn’t Enough.
As the owner of a successful public relations firm in Miami, this sexy and fiery soon to be 30-year-old often finds herself surrounded by athletes, musicians and other public figures that all turn to her when they want to get into or stay out of the media.
Her relationship with a married man causes her to wonder if real love even exists and if she’ll ever find it. Like many women her age she starts to tell herself that her biological clock is ticking. She sets out to prove to herself that romance means more than good sex. Sex Isn’t Enough is packed with scandal, drama, passion, and pleasure as Carrie narrates readers through her journey of learning to believe in love.
I was born on the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on April 1, 1985. My parents were both members of the navy and readily welcomed a bouncing baby girl to their family of three. My older brother was thrilled. Unfortunately, my father died merely a year later. I have been blessed with a loving mother and a a supportive brother who have both played major roles in making me who I am today.
My writing sometimes feels as though it comes organically. I never want to feel as if I'm trying too hard. If that does happen, that's when I know it's time to momentarily walk away from a project. I have always loved the ability to create a world that no one else knows of. Fiction is one of the most amazing concepts a writer can indulge in. Writing fiction is a way for me to escape into a world where I dont exist. At times, it is therapeutic. I will forever admire the works of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, and countless other literary greats. I have a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in journalism from Winthrop University.
My only hope is to create characters and stories that my readers will love and enjoy for years to come.
When I got back upstairs to my office the phones were ringing like we were hosting some type of Feed the Children tell-a-thon. Joy knew how much I hated it if a phone rang more than three times. She was trying her hardest to answer them all and put this person on hold and tell that person she’d call them back with details in a few. She looked up and noticed I was back and almost dropped the receiver to the phone she was holding.
“What the hell is going on in here?” I tried to ask without sounding too disturbed. It was chaotic.
“We just got a call that Jonathan Price’s girlfriend just killed herself after attempting to shoot his wife! The lines have been ringing non-stop since you left. I tried calling your cell but it kept going straight to voicemail. I couldn’t reach you.” Joy was panicking. I hated it when people panicked.
I laughed a little on the inside because all I could think about was how many times I heard my phone buzzing as Christian was screwing my brains out. It felt so good I couldn’t dream of making him stop so I could answer the phone.
I rarely put anything before my business but this time my body won the battle that it and my brain had been fighting since I met Christian. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried I could never break the power he held over me.
I got back in work mode quickly and went into my office to contact Jonathan’s manager. Jonathan had played for the Dolphin’s for about three years and had become one of their best break-out players.
He was becoming one of the best defensive linemen in the league and was starting to gain the attention of a great deal of other NFL teams because of his size and his speed on the field.
As his career began to take off, he came to me to help keep his name in the media as a wholesome family man.
He wasn’t running any illegal dog fighting rings or anything but he just wanted to always appear to be a good guy.
From what I knew about him so far, it seemed as though he was.
The Price family had a seemingly picture perfect life. His wife was a former professional dancer who gave up her studio in Atlanta and moved to Miami with Jonathan when they met. She had given him two beautiful daughters and attended every game she could with the kids in tow.
When they decided they wanted to take their entire family to Disney World one summer, of course we sent out press releases to let newspapers, magazines and websites know that Jonathan and the family would be more than willing to take pictures and give interviews while they were there. Jonathan loved this idea. It wasn’t really their family vacation anyway.
Disney World was for regular folks. That same summer they spent three weeks in Aruba.
Dancing around with Mickey was merely a publicity stunt. He was well on his way to being dubbed the family man of the NFL. Almost everywhere he went locally the wife and kids were right behind him.
The one thing he told me in our initial meeting was to make sure he was always seen as a family man because he loved his wife and kids and would never do anything to jeopardize his family.
I’d be lying if I said I believed him then, but for the sake of his lovely wife sitting across from me with two bright-eyed young girls bouncing on her lap, I tried not to show it in my expressions.
I picked up the phone and dialed the number to Jonathan’s manager’s cell directly from my cell.
I knew his receptionist would take forever to get him on the office line.
“Hey Mark! It’s Carrie. What’s going on?” I jumped right in.
“Hi Carrie,” he said trying to sound as professional as he possibly could. “Can you hang on one second for me?” he asked. I didn’t have time to answer before he wasn’t there anymore. This usually meant there was someone in his office or in close proximity and he felt he couldn’t talk to me freely. Over the years and with various shared clients, Mark and I had developed a pretty solid working relationship. We knew a lot about the people who hired us. Things they often wouldn’t want their closest friends and family members to know about. For some reason they confided in us, trusted us. We always knew that if one knew something about a client the other would find out shortly.
“I’m here,” he said when he got back to the phone. “It’s a mad house over here. Some crazy chick decided she wanted to take the life of Andrea Price and her own as well. Andrea didn’t get hurt at all. The nut missed her completely and I guess didn’t take the time to realize it before she turned the gun on herself.”
“Wow,” I said. I couldn’t think of anything else to say at the moment. Mark must’ve sensed this so he kept going.
“This all happened in their home while the kids were taking a nap. The chick somehow got past security at the gate where they lived, climbed into a window, walked right upstairs to the master bedroom, obviously knowing where it was, and pulled the trigger when she saw Andrea. Andrea of course hit the floor when the bullet hit the mirror behind her and shattered glass everywhere. By the time Andrea looked up the girl was lying on the floor with a bullet in her head. This shit is crazy. These guys are never going to learn.”
I couldn’t help but think about Christian’s fiancé and if she could ever snap like that and try to kill me if she found out about us. I had seen one too many movies like that and watched way too much TV. I pushed the thought from my head quickly.
“Are you still there?” Mark asked trying to figure out if I was going to say anything else.
“I’m here. I just don’t understand it. I knew all of that family man bullshit was a lie the minute he said it. This could’ve been so much worse. Imagine what would’ve happened if she had hurt those girls! Well, is he talking? If we’re going to clean this up he has to give us all the details. Do we even know who the chick is at this point?”
I was officially ready to work now.
“I’ve been calling him since I found out. I think he’s at the police station with Andrea. The girls are with Andrea’s sister.”
Mark paused for a moment.
“I’ll try to get him to come and talk to you as soon as possible,” he said.
“Make it sooner than possible. I can’t answer any questions or talk to anyone until I’ve heard it directly from him.”
“Ok,” Mark said. I could tell he was irritated beyond belief.
“I’ll bring him by your office tomorrow afternoon and we’ll go from there. In the meantime let’s try to gather as much information as we can and release as little as we can.”
“Sounds good,” I said and hung up the phone. I needed a drink. A Cosmo would’ve been nice.
4That night Christian came over.
A part of me didn’t want him to. Especially since I couldn’t stop thinking about how terrified and angry Andrea Price must’ve been when she realized what had occurred in the bedroom of her home as her children slept soundly in another room.
I bet as soon as she saw psycho chick standing in her bedroom with a gun pointed in her direction, she knew exactly what was happening.
Jonathan had been unfaithful. While she had spent the last 6 years of her life, like many other wives of athletes, convincing her brain and her heart that her man only had eyes for her, she had been wrong; almost dead wrong.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Lorton Correctional Complex was one of the most notorious prisons in U.S. history. It housed convicts from Washington, D.C. Known for violence and corruption, it shaped and molded every man, or woman, that experienced life on the inside. Sent to Lorton at age 17 for armed robbery, Ronald Mays is introduced to a world where only the strong survive. In prison he is forced to better himself as a man he learns to read, he drops his heroin habit, and becomes a father. Being a loyalist at heart, Ronald gets involved in a feud with older convicts that can cost him everything. A survivor by nature, Ronald makes it out of Lorton alive and returns to the streets of D.C. with his mind focused on doing bigger and better things with his life. He leaves all of his old ways alone and pursues his dreams of becoming a pro boxer if he succeeds he wins for all those close to him. No matter how hard he tries to avoid the drama of the D.C. streets, it comes his way hard and fast. Ronald finds himself fighting his yesterdays in order to attain his dreams of tomorrow. Like most real men that survived Lorton, Ronald is driven by his will to succeed and his demand for respect. Nothing will get in his way. An epic story of struggle, adversity, and accomplishment.
YOUTH CENTER I, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1975
“Ay, Blue!” Frank yelled through the vent in the back of his cell. He and Ronald were being sent to general population. Frank’s heart was pounding with apprehension of what awaited them on the compound. It was time to face the music. “Ay, Blue, get in the vent, nigga!”
“What’s up?” Blue yelled back.
“They ’bout to send us to the pound,” Frank yelled.
“Yeah, they just came to see us.”
“Me and T-Bone gon’ be in here for ’bout another week or so. Y’all stay on point out there,” Blue yelled.
Ronald got in the vent. “Ay, Blue, remember what we talked about, man.” They had vowed to never let the Northwest/Southeast bullshit come between them.
“You know that, bro,” Blue confirmed.
“Tell T-Bone to get in the vent.”
“Aaaaayyyy,” T-Bone yelled through the vent.
“I’ma see y’all when they let y’all hit the pound.”
“Be safe, Ronnie.”
“I’ma do that if I don’t do nothin’ else.” Ronald could hear the C.O.’s keys coming down the range over the loud talking of other convicts. “I talked to Synthia, she should be hookin’ up wit’ your girl.”
“Okay, man. I’ll holla at you when we get on the pound. I’m ’bout to get out this vent,” T-Bone said.
Ronald and Frank stepped into the unknown world of the Center. Ronald was assigned to 3 Dorm. Frank felt those familiar butterflies in his stomach when he was assigned to 2 Dorm without Ronald. As Frank and Ronald crossed the compound, they saw people everywhere, just like in the hood. They saw a few people they knew from the streets and from down Oak Hill. Some dudes they hadn’t seen in years. One of Frank’s homies that ran the streets with Gangsta, a dude by the name of G-Train, pulled up on Frank and Ronald.
“Damn, what’s up, baby boy?” G-Train hugged Frank. “What dorm they got you in?”
“2 Dorm,” Frank said, pleased to see a homie of his. “You over there wit’ me,” G-Train said, looking at Ronald like, Who the fuck is you? Ronald looked back at G-Train the same way.
“This my man, Ronald,” Frank said, sensing the vibe.
G-Train and Ronald exchanged nods, nothing more.
“Come on, I’ma walk you over to the dorm,” G-Train said to Frank.
Frank gave Ronald five and a hug. “I’ma catch you after I get my shit together.”
“Cool. Be safe,” Ronald said. He then headed to his dorm.
Inside 3 Dorm, Ronald ran into a partner of his brother’s, a dude by the name of Fray. He had some juice with the female C.O. that ran the block; she was a bad-ass sister with a sexy body. Fray got Ronald moved on the wing with him and a few other Uptown dudes.
Going on twenty three, Fray was well respected and already established down the Center. He had always looked at Ronald like a little brother and had watched him grow up. Ronald had a lot of respect for Fray; it was Fray that gave him his first .32 revolver at thirteen.
“So, what’s up wit’ this beef you got wit’ the dude Keith Henderson?” Fray asked as he and Ronald sat in his cell smoking a KOOL. “You know how word travels.”
“That nigga violated, Mike.” Ronald said, addressing Fray by his government name. He went on to explain how Keith Henderson tried to rape Frank.
Fray nodded. “Y’all did what y’all was supposed to do.” Fray respected the fact that Ronald and his little crew were coming through the door standing up as men. There was no other way to be respected down Lorton.
“Who all fuck wit’ the dude down here?” Ronald asked, knowing that he had to deal with the dude’s peoples. Not to mention, the people that fucked with the dude Joseph Hall—the dude T-Bone and Blue stabbed.
“Most of the dudes that fuck wit’ them dudes over Big Lorton, but the dude Keith got a brother in this dorm on the other wing–”
“In this dorm?” Ronald cut Fray off. His antennas went up.
“Yeah, but he ain’t that type of dude, he don’t want no trouble. He ain’t nothin’ like his brother.”
Ronald was already shaking his head no. “We can’t sleep in the same dorm, that’s out, Mike. If the nigga don’t want no trouble, then he gotta go. Matter fact, we can’t be on the same compound.”
Fray laughed a little. “Let me holla at the dude. He from Northwest, so let me talk to him real quick.”
“Mike, I fucks wit’ you and everything, but it’s nothin’ to talk about. He gotta go or I’ma put the knife in him.” Ronald’s mind was made up.
Fray tried to talk Ronald out of it, but it made no difference. “Okay, I see you got your mind made up, so I got your back. At the same time, the dude Joseph got a cousin over 2 Dorm, he pull a little weight down here. He from Southeast. You know we gon’ have to deal wit’ that, too.”
“You don’t gotta get into this shit. I got it on my end, man. All I need is a knife,” Ronald said.
“Hell nah, I fucks wit’ your brother and you like family to me. I can’t let you go out there like that.”
Moments later, Fray had armed Ronald with a lawn mower blade that could decapitate a bull. Fray also pulled up on a few of his comrades and let them know what was going on. Wookie, Larry Williams, and Greg Royster backed Fray’s call to back Ronald. Eddie Mathis and Fly were on board as well. In a huge green army coat, Ronald walked down the wing followed by Fray and his comrades. Convicts standing out on the tier looked on, knowing something was about to go down. Seeing who was backing Ronald, the convicts knew that the youngster was not some young off brand.
Pulling up on Kenny Henderson, Ronald found him talking to another convict and cut into their conversation. “Main man, let me holla at you real quick.”
Kenny could tell that Ronald was strapped, the huge coat said so. Kenny also knew that Fray and his crew were backing the youngster. “I don’t want no trouble, youngster.”
“I’m tryin’ to holla at you alone,” Ronald said with authority.
Kenny’s buddie spoke up. “You can speak to him right here.”
Wookie spoke up and addressed Kenny’s buddie. “You want some work?”
The dude sighed. “Y’all know Kenny ain’t wit’ no beefin’.”
“Fuck all that. Do you want some work?” Wookie got up in the dude’s face.
“Nah, man.” The dude left Kenny for dead.
“Look, man,” Ronald said to Kenny. “We can’t both sleep in this dorm. One of us gotta go and it ain’t gon’ be me …”
“I ain’t wit’ that shit my brother tried. I know y’all did what y’all had to do.”
Ronald thought about what Kenny said, but he wasn’t taking any chances. He refused to be rocked to sleep. “Look here,” Ronald pulled out the lawn mower blade, “I said one of us gotta go. Either you start steppin’ or shit gon’ go to another level.” In a way, Ronald felt fucked up knowing the dude had no win, but it was what it was.
“You got it, youngster.” Kenny eased by, heading for Protective Custody. “I’m goin’ in.”
Meanwhile, in 2 Dorm, Frank and G-Train were suited up as well. Frank was hiding in G-Train’s cell with a ten inch blade, his palms were sweaty and he could feel himself trembling. G-Train told him that he would go get Joseph Hall’s cousin and tell him that they wanted to squash the beef. It was game. G-Train was rockin’ the joker to sleep. He had told Frank to stab the joker right in the neck with no talking as soon as he walked him in the cell. Frank was having second thoughts as he impatiently waited for G-Train to lure the joker to the cell.
“Yeah, man, that shit ain’t for us,” G-Train said to Freddie Hall as he walked him to the cell. “My man ain’t tryin’ to beef wit’ you. Frank just comin’ in, he really don’t know how this shit go.”
With his chest out haughty and cocky, Freddie said, “Yeah, I hope so, cause I’d hate for us to fall out over this shit here.” Freddie was twenty five, he’d been down the Center for seven years and had been known to be a thorough dude. He respected G-Train, but saw him as a young nigga that was still coming into his own. As far as Freddie was concerned, G-Train had a long way to go before he could even think about getting in his business.
This nigga just don’t know, G-Train thought, we gon’ bus’ his ass. G-Train was nineteen, and he’d been down the Center for three years at that point. During that time, he’d already gotten away with a murder and countless serious assaults. He couldn’t believe that Freddie was acting like he didn’t pull weight.
As soon as G-Train opened the cell door, Frank struck like an angry diamondback rattlesnake, stabbing Freddie right under his Adam’s apple. G-Train whipped out his joint at the same time and hit Freddie in the back.
“Aaahhrrggg!” Freddie screamed, making a gagging sound as he grabbed his neck and forced his way backward, getting stabbed over and over again. Frank became possessed, stabbing Freddie in the face, neck, and chest. Freddie got unnaturally strong and ran down the wing trying to get away. Frank and G-Train were right on his ass like piranhas. They chased him and stabbed him all the way into the TV room where he collapsed, a bloody mess.
“Come on, let’s go.” G-Train grabbed Frank’s shirt, pulling him along.
Eyone Williams was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He is a publisher, author, rapper and actor representing urban life in a way that is uniquely his. Known for hard-core, gritty novels, Eyone made the Don Diva best-seller list with his first novel, Fast Lane (Fast Lane Publications). He followed up his debut novel with Hell Razor Honeys 1 and 2 (Cartel Publications). He then delivered his readers a short story entitled The Cross (DC Bookdiva Publications). He’s also a staff writer for Don Diva Magazine, his most notable work is featured in Don Diva’s issue 30, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, where he outlined the rise and fall of D.C. street legends Michael “Fray” Salters and Wayne Perry. Eyone’s first acting role was in the forthcoming movie Dark City (District Hustle). His latest mixtape, A Killer’z Ambition, is a sound track to the novel, A Killer’z Ambition (DC Bookdiva Publications) by Nathan Welch. For more information about Eyone Williams visit his Facebook page: facebook.com/eyonewilliams
Sunday, August 14, 2011
A poignant tale of a circle of close knit friends whose lives are more intertwined than they realize; that is until the blurred lines of love, lust and friendship begins to reveal the half-truths and lies that exist. Will the secrets they all hold from the past ruin their friendships and lives forever?A poignant tale of a circle of close knit friends whose lives are more intertwined than they realize; that is until the blurred lines of love, lust and friendship begins to reveal the half-truths and lies that exist. Will the secrets they all hold from the past ruin their friendships and lives forever?
Excerpt from the book
As each day passes my thoughts of you and desire for you increase. When I close my eyes, I can drift back in time and feel your touch and I imagine I hear your voice. Oh how I wish I could hear your voice. I’ve let you get under my skin, and I feel very vulnerable because I know I’m in a position to get hurt. You told me when we first met, you were not looking for a relationship, and I agreed to your terms. I never expected you to be such a nice guy. I really want to call you but I promised Jada I would wait until Thursday.
In the middle of my entry, I checked the clock and it was only 10:15 pm.
It’s not too late to call, I thought to myself. I grabbed my phone and dialed the number. The phone rang four times. I was just about to disconnect the call when he picked up and answered with a simple, “Hello.”
“Hi Darien,” I said. “This is Toni.”
“Well hello, Ms. Toni,” he said and I felt like he was smiling through the phone. “I was just thinking about you.”
“Really?” I said. “That’s funny because you didn’t call me I called you,” I said with a hint of sarcasm.
“About that,” he started, “I wanted to call you but I got sent out of town on business suddenly yesterday morning. I didn’t have your cell number on me. I’ve been in meetings all day long and have not had a minute to log in to send you an email.”
Trying to sound cool, I said “Darien its okay. I was just concerned because I had not heard from you since you left my house on Sunday, and I had not seen you around the office either. I thought maybe something had happened to you and I just wanted to check on you.”
“Oh I see, well as you can hear, I’m doing okay. I’m in Miami right now and am not sure, when I’m coming home. Hopefully this weekend, but not sure I really want to fly all the way back home just for the weekend when the only thing waiting for me there is my empty bed and my fish.”
Trying to sound very nonchalant, I said, “Yes I can understand that.”
We talked for another few minutes. Then I said, “Darien it’s getting late so I need to go. Did you save my number in your phone?”
“Yes I did.”
“Okay so call me when you can.”
“I will Toni, I promise.”
I broke down and called you and even though Jada is going to have some choice words for me, I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed talking to you. Our conversation left me wanting more. I’m trying to put my finger on what it’s about you that intrigues me the most. I think it’s a combination of a number of things. First of all, I like your confidence. You carry yourself like you know exactly who you are and what you want. That’s a real turn on. In addition, you try to act like you’re a player and women do not mean that much to you, but I can tell that you really like women. The way you talked about your mom and little sister I can tell you really like women. I mean most straight men like women. They love us and want to make love to us, but they do not really like us. I can tell you do. It’s the way you listen that makes the difference. Women like to be heard more than anything else. I could write so much more but am very tired, so am closing for now. I’m looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow.
I placed my journal back in its hiding place, put my cell phone on the charger, and prepared to turn in for the night. As soon as I turned the light off my cell phone rang. I looked at the clock and it said 11:00 pm. Who is calling me this time at night? I thought to myself. I reached over to grab my phone off the charger to look at the number. It was an unfamiliar out of town number. I think the same one from the other day. Who is this who keeps calling me? I thought. I considered letting it go to voice mail again but I had a feeling I needed to take this call so I answered, “Hello”.
“Hey baby,” was the response on the other end of the phone. I could not believe my ears. I looked around my room and pinched myself to make sure I was really awake and I had not fallen asleep and this was a sick dream.
I said, “Hello”
Again and the voice responded with a chuckle, “Hey baby, it’s Benjamin. I know you recognize my voice.”
Okay so this time I did drop the phone and let out a little squeal. I sat on my bed staring at my phone as it lay on the floor beside my bed. I’ve no idea how long I just sat there before I knelt down to retrieve my phone. Once I did, I tentatively placed it back to my ear and listened to see if he was still there. I could hear him breathing into the phone. After another minute or so of listening to him breathe, I said, “Benjamin, why are you calling me?”
He responded “I’m calling you because I missed you and I was thinking about you baby.”
“Please stop calling me baby!” I screamed into the
phone. I closed my eyes in an attempt to block the painful memories that were coming back. Shaking my head, I said, “Benjamin I can’t do this right now. I do not know why you called me now but I cannot talk to you right now. Not like this.”
I heard a heavy sigh on the other end of the phone and then he said, “Okay listen. I meant what I said. I miss you and I’ve been thinking about you. Also I’m going to be in town this coming weekend so, I wanted to know if we can meet for lunch or dinner, so we can talk.”
I still could not believe this was happening and I didn’t want to commit to anything without consulting with Jada, so I responded “Um I need some time to think about it Benjamin. Your call kind of caught me off guard. Can I get back to you later about lunch?”
Sounding irritated, he said, “sure no problem. I will call you back on Friday. Is that enough time for you to make up your mind?”
“Yes,” I said, “that would be perfect.”
“Ok great, Toni I know I’ve a lot of explaining to do and I will, I promise. Just give me a chance, okay baby?”
Trying to hold back the tears that were pooling in my eyes, I said, “Benjamin I will talk to you when you call me on Friday. I’ve to go now. Good bye.”
After I hung up the phone, I sat for what felt like hours just staring at my phone and replaying in my head the brief conversation. I tried to force myself not to remember my time with Benjamin. I referred to them as the Benjamin years. Jada and I sometimes joked about my life in segments. There was the BB or before Benjamin years, and then the AB, or after Benjamin years. Jada says I changed after Benjamin. She will never say if it was good or bad, she just says I’m different. Jada does not even know everything that happened between Benjamin and me. In fact, Benjamin didn’t even know the real reason why I went to Chicago for our final semester. I was not sure I was ready to open up those wounds. I spent years in therapy trying to get over Benjamin, and the guilt I felt for decisions I made without consulting him. I had convinced myself that somehow, Benjamin had discovered the truth, and that’s the reason why he disappeared on me into thin air. I thought about all the plans we had made. He was going to be drafted into theNBA. We would get married and I would stay home and raise our children. What a great plan that was until he got injured and was unable to play basketball anymore. I knew that basketball was a major part of his life, but I never imagined him losing his chance to play would make him turn his back on me like he did.
I returned my cell to the charger, turned off the light and tried to fall asleep. I didn’t look at the clock, but I know I lay awake for hours remembering the Benjamin years. I wondered what Jada would say tomorrow when I told her about my phone call.
Get to Know Terri
1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have always felt like I had a lot to say but I was a little shy. I started journaling or keeping a diary as a pre teen. I also started writing poetry and some short stories in my early teens.
2. What inspires you the most to write? My life inspires me to write. Writing for me is like therapy. It allows me to be completely open and honest about my feelings. It is not that I have lived a very hard life because I consider myself to have been very blessed thus far in my life. It’s that I have always wanted to capture how I feel about things as they happen. That is why I journal. If someone found all of my journals and put them into chronological order, it would be a good reflection of my life.
3. Did you enjoy reading as a child? Yes as a child, I loved to read. I remember reading all of the Judy Blume books but I also liked to sneak into my mother’s room and read some of her books. She liked V.C Andrews so as a teenager and young adult she became one of my favorite authors.
4. What do you like to do when you are not writing? When I am not writing I enjoy listening to music and singing. My love for music overshadowed my reading and writing for a long time. I am glad that I have finally been able to find a good balance between the two. Now I write and listen to music and sing while I am writing.
5. What inspired you to write your first book? I decided to write my first book because I had shared some of my journal entries with a friend of mine. They commented that they really enjoyed my writing style and asked if I had ever considered writing a book. I had not and did not act on it right away. One day I was reading a book and an idea for a story popped into my head. I sat down and started writing. Several hours later, I had approximately 50 pages written.
6. What does your family think of your writing? My family has been supportive and is very excited about me finally tapping into my creative side. My family continues to encourage me to write and express myself.
7. What is next for you in your writing career? I have started working on my second novel, which is a sequel to Yesterday’s lies, and I have some ideas for other books. I also have resumed writing poetry. I plan to continue to write as long as there are people who want to read what I write.
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Sunday, August 7, 2011
My name is Benjamin J. Patterson. Unlike most authors my back ground does not include professional reading or writing much. I am a native ofNew Orleans,La.Throughout high school and college I have always been very good at writing except I really had no interest in it as a career. Even though, writing has always played a large part in my life.
I mostly write to either relieve stress and to relay feelings or emotions I can’t really express with verbal communication. That is pretty much how Stuff Happens came to be.
Hurricane Katrina caused many drastic and unexpected changes in my life. During my stressful times or just for things I wanted to remember I would write little things here and there. I encountered many situations I had never faced and constantly wondered if I would get through, well stuff happens is my testament to the fact that hard work and determination can over come diversities in life.
Interview on Stuff Happens:
1. Will I write a part two to Stuff Happens?
I have not decided on writing a part two of Stuff Happens although, I am writing another book.
2. Did I loose any family due to Hurricanes Katrina or Rita?
Fortunately, I did not loose any immediate family, but unfortunately I did loose a step-mother Sandra who is and will be missed greatly.
2. What Happened to Ebony?
Right now Ebony and I don’t really communicate, but I still do have a place for her in my heart and from what I know she is doing well inLittle Rockhosting shows for clubs.
3. What inspired me to write Stuff Happens?
There were several reasons I decided to write Stuff Happens. Even though I’m not an avid reader writing is a way I express ideas and emotions I can not do verbally. Going through the situations I faced after Hurricane Katrina I constantly asked myself am I the only one going through this, so I decided to share my personal story in case someone was wondering the same thing. I don/t expect them to face exactly the same problems but life comes with many challenges and I just saying “we can overcome.”
4. Why did I choose to self-publish?
I choose to self publish so I could tell my story the way I want it to be told. I received offers from publishers but most of them entailed changing something here or there. I wrote Stuff Happens as an ordinary everyday person just sharing a part of my life and that is the way I want to keep it.
5. Why is the book cover so basic with not even a picture in it or on it?
Stuff Happens is more like a part of my personal journal rather than a novel or biography. Stuff Happens was written from pure emotion so I just kept it as just words to focus the reader on the story more than myself. I am sure there are many others with stories of their own, but I just decided to have mine published.
6. Do I have any regrets?
Actually, I have no regrets of anything. I was not prepared for the hurricanes as I should have been, but if not for the hurricanes I would have not have experienced the good experiences I did have. I use to run from and try to bury my problems, but I have learned to face them head on and conquer them. That is another thing I did by writing Stuff Happens. It allowed me to face my problems, conquer them and move on.
7. Am I living back in Louisiana, and if so would I be scared if and when another hurricane comes through?
Yes, I have moved back to New Orleans and a hurricane here is always something to be concerned about. More than being afraid I would be more prepared the next time a big one hits. Hurricanes are part of living here just as mid America is home of the tornadoes. We just have to be more prepared for when and not if another one comes through.
Stuff Happens is my personal story of the effects Hurricane Katrina had on my life. There are many others out there with similar experiences; however, I decided to share my personal experiences in hopes of touching someone’s life.
Throughout the book, I will discuss my experiences before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. She took things from my life along with bringing other things into my life both good and bad. Katrina triggered a string of events that turned my life into a roller coaster for a few years. Even though Katrina took away my identity she helped me find love for the first time in my life.
This special woman, who I am still friends with today, brought me from the edge of existence to the door step of prosperity. I talk about almost every aspect of our relationship mental, spiritual and physical.
Along with trying to build a life with this special person, I was also trying to get my identity back. Losing my identity also caused me to lose real control over my life; for example by allowing small occurrences good and bad to have a large effect on my life.
With God on my side and faith in myself I have managed to keep a positive attitude. I have learned things are going to happen but we must have strength and courage to live on. I have managed to sail choppy seas and break many boundaries in my quest to find my identity.
Stuff Happens is merely my message to those who are out there facing similar circumstances. We can survive disaster by turning tragedy into triumph!
Thanks for your time and patience,
Benjamin Joseph Patterson
After the power went out we all went to sleep but were
awakened by a loud thunderous roaring. That was how
loud and violent the wind gust were. The rain came down
so hard it sounded like bricks were hitting the side of the
building. We actually heard the wind ripping the shingles
off the roof as the storm grew closer. We could also hear
debris on the street being tossed around by the wind.
The winds were so strong we actually heard trees snapping
or being ripped from the ground. I wanted to open
the door to take a look, but my survival instincts told me
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