The Strength of the Chronically Ill

chronicallillThere are a number of people I know who are currently suffering from chronic illness. Chronic illness is dealing with a sickness, a disorder, or something of that nature that won’t go away. It’s with you every day.

Those of us who do suffer from chronic illness may experience many symptoms that are not always readily apparent to others. Daily pain, irritation, tiredness, fevers, tingling sensations, mental lapses, depression, and worst of all, hopelessness. Although hopelessness is not limited to those of us who have chronic illness, for just the purposes of this article, I’m going to be discussing my understanding of it here.

After all, as of this writing, I do not suffer from a chronic illness. Through my career as a podcast host, I have had the honor and pleasure to interview many people who do. A pattern of I’ve noticed with those who have chronic illness is the fact they know how to fake it. When asked how are they doing, more often than not, they smile (or grimace) and say, “Fine.”

The truth of the matter is that they are NOT fine. They are hurting. For some, they don’t LOOK sick. They put on make-up, brush their hair, take a bath or a shower, smell good, go to work, go to church, sing in the choir, mop the floors, etc. But they’re not FINE. Most days, they’re anything but FINE. Even as they’re smiling, they’re being lashed by pain across their nerve cells. While they’re walking, nausea fills their stomach or an acidic bitter taste coats the back of their throat.

At night, they can at least be more open about their pain. Is it because in the darkness, no one is there to see the tears, the hopelessness, the anguish? Not to mention the prayers, the wishes for their chronic illness to just go away.

What’s worse than having a chronic illness? Hearing these statements:

“You’re not really sick.”

“If you’re sick, you’re not doing X or Y. If you do X and Y, then you’ll be better.”

“You need to pray harder.”

“Your faith is what is keeping you from being well.”

Newsflash: those statements aren’t helping. These will.

Do you really think those who suffer from chronic illness HAVEN’T had these thoughts? Do you really think they haven’t prayed, tried the new medicines, the new treatment, the new oil? Do you really think they haven’t tried to think positive or haven’t entertained the thought they maybe it’s all in their heads?

My heart has been heavy for those of us who suffer from chronic illness. So very heavy. They are braver than those of us who are “well” because they have not let themselves stop living. They could and maybe their quality of life is limited due to their illness but here’s the thing – they’re still ALIVE and KICKING.

It may be a weak kick. Sometimes, it may even be from lying down in bed for weeks at a time. It may be their bodies are wracked with pain, with tingles, and fevers. It may be their wallets are empty from the medications that alleviates the pain. It may be the supplements are too expensive or the naturopathic treatments are only managing the illness but not curing it. It may be from isolation because their immune systems are MIA.

They have not given up the fight yet. They’re like boxers in the ring – no matter they keep getting knocked down on their backs, they scramble back up, spit, and stare into the cold eyes of their illness with unwavering determination and say, “Is that all you got?”

The chronically ill are stronger because when no one would blame them for giving up, they refuse to. They are, in fact, stronger than most of us.

I’ve been talking more so about my thoughts and admiration for those I know who are chronically ill. But let me give you my source of inspiration.

I have to go back to the Bible and to scripture. The narrative of when the apostle Paul went to the Lord about a ‘thorn in his flesh’. The apt phrase of ‘a thorn in the flesh’ is one of the best, in my opinion, to describe chronic illness.  He went to the Lord more than once and asked Him to remove it.

“And he [the Lord] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul’s response could have been sulkiness. He could have left the faith and said, “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m HURTING. Don’t you get it!”

Instead, Paul says this: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong

(For full context and discussion, please read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

The scientific and medical communities are doing all they can to help with research and methodologies to help our chronically ill brothers and sisters. Let’s do what we can to support them with our time and our money.

We look to athletes, celebrities, and political figures for inspiration. We exalt them in some manner because they’re supposedly the ones to look up to. Maybe we should look and praise the chronically ill for the inherent strength the Lord gave them.

For my brothers and sisters who suffer from chronic illness, thank you for the strength you give me. You will be in my prayers and know that you are not alone and neither are you forgotten.

I hope you’re having a good day today.

 

 

 

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Five Non-writing Related things that happened to me at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference

The title of this post suggests something juicy and dark. I assure you, it’s not. In fact, as I was getting ready to type this post, I had an idea  I would give my reflections of my time at the conference. After all, it was a blessed event with Christian writers of all stages and genres gathering together for the sake of the craft.

Yet, I got to thinking about several things not related to writing that happened at the conference. Things that I’ll share that’ll make you wonder if the light bill’s paid in Parker’s noggin.

I’m behind on the electricity payments to my brain but I’m working on a payment plan.

Later on, I’ll post my reflections but for right now, hear me out.


#5 Encountered a June bug for the first time in my life.

I sat across from my new friend, Adria, in the patio section of Biola University’s cafeteria. We enjoyed a heaping helping of teriyaki ground beef with onions, sauce, and a cool drink.  The sunlight poured over us as we chatted, bemoaning the fact that it was the last day of the conference. Something flew by. A big, greenish blue something that zigzagged around like a drunken ball.

Disclaimer: I am not a lover of insects. All insects that enter the Cole residence are immediately subjected to death by squashing,  hair spray, or drowning with any liquid nearby.

 I whimpered and bent my head, twisting about and making so much noise folks behind me glanced over, wondering what the fuss was about.  Adria, cool, calm, and collected, ducked with graceful elegance while I bordered on flipping the table over and running for parts unknown. Across from us, a table of four elders sat. An older gentleman simply waved the monstrosity that hovered around us and it flew off.

I collapsed back into the chair, heart pounding and my lungs clamoring for air. The older gentleman looked at me.  “You all right over there? We’ve got a nurse over here if you need one.”

“Yeah. She can take your blood pressure,” his compadre hollered out. “Wonder what it’ll be now?”

#4. Rode in a Ferrari

On Thursday night, I had the honor to doing a live broadcast on one of the campus chapels. I was excited but tired.  I’d done a ton of walking from one workshop and appointment to the other. Plus, the weather had been turned up from hot to burn.  Well-organized person that I am, I had decided to leave my equipment in my dorm room and would ‘run and get it later on’.

‘Later on’ arrived and I walked the last three miles back to my dorm room. The outer door was locked and time was ticking down.  In dismay, I stood outside the door in my blue finery, and happened to see a utility vehicle driving by. “Hey sir! I can’t get into the dorm.”

“I’ll be right there.”

He disappeared around the bend and about three minutes later he drove up. “I had to go all the way around.”

“No problem. Just glad you could help me out.”

He used his key to open the door. “What? Were you just locked out? You don’t have your key?”

“I have it right here,” I said slowly. “Wait. I can use my dorm key to get into the building?”

“Yep.”

Disclaimer: I’ll always wonder if the Lord had that kind, young man put on shades so I wouldn’t see his eyes roll in the back of his head. 

I raced upstairs to my room and gathered my equipment. I came back down and realized I had to walk back. I’m not the fastest walker on the earth. I literally prayed, “Dear Lord, please let there be someone out here who can drive me back to the chapel. My feet hurt.”

I opened the door and the nice, young man was still there. “Oh! Would you mind driving me to the chapel.”

“Sure. No problem.”

Before my eyes, the utility vehicle transformed into a Ferrari. I hopped onto the narrow seat and held on to the bar.  We began to drive at top speed of ten miles an hour. The wind blew across my face. After a riveting ride, we pulled up in front of the chapel. I saw Adria talking to an attendee. I called out to her as we jerked to a stop in front of the hallowed halls, “This is my hot, billionaire Dan and his Ferrari.”

#3. Met my Character in Person

Before the live broadcast that night, I met a man I already knew. Well, not really. Yet, when my eyes met his, I understood Karen Eiffel’s feeling when she met Harold Crick.

Tall, with broad shoulders, a gruff voice, and kind eyes. When I saw his beard, which was only different in length and color from my main character in ‘Time to Say Goodbye’, my upcoming release, I almost fell to the ground, too. I looked at him and blurted out. “You look exactly like my character from my book.”

Taking it all in stride, said unknown man responded. “Really?”

“Yes!” I stared up at him. “You do! All I’d have to do is change the color of your beard. I love men with beards.”

Disclaimer: In my defense, it was getting on 11:00 pm Eastern time and I’m not all there late at night. After 10:00 pm, I’m a little loopy. Yes, I buzzed with excitement but it was mixed with tiredness. Not a good combination. 

I waxed eloquently about my love for beards when he invited, “You can touch my beard if you like.”

My eyes widened. “I couldn’t touch your beard. I might make her mad.” I nodded toward his young wife.

“No, you won’t,” she told me.

“Of course, I will,” I insisted.

“Go ahead, you can touch it.”

Driven by an urge beyond my will I reached and very quickly rubbed his beard. It was soft. I told him that and he shrugged.

Nothing awkward about the whole exchange, right? Keep reading.

#2 Insulted my Character…in Person

The broadcast went well. When I’m around people, I get energized so we had a great time.  During the broadcast, we had a ‘Story Off’, which was hilarious.  By now, it’s midnight Eastern time and I start the trek back home. The Ferrari had turned back into a utility vehicle and my billionaire Dan disappeared into the midnight.

At least he got me to the church on time!  (A My Fair Lady reference for those of you too young to know.)

I walked back to the dorms. It was cooler now and besides seeing something that looked like a cat (I’ll never know nor was I interested in finding out) tread across my path, I got back to my room. The key was being stubborn and I stood in front of the door twisting and turning and thinking all kinds of unpleasant thoughts about keys in general. The door next to me opened and I see my character’s wife come out.

“Oh hi!” I said.

“Hey! Do you have a headband. I forgot to pack one.”

“I sure don’t. So sorry!” I see my character poke his head out the door. “Oh! We’re neighbors!” he said.

That nice man, with his masculine strength, ended up opening the door for me. I thanked him profusely and went in. I looked at the belt on my dress and decided to give it to his wife in exchange for his help with opening the door. I rush back outside and I said,

“Hey, in exchange for your help, you can have my belt from my dress.”

“Oh, that’s so sweet of you! But I have one already.”

“Well, thanks again!” I turn to the man, “I don’t want to upset your wife since you did unlock the door and I did rub your beard.”

He stilled. “That’s not my wife, that’s my daughter.”

Awkward silence. My memory rushed through my brain. There’s a teen track tomorrow for the teen writers. Of course, that’s his daughter.

“She’s fourteen.” His eyebrow draws in.

I rush back to my room and close the door. I think I tried to cover it up with a joke but is there a neat joke for a faux pas of this magnitude?

Disclaimer: I know. Stupid.

#1 Talked straight for forty-five minutes

I think God gave me the gift for gab but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

I’d sat down with Adria, Kendra a lovely young lady from a media production company, and Troy an author from the conference. I did, of course, try to employ the gentle art of conversation but then we started talking about the two workshops I taught.

Disclaimer:

 

In my workshops, I talked about Taboo Subjects in Christian Fiction and I Swear: Using Swear Words and Harsh Language in Christian fiction. This, of course, ran down the rabbit trail of my life, my books, my upbringing, my beliefs, my shows, my love for sci-fi monster movies, and who knows what else with three lovely people looking at me.

At least we were eating at the dinner table. I called my husband that night and told him, “I think I talked too much.”

His sage response: “You probably did.”

The next day, I wanted to see if said persons would run away from me when they saw me. None did. So maybe talking too much isn’t a bad thing?

Of course, there were more things I did at the conference I enjoyed but these kind of standout, wouldn’t you say?

 

 

 

*SNEAK PEEK* at Parker J. Cole’s Newest Book Vengeful Vows — EXCERPT

keep-calm-the-countdown-has-begunIt won’t be long now until Vengeful Vows releases. The third in my Sins of the Flesh series, I find that I am just as nervous as I was with my first book. After all, these books are my children I’ve birth from infancy to bookhood. From thoughts in my head to words on a paper, they’ve grown. Check out the trailer here.

But not only have they grown, I’ve grown as well. I think with each book, as you look at constructive criticism and start to learn more and more about the craft, your writing changes. I remember something the Queen of Mystery, Mary Higgins Clark, said in an interview once. She mentioned that a writer’s life changes over time because of life experiences and that is infused with your writing.

vv may 2016

Vengeful Vows is a book I recognize that helped me to grow. During the time period of writing this book, I was deliberately disobedient to God in several areas of my life. My personal life had gotten into a mess, I’d had a serious car accident, lost several close relationships, and had doubts of faith. For the first time in my life, writing was more than just storytelling — it was the gift God gave me to keep my sanity. I NEEDED to write in order to mentally survive.  I escaped to this book, pouring out all my negativity, my pain, my anger, and frustration.

Right now, the book is still with the editors at the publisher’s house.  If you want to catch up, make sure you check out Many Strange Women and The Other Man.

Enjoy this sneak peek of Vengeful Vows


BLACKMAILED GROOM

            Daffodil’s eyes roamed over the colonial-style house. The afternoon sun cascaded its light upon it as if presenting a gift. The roof shed the cloying layers of melted snow. The slush dribbled down the gutters, swallowed by softened earth. Melting icicles lined the overhang like an upside-down tiara, dripping water on the wet pathway that led to the door.  The winter thaw unwrapped the home slowly. It teased her with glimpses of an almond-brown finish trimmed by swathes of creamy white.

She alighted from the car and gingerly stepped onto the spongy ground. The dirt swallowed the heels of her boots. Last spring’s grasses lay matted like the nap of cheap carpet. With a determined lift of her chin, she tugged her boots from the squishy grip of the earth and made her way across the lawn and onto the pavement.

Once there, Daffodil inhaled the cleansing, chilly air of the first blush of spring. Her lips curled upward and she rubbed her gloved hands together in anticipation. She patted her left pocket, reassured by the bulk there. With her shoulders thrust back, she marched up to the door.

The doorbell chimed, and she clasped her hands to wait. In varying degrees, the houses shed their winter coats. They reminded her of partially wrapped gifts. The quiet neighborhood echoed the distinct sing-song sound of melting snow and water. It didn’t matter how cold it had been the past several months. Gentle spring uncurled winter’s harsh grasp with lady-like dexterity. She intended to do the same with the owner of the house.

The wind picked up and flowed around her. It lifted goose bumps along her arms. How receptive would he be of her? Her brow creased as the concern made itself visible, but then she dismissed it with a flick at a loose dark blond curl on her forehead.   No matter. The owner would do whatever she told him to do, and gladly.

A subtle movement along the corner of her eye drew her attention to the overhang. The wind brushed the threads of an intricately woven spider web. Delicate strands glistened under the waning light of the afternoon sun. A dark, grayish spider tiptoed along its silk trellis.

“We’re alike, you and I,” Daffodil whispered to the little one. “We both have webs to weave.”

The door creaked open and she returned her attention back to the matter at hand. A dark face showed itself through the thin slot.

A deep voice asked, “May I help you?”

More than you know.  “Hi. Vincent Miller?”

The eye twitched and then narrowed. “Oh, don’t tell me you’re a reporter ‘cause you can—”

“I assure you I’m not a reporter. I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.”

A long drawn-out sigh. “What can I do for you?”

“I’d rather discuss this inside. Out of the cold.” She made a point to shiver.

“Oh yeah, sorry.”

The door swung open and introduced her to Vincent Miller in the flesh.

Before her stood a towering frame of a man with coal-black skin.  He had an aura of power about him.  He was dressed casually in a forest green buttoned shirt with the sleeves rolled up, long arms roped with prominent veins and compact muscles stretching the smooth skin. Blunt, tapered fingers rested against the white surface of the door in stark contrast. Stonewashed blue jeans hugged his lower body, and accentuated the hard, sinewy thighs.

“Would you stop staring and get on with whatever you have to say?”
Daffodil beamed, far from embarrassed. She appreciated his directness. A sure sign she’d chosen well.

Now we spin the web.

“May I come in? I assure you I won’t keep you long.”

Dark brown eyes studied her face. Daffodil stood still under his scrutiny, unabashed by the wariness. She could tell he was a man who made decisions based on his instincts, not in a rash way.

“Fine.” He stepped back and let her enter the house.

So this is where it all happened.

When Daffodil imagined Leah Westwood, Vincent’s ex-lover, locked in his arms, she expected to see statues of nude women on abstract inspired tables and posters of sexy celebrities on the wall. The austerity made a mockery of her expectations. Neat and well organized, nothing took up space that didn’t have a function. The walls were bare of art and the room absent of mindless knickknacks that usually loitered atop various surfaces.

Daffodil fought to keep the smile from showing on her face. She could not have selected better if she had sent out a casting call.

This was going to work.

She pointed to an armchair hugging the far corner. “May I?”

Her host gave a curt nod.  She wiggled her bottom into the plush seat and glanced around the room again. Possessively, she rubbed her hands along the fabric that sheathed the arm of the chair. Soon this house would be hers.

Vincent sat on the couch and folded his arms.  “And you are?”

“Daffodil Simmons. I am the half-sister of Leah Westwood.”

Vincent jerked at the mention of her sister’s name, eyes startled from their focused inspection. Those beautifully-shaped hands fumbled with the edge of his shirt and then smoothed the fabric of his jeans with restless fingers. So it was like that, was it? The mention of Leah’s name disturbed his mental equilibrium. Such a response denoted emotional entanglement to an extreme degree. An Achilles’ heel she would love to exploit.

After a long sigh, he regained his composure. The steady regard of those flashing dark eyes and rigid posture showed he was on the defensive.

“Why are you here?” he snapped.

Daffodil leaned forward hands clasped together, jittery in her excitement. She could hardly keep still. Ooo wee!

“I guess I should start off by saying I’d like to ask for your hand in marriage.”

Vincent’s head jolted as if some invisible hand had yanked it back to reveal the whites of his eyes. With avid interest, she noted his discomfiture. He blinked a few times, shook his head, and then slapped his hands on his thighs.

“Okay.” Vincent stood. “You can go now.”

Daffodil gave into the urge to giggle. “Oh no, Mr. Miller. You’re going to say ‘yes’ to my proposal. You just don’t know it yet.”

Vincent headed to the door. “I don’t have time for this kind of bull. Get out.”

He ripped open the front door and a stream of warm afternoon sunlight cascaded over him. Fingers of light rippled over his masculine features. The pictures online and in the newspapers didn’t do the man justice. Daffodil recognized good genes when she saw them. Vincent Miller was crafted with making the most of his heritage. The strong cheekbones seemed to be a testament to a Native American ancestry. Full sensuous lips gave tribute to a line of African royalty. A high forehead lined with short-cropped hair and long silky eyebrows made him look almost too dramatic. Beneath the virile good looks, a latent quality of restrained dominance emanated from him, so potent a dead woman would be affected by it.

Daffodil was immune to the man’s charisma. She noted the existence of it, but was more fascinated in how she would wield this element of his personality. A susceptible woman under the age of eighty didn’t stand a chance if he really cranked up the heat. Had it been like that for Leah? Overpowered by the sex appeal oozing from the man in waves so tangible the air pulsed with it? Did men truly have that kind of ability or was it just the weakness of the feminine psyche?

Well, she was hardly a feeble female.

“There’s some of the bad boy in you, isn’t there?” Daffodil queried in a nonchalant manner.

“Are you hard of hearing? I said get out.” He pointed his finger.

Daffodil laughed again, throwing her head back in abandonment. Oooo weee! She loved this. Being in control.  He would do exactly as she told him to do. Having the upper hand helped.

“Close the door, Mr. Miller, and sit down.”

Vincent slammed the door.   He walked toward her, eyes flinty and lips flattened into a line. Each step bristled with hostility.

Daffodil swallowed. Oh no, he was going to touch her. She didn’t want to have him touch her.

“Okay, okay.” She stood, her arms outstretched in a placating manner, moving away before he could grab her. “I’m getting up, but don’t touch me, okay?”

“If you get out, I won’t have to.”

“You need to listen to what I’m about to tell you. After that, if you still refuse my offer of marriage, I’ll leave.”

Vincent barked out a laugh. “You can say whatever you want. I’m not marrying you.”

“You will,” she affirmed with a nod. “You will.”

 

The Mission of the Write Stuff — So Be It, See to It

Write Stuff

 

There comes a time when you have to stop wishing for things to happen and just do what you can to make it happen. I am all for the Lord being sovereign in everything we do. However, there is the ‘me’ factor involved.

With that being said, last week on my FB profile I shared my vision for the Write Stuff. Here it is.


The mission of The Write Stuff Radio Show is to present and showcase Christian authors worldwide. To provide an outlet for Christian fiction and nonfiction to find a place in a reader’s heart. To be the premiere choice for authors who want to showcase their works to a growing audience.


 

Why did it take so long to get a mission statement? To be honest, I’m not sure. But, as the old, tired, but true cliche goes, ‘Better late than never’.

I recently read an article about Octavia Butler and how she wrote her aspirations of what she wanted her writing career to look like. The title of the article said says she wrote her career into existence. What struck me more about the article was that even though she wrote what she wanted, she gave herself a directive — So be it, See to it!

It had been on my mind for some time to come up with a mission statement for what I wanted to do with the show for some time. When I articulated my thoughts, I’d no idea I would be struck by Butler’s words a few days later.

So with that in mind, let me say this: whatever it is you want to do in life, see to it.

 

 

 

Looking Back — Eleven Days of Write Memories

The best gifts are the ones you don’t always see until you look back on them. During the next twenty two days before Christmas, I’m going to look back on the Write Stuff and share some insights I’ve learned over the years. Primarily, I’ll be highlighting some shows but other little tidbits too. This isn’t to say some shows were better than others. Quite the contrary. I’ve loved all my shows the Lord’s blessed me with hosting. But the gift of it is looking back and seeing how far I’ve come.


VIRTUAL BEST FRIENDS

bestfriendI wonder what studies will show years from now about the relationships we form through our online interactions. Growing up, all my friends were real.  I could touch them, go over their house, have a party, and gaggle as young girls are wont to do.  In fact, over the weekend, I helped my best friend move some furniture with the hubby’s truck. I’m godmother to her kids, and she has my everlasting devotion.  She’s stronger than me in both mind and body.  The bond we formed as children has grown into womanhood. As we change and grow, maturing over time, that bond grows with us.

In the beginning, I was highly skeptical that online relationships could matter in the same way a ‘real’ relationship could. After all, I don’t know so-and-so really from the man on the moon.  Yet, there’s one person I call my friend, who I met a scant three years ago via an online group whom I love dearly as a sister in Christ and a friend.

No one has to do anything for you. I think the younger generation has delusions that they’re ‘owed’ something based on the virtue of being themselves.  So imagine my surprise when a woman who I didn’t know critiques my first book, Many Strange Women, for me. She wasn’t paid. I didn’t offer to do anything special, just hey, I’ll critique your book and when it’s my turn, you critique mine.

From that moment on, I found the woman who helped me to become a better writer, who gave me the name of my agent, who worked tirelessly with me. And in return, when her moment came, I was able to do her show, detailing her story of how she went from writing erotica to writing sweet.

It took her over a year to get her first non-erotica book completed. I remember once reading one version of her ‘script, and laughing, I said, “Ally, please get these characters off the wall.”  She had a difficult time keeping the sex out her stories but over time, she did although the steam is still there.

But she’s my best friend and I love her dearly. When I did this show, it was my way of saying thank you in more ways than one. You’ll hear and notice how our conversation may be a bit more casual than I usually am, but when you’re hanging out with your best friend, you don’t need to be formal.

 

I love this cover!

Go ahead and show my friend some love!

 

Looking Back — Twelve Days of Write Memories

The best gifts are the ones you don’t always see until you look back on them. During the next twenty two days before Christmas, I’m going to look back on the Write Stuff and share some insights I’ve learned over the years. Primarily, I’ll be highlighting some shows but other little tidbits too. This isn’t to say some shows were better than others. Quite the contrary. I’ve loved all my shows the Lord’s blessed me with hosting. But the gift of it is looking back and seeing how far I’ve come.


BIG NAMES

Most authors have someone in the field they admire . Whether it’s someone who writes in the same genre or a different genre, most writers like to emulate their heroes. I’m no different of course.  My show is open to all Christian authors, ‘great’ and ‘small’, well known or not. In my experience, ‘big name’ authors I’ve talked all had to start from somewhere. I now understand big name authors still have the same insecurities, feelings, blocks, and other writer nuances small fry such as I do. Plus, they tend to be pretty much down to earth.

Tosca-Lee-Author-05-210x300Yet, for myself, when I first hosted New York Times Bestselling author Tosca Lee, I about fell through the floor.  The interview came through an online connection of mine and I couldn’t believe it when she said yes. When you hear the interview, you’ll see how nervous I was because I could hardly talk for a moment.  But thank God for my producer who during the break calmed me down a bit. On this show too, I talked to a good friend of mine Melissa Cain Davis who had just published first apologetic’s children’s book. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have just had one co-host on there. I remember Melissa telling me, “You know, I can TOTALLY take a back seat to Tosca Lee.” At the time,  my thought process was that I didn’t want Melissa to think she was ‘less’ and Tosca was ‘more’. But, we can’t go back and change the past.  Our decisions are final once their done. The show went well.


klr_kimroby_biopicThe next time I spoke to a New York Time Bestselling author, it was Kimberla Lawson Roby. Again,  I could barely keep my feet from falling through the ground. This connection was through my producer who knew a woman who used to work for Terry Perry Studios, Letecia Cunningham. On this episode, Letecia and Kimberla both interviewed.  My phone lines were ringing off the hook that day. It was lovely. Plus, it was the same day I’d sign my first contract with my publisher for my book Many Strange Women. You know,  God really does know how to make those moments sweet.  C’mon! What are the odds I’d have my first book contract with a publisher the same day the Lord blessed me to talk with, for a second time, two high profile ladies?  Conspiracy, anyone?


ReShonda-high-res-300x298About two months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing ReShonda Tates Billingley, another big name I also admire.  This particular show stood out to me because it was the first time I’d reach out to a big name author myself. The first two were from contacts I knew but this was just me  reaching out with numbers and a prayer. Wasn’t I surprised when she said yes? It was a short interview and we packed a lot of information. Plus, I was able to hook in the bit about her book that was turned into a movie on BET.

I leave it with this thought. Some of those mentioned you may know or not know. In my mind, every single guest I’ve had and hope to have in the future are big names to me. It’s always an honor, always a pleasure, always a reward to showcase my fellow authors.

 

Looking Back — Thirteen Days of Write Memories

The best gifts are the ones you don’t always see until you look back on them. During the next twenty two days before Christmas, I’m going to look back on the Write Stuff and share some insights I’ve learned over the years. Primarily, I’ll be highlighting some shows but other little tidbits too. This isn’t to say some shows were better than others. Quite the contrary. I’ve loved all my shows the Lord’s blessed me with hosting. But the gift of it is looking back and seeing how far I’ve come.

EXPOSING MYSELF

brokenheartWhen I first started this show I wanted to keep it focused on the author. Showcase the author, their works, their books, their hopes and dreams. I’d, of course, mention about my books (nothing wrong with a little self promotion) but for the most part, keep it centered on the co-host.

Over time, I realized I’d become more open about aspects of myself.  Perhaps its the medium itself, my listeners who like listening to me! Yet this particular episode, Empty Womb, Empty Tomb was especially difficult for me.

Behind the scenes of this show, my co-host was scheduled to come but through no fault of her own,  she wasn’t able to make it. I really wanted to interview her about this topic because it would be easy to focus it on her experiences and not mine. But sometimes, we’re put in a position where we have to open about our pain, even when we don’t what to. Secular or Christian women alike, when the womb is empty it tears at the heartstrings. When you have a desire for a child and for whatever reason, you hear no, it’s hard to deal with.

One thing this show taught me was that the show must go on. I ended up doing this entire show by myself, exposing my pain to my listeners. It was difficult and afterward I was a little sad.

Yet the promises of the Lord remain true: Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give thee the desires of your heart.  Over time as we focus on Him, our desire is for His will. Eventually we say, I desire whatever You desire.  And if that’s to be childless or to be a mother, Thy will be done. It’s a hard lesson to learn, even harder words to read, but nevertheless it’s true.

10645158_1086891637991553_4704045195294183955_nEmpty Womb, Empty Tomb shows us how we can triumph through infertility by the Cross. Get your copy today and show my friend Quiana some love!