Writing from the heart

Reblogged from Women and Words

Women and Words

Surviving our national challenge of 2017 has taught me something important about writing. Not just any writing—our writing. Our stories. Queer, feminist, black, white, survivor, triumphant, unique and challenging stories. The lessons of our life told through our fiction and poetry and lyrics.

We live in uncertain, volatile times. Everyday brings another assault on our freedoms. And if you’re like me, you feel as if you might go crazy because it seems nobody is listening outside of our families of choice or our liberal, literary communities. The rest of the world I inhabit doesn’t want to hear my warning cries. I feel unheard. Our rights are increasingly endangered and they couldn’t care less.

I know now this is the time for artists to dig deep. Telling our stories feels urgent and necessary now more than ever in times like these. Because story is how we translate the personal into messages…

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Cover Reveal: County Vices

*Takes a deep breath* My second novel, County Vices, is ready for the world. Yaaay!! Olivia and Maureen, the gorgeous duo, are back with more crime-fighting action! County Vices will be available August 30th in both paperback and eBook on Amazon. In the meantime, check out the cover and the teasers below.

Detective Olivia Winston and IRS Special Agent Maureen Jeffries have “tied the knot” and happily settled into married life. But crime in their home county of Goslyn hasn’t settled down—in fact, it’s at an all-time high. Drugs and corruption have found a foothole in the once small, quiet community, and Olivia and Maureen discover it’s a family affair that reaches from the street corner dealer right up to the County Board of Supervisors.

The love-hate drama between Supervisor Cleo Jacobs and her street-wise nephew, Chris Jacobs, has filled their pockets with plenty of cash but caused a dangerous rift between the two as both try to make their mark in the drug game. Driven by greed and ego, the Jacobs do their best to satisfy the growing demand for pills that “make you happy” and “numb the pain.” But their love of money comes with a callous disregard for others, including those close to Detective Winston and Special Agent Jeffries, who find themselves right in the middle of Goslyn’s biggest crime story.

Love, violence, and betrayal combine to make the perfect, poisonous pill.


 “If you wanna live large, you gotta play big.”

Chris Jacobs tossed his phone on the van’s
“Was that Roy again?” Terry Gordon asked.
“Yeah. He’s a pain in the ass. He acts like
nobody knows what to do but him!”
“I know, man. But we never moved this much
stuff before. We’ve got enough Oxy and Ritalin to
get twenty years with the Feds.”
Chris scowled. “We need to make a name for
ourselves. So don’t punk out on me now!”
“Take it easy, man. I’m down for anything. I’ll
do my part as long as I keep gettin’ paid.”


“Police! Drop the gun!” Olivia shouted as she
and Maureen sprinted toward the men on the
ground. She stepped on Chris’ hand and pointed her
gun at his head.
“He tried to kill me!” Roy yelled as he
scrambled to get up.
Maureen pulled him up from behind and pinned
him against the jeep. “Don’t move!” she ordered
and frisked him. She then pulled him away from the
Jeep and pointed to the ground. “Sit down and shut
Roy obeyed.
Three cruisers arrived at high speed and flung
open their doors. “Which one shot Nick?!” one of
the officers barked. “Which one?!”
Olivia stared down at Chris, who looked like a
wounded animal that just lost a fight. It was the first
time she seriously thought about shooting a suspect
in custody. This was the callous perp who had just
shot a cop. Did he assault her student and harass
Mr. Bennett, too? She flipped him over, and one of
the other officers handcuffed him and patted him
down. The officer found the envelope stuffed in the
back of Chris’ pants and handed it to Olivia.
Olivia looked in the envelope then smacked
Chris on the back of his head with it. “This is worth
killing for?!”
The officer stood Chris up, and Olivia looked at
him from head to toe. Covered in dirt and sweat,
there was nothing intimidating about Chris Jacobs.
To Olivia, he was just another young, gun-toting
hard-ass type that was showing up in Goslyn more
and more.
“God, what a waste,” Olivia mumbled to

ART Never Shuts Up!

Politics: Something that never really interested me beyond casting my vote every two or four years and occasionally watching a debate long enough to realize that I never want to be a politician. But now.. now, in this bizarre, messed up, and down right frightening “live nightmare” that keeps giving us one shameful scene after another, I’m constantly checking for “breaking news” and following (like a fanatic) political pundits, “experts,” commentators, and a few smart-asses who think we should all just suck it up and move on. I, like so many others after Nov. 8th, felt like I’d been uprooted, shaken, and dropped back on the ground. Needless to say, my ability to focus on writing fiction–that thing that allows me to control the universe–was temporarily derailed by a sense that I should’ve been doing something more important, more meaningful as a contribution to the cause of standing up for what’s right and just. I did eek out some work( a short story/vignette), and I dusted off some untitled incomplete drafts. Yet, I was stewing in a funk best described by the late great B.B. King’s song, “The Thrill in Gone.” Writing seemed so hard at times, and at other times, it seemed too casual or too small a thing to do after the world “somersaulted backwards” last November.

But, I was cheating myself by denying the obvious: I need to write. It’s like self-therapy that doesn’t cost a dime. Well, maybe a few dimes for a gallon of chilled green tea and a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate 60% cocoa treats that are a must-have for my writing regiment. I slowly realized that chaotic times–political and social–are fuel for the imagination, a call to keep creating with words and not a siren to go silent. Writing is ART! And ART never shuts up!

So, with that said, the manuscript of my second novel is quickly making its way through editing (aka, the “writer’s meat slicer”).  Another novel manuscript is also taking form as well as another short story–each black lesbian centered, of course.  Like all art, writing can be liberating, and it can be simulating. But most importantly, writing can be RESISTANCE. Hail the power of the pen!