What is it about the human spirit that it loathes to live alone? We constantly strive to be with someone, to have another person close by, despite the risk that it may all come to nothing, or that person will leave you behind.

I wondered what it was like for children, because for me, when I was a child, I didn’t understand how people leave our lives, or how we became separated from one another. We may go to one school one year and end up at another school the next year, all through circumstances beyond our control that causes us to change from one year to the next. Children leave, change schools, even move to different countries. And those friends we couldn’t do without during break time and recess, are gone forever. The fact that we barely even bat an eye when the new school year starts, and other children take their place or even our own, says a lot about the natural ability of children to cope with change.

But the biggest separator of human lives, is death. Death swoops in and takes away the people we love, knowing that we will never see these people again. It’s the manner in which we cope with loss and loneliness that shapes us, defines us and changes our outlook and perspective on life.

Exploring how loneliness shapes the human soul, is one of the foremost areas that intrigue me. Understanding how separation and the unknown can change or warp a person, should surely be examined in order to know how to combat and rectify the effects on an individual. But, I think that because of the nature of loneliness, it’s effects are not as glaring as other, more apparent, ailments within society.

I’m always talking (writing) about inspiration, and how it affects what I write. While recently searching for one image, I came across a picture of a little girl jumping into a puddle of mud with a boy I can assume is her brother. The enjoyment that stretched her face, as well as the whoop of joy, you can almost hear, caused me to reminisce about my own childhood. Then I came across a picture of a four or five-year-old boy, wrapped in blood-red monks robes, and wondered at the contrast in their lives. One child, without responsibility or cares, the structure of her days, less rigid and more relaxed than the other child. The small boy, separated from his parents and all the people he knows and loves, the people he has come to understand in his short life, to continue his life in the temple.

I wondered what would inspire a parent to give their child to the temple, and whether it was a common thing. I wondered how the child thought, and what he could remember of Before. But most of all, I wondered if he was lonely.

I will never be able to say that I understand how that child feels, or any child in such a position, but exploring human nature in such circumstances will surely test me, and anyone that reads what I intend to write.

If you’d like to take this journey with me, please follow the link to the excerpt page and enjoy a totally unedited, raw version of the beginning of the story. Don’t forget, it has a long way to go, and many elements within may change, but the bare bones behind the story will certainly stay the same… I hope!

Follow for Patty And The Monk Boy (Working title)


The Unwholesome.

body scars
Courtesy of HuffPost


It’s funny how people see scars as something to be afraid of, or intrigued by. We all have scars, small ones we got when we fell off our bikes as kids and are barely noticeable, or larger ones that we gained as we’ve been involved in accidents or surgery, that are a kind of badge of survival that we made it through and came out the other side.

Then there are the hidden scars, the emotional ones that we look at and know that in some way, they have changed us so dramatically that we will never be the same again. And the worst thing about emotional scars, is no one can see them. No one knows you have them, unless you make a point to highlight the existence of a scar that runs so deep within your psyche that it has changed the way you view all your interactions with people and things.

Doing research for new projects often brings about a side of us that we didn’t want to think about. I have scars; scars from childhood where I fell or tripped. Two deep ones on either shin from falling and landing on my shins, I can see you wincing in expectation of the pain I felt, it was excruciating let me tell you, but they are my battle scars, from childhood when I was more tom-boy that dainty girl. I have a scar on my left foot from boiling water when I was eight-years-old. My young niece pulled the cup off the table and I happened to be sitting there. I supposed I saved her from getting splashed!

Then there’s the multiple scars I have on my hands, from doing lino-cutting at school with a deep slice in the tip of my left thumb, to the multiple scrapes across my knuckles, the lastest scar while washing dishes and a glass cracked while my fingers were inside!! I got three stitches for that, without anaesthetic… don’t ask!

My deepest and most significant scar is the one on my knee, received through a total knee replacement in December 2010. I walked with crutches for six months and a walking stick, my Moses staff, for two months. Now the only thing that bothers me is airport security gates!

But my point is, that despite everything we go through, a scar marks us, never allowing us to forget the time, place or circumstances we were in when we received the mark. The smaller and less traumatic become something we can boast about between friends or new acquaintances, while the significant ones we shy away from expressing the deeper hurts that enraged us as we suffered, and calmed us when we got through to the other side and peace.

Wanting to put our fictional characters through their paces is one way to create conflict and drive a story line. One of my new characters was involved in a serious car accident, that left her body and face with multiple scarring. The research for this is, understandably, very difficult. To see people with disfiguring marks; scars from reconstructive surgery, lines of stitches that criss-cross a persons’ torso, lets you know the have been through the wringer. But the deepest scars come from the feelings inside. The whispers, the stares, the speculation.

I once had two black-eyes, sustained from breaking my nose. It was an awful injury and a painful memory. A woman looked at me with disgust and threw the fault of my injury at me, without understanding a thing about the circumstances. I was deeply hurt, annoyed and resentful. The resulting small scar across the bridge of my nose is barely noticeable, unless I point it out, which I don’t, but I understand the unkind things people say in ignorance.

So, for all the people who have scars, I salute you. You are the brave warriors brandishing your battle marks for the world to see and know that you have survived, one way or another. You are not unscathed, but you wear your marks with pride, because you did it. And for those of you that have those scars unseen, you too, I salute you. Your pain is all the more severe for no-one having noticed that you suffered it. Remember, there is always someone out there, who although may appear ‘normal’, they are dealing with situations that no one knows about, unless they chose to tell you, and if they tell you, remember it took a lot for them to do so.

#ManInChains Coming Soon!!!

To Be A Preacher’s Son


I haven’t written anything here for a while, as I’ve been working on numerous stories that took me away from this page and all my other little enjoyments. Although, saying that, its not as though I don’t like writing, it has become my main outlet for expression and release.

Last year, I wrote a few stories, and completed a number of them. I didn’t send any to my publisher, or anywhere else, for that matter, until I wrote something that I never intended to have published, but finished it all the same. That story is still sitting there, and may never be read by more than a handful of people, but that doesn’t bother me.

My next release was a story that just came along, and was written so fast, that it blew my socks off. It was a romance, without any romantic interactions, but the love contained in it was evident. There was that element of danger, a slice of regret and a lot of interaction between the characters.

Through a lot of revisions, this story is so much more than I thought it could be, and I hope, better for the changes that have taken place through it. So without further delay, let me give you the synopsis and a short excerpt from the story to whet your appetite!


Synopsis – Preacher: The Haskins Brothers

Paul ‘Preacher’ Haskins, was anything but the mild mannered choir boy his name implied. Always the protector, the nurturer. The big brother looking out for his sibling; his brother from another mother, who fell into his hands. He’s a bad boy with no regrets. Paul didn’t need redemption; he needed ammunition, some cash and as little hassle as possible. Never thinking to mend his ways, until a chance meeting had him questioning his lifestyle choices and affiliations. But when an unscrupulous upstart crawls out of the woodwork, he’s forced to choose between the two people he loves the most, simply because he can’t protect them both. He knows where she is; the world isn’t big enough to hide the one he loved and left behind. He’ll find her, and hope she doesn’t break his face when he does.

Penelope ‘Penny” Calvanera never realised there was more in life that her goals, until she fell over a wolf-in-sheeps-clothing. Hooked on the heady mixture of Paul Haskins, she’s oblivious to his darker side. When she’s abandoned at the worst possible time, she moves on with her life, until what she’d learnt to live without comes crashing back, turning her world upside down, again! But he’s not come alone, he’s brought his business with him and all hell is guaranteed to break loose. He hasn’t committed a crime – yet. But his past won’t be satisfied until it has him where it wants him. They need to get their act together; trouble awaits that will affect them and the one’s they love.


I could almost smell him before he touched me; a smooth blend of cologne and a heat that rose off his skin in waves. He’d come up behind me, burying his nose into the fold between my neck and shoulder, causing me to tip my head so he could nuzzle easier. I’d missed him those two months, but hadn’t found a good enough reason to get back to Edinburgh without raising suspicion. I wasn’t ready to share him with my family. And Vicky, my older sister, would have a field day when she realized my attentions had been diverted.

“God, Penny, you smell like life itself,” Paul said, kissing me harder and opening his mouth to bite down on my neck, teasing my skin with his teeth and sending the completely wrong message to my lower stomach. If I’d had a butterfly or two before, now I had a whole army of them. I needed to get out of the public place I was sitting in, being stared at by half the returning student population.

“If you don’t stop,” I told him, “I’ll have to make sure you never stop.”

“Is that a promise, Penny?”

“It’s a threat.” I eased my head lower, glancing at him from the side of my eye, my lashes lowering in a seductive invitation. My tongue poked out over my lip and I heard him groan before he planted a quick kiss on my mouth and stood upright.

“Have you finished signing up for your classes?” Paul asked, flipping over a sheet of paper and scanning the few lines. He dropped into the seat beside me and threw a foot over his knee, looking casual.

“Oh my God!” My mouth dropped open, “You cut your hair?”

He hadn’t just cut it, a short trim to give more definition and make him look more like a man than a forest hermit; he’d gone the whole hog. A short inch and a half cut at the top, that tapered into the back of his neck and over his ears, turning his once light blond hair, a darker, almost mousy brown. It gave his angular face more definition, along with the close cut to his beard; he’d left a scrumptious stubble that set him off as a force to be reckoned with, especially where my feelings were concerned.

My fingers went into the soft waves of his fine hair, turning my lips downwards, “I really liked your hair. Why?”

“Because you liked it too much,” his lips twitched mischievously. “Your hands found it too easily, Pen.”

“What the hell am I supposed to grab now?” I asked, serious.

“Improvise,” he smiled wider, “you’re a smart girl.”

“I’m not convinced,” I eyed him, “you’ll have to show me.”

“Don’t worry, Pen,” He looked at me hungrily, “I intend to.”

                                                <<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>

“I’m starving,” I leaned over the side of the bed, trying to find the stray bag of chips I’d had to discard earlier. “This isn’t going to sustain me.” I waved the half empty bag at him, the few crumbs shaking loosely.

“You’ll survive, Pen,” Paul told me, kissing a line between my breasts.

“Let’s get pizza,” I grabbed his chin, arresting his downward motion. If this continued I wouldn’t eat for the rest of the day. Re-acquaintances were one thing, but I also needed to eat.

Paul sighed, “A whole summer, Pen, and you want pizza. While all I want is you.”

“You had me,” I laughed, “twice! Let me eat.”

“Okay, food it is.” He crawled back up the bed and reached for his phone, his grey eyes calculating as he placed an order.

Looking at the curl of his lips as he talked, smiling at a funny comment made with the operator, I realized I wouldn’t be able to get enough of this man, not in a million years, perhaps a lifetime wouldn’t be enough. Having spent the summer without him, I wanted – needed more. I ached with the need to have him around all the time. How was it that I loved him to distraction in such a short time?

“What’s got you so quiet?” Paul dropped the phone, turning on me in a rush.

I squealed, trying to protect myself, “Nothing! Just hungry, that’s all.”

“Let me take your mind off it while we wait,” he said, moving back to the area between my breast, spreading himself a snug gap between my thighs and sighing in content.

“How was your summer?”

“Uneventful,” he replied. His eyes slid away as though avoiding my scrutiny. It made me wonder what was really on his mind.

A cold stone settled in my chest, “Why do I get he feeling that’s not all of it?”

“Pen,” he held me with those strange eyes, “would I lie to you?” A smile played around his mouth, distracting me.

I hesitated for a fraction of a second, “I’d hope you wouldn’t.”

“Penny,” he kissed right above my heart. “Baby,” his voice soothed, a ripple of sound over my sensitive skin. Another kiss, “You know we’re tight, right?”

“What does that have to do with how you spent your summer?”

The doorbell sounded, and Paul leapt from the bed, struggling into a pair of jeans as he hopped from the room, shouting for the person to wait, before the bell sounded deep and resonant through the hallway again.

Read the full story when it is release later this month.

A Woman’s Worth.

IMG_0932 2

This month seems to be the month for quite a few pushes for awareness. It’s Autism Awareness month, and I believe everyone should have an understanding of what that is, how it affects sufferers and their families, and how people can help.

It’s also Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse Awareness month, and it seems a shame that instead of lessening, occurrences like this are all the more happening when people should be able to walk the streets, without fear of attack, and more so, that they should be able to live in their homes without the fear of the one they love, support and promised to care for them, will lay hands on, violate, rape, maim or kill them, because there is a sense of entitlement that allows them to do so.

When we witness abusers getting away with rape, a slapped wrist over date-rape; it says something that should never be said, and we all know what that is.

But one of the worst abuses that I have seen over the last few months, is the case of black men talking, quite vociferously, about their reasons for not being with a black woman. I like many black women, don’t really care about their reasons are, it’s a personal choice, and I’m not inviting you into my home to tell me how to live, neither am I giving censure about your life. It’s your life.

But, I don’t want to dwell on this, I want to show you something else.

Look at the picture at the top of this page… have you looked? Now, look again. What do you see? Yes, you see a black woman wearing a red top, holding a machete to a policeman’s throat. Now, look down the arm of that policeman, what do you see? Do you see that boy laying on the floor with that gun to his head? Who is pointing that gun? Yes, the policeman who has a knife to his throat, and the woman who is willing to die for that boy. Look at the determination in her face, the willingness to die for that boy. There is also another gun pointed at her, but she doesn’t care, she wants them to know, if you pull that trigger, I will do what I have to do. There is a strength there that I can’t understand, that I don’t even know if I could face, were I in the same situation.

As black women, we have been willing to die for our families, time and time again, and often have put ourselves in harm’s way, risking our lives, losing our dignity, and our children for the sake of that. How many children were removed from black-slave women and sold on, like cattle, never to be seen again. Toni Morrison wrote in Beloved, how ‘the children’s hands would age and she would never know what their adult hands looked like.’

So, for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness, let’s remember that families are supposed to stick together, and protect one another, just like this woman had done for the one she calls family.

Love Is A Loaded Gun…


loaded love

Currently working on a number of projects. But as always, I get sidetracked.

This morning I’m wondering what love is all about, and how disposable it’s treated. Read on and enjoy, I hope. #Disposable

“Don’t worry about it, we live in a disposable society,” she said, rolling up the napkin in her hand.

She glanced at him, “The same way you throw your Nespresso pod in the trash every morning…” she said, walking across the kitchen, heels a hollow click on the ceramic tiled floor, “is the same way you’ve treated my love for you.”

She leaned over the counter, “Disposable!” She dropped the napkin in the bin, lifted her other hand and pointed a small handgun at his chest. The infrared dot hitting him squarely between his shapely pectoral muscles.

“Think about this!”

“Oh, but I have…” She lifted the nozzle higher, the red dot hitting square between his eyes.

“Caryn, don’t do anything stupid.”

“You mean like you did?”

“I didn’t mean for that to happen-“

“But that’s just it, no one ever does. It’s a symptom of our society – Disposable.”

Her finger squeezed the metal, warming it under the touch of her skin, “Like you said, ‘Sorry, but I don’t need you anymore’.”

To Be Continued….

Look out for Love Is Disposable.


And Still We Rise!

And Still We Rise!
Josephine Baker

Research for me, takes on many forms. Sometimes, I get caught up in an idea and run with it. At other times, I can be researching one thing only to discover something that I didn’t know about before, and off I go on a tangent.

This is what happened today. While investigating hat designs from the 1920’s, I came across a few pictures of Josephine Baker, a prominent, in her time, Black American dancer whose shows border on a little on the risqué!

It’s obvious, that after discovering her, I had to find others.

So I present to you a few well known black women from the 1920’s and beyond. Enjoy!


Florence Mills

Was a dancer and singer, billed the “Queen of Happiness”. Most notable performance in Blackbirds. She claimed that she invented the Charleston dance!

joe baker

Josephine Baker

Not only a national, but international famed singer and performer whose career centred mainly in Europe. Awarded a medal in honour of her resistance in France during WW2, and was a staunch activist during the civil rights movement.

Mother Of The Blues

Gladys Bentley

An American blues singer, pianist and entertainer performing in Harlem. Appeared as a black lesbian cross-dresser at Harry Hansberry’s Clam House during the 1920’s.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman

Part Native American civil aviator famous for being the first woman of Afro-American descent to hold a pilots license, which she obtained in France because she wasn’t permitted to do so in America. She died in a plane crash in 1926, while testing a plane.


Anna-May Wong

Considered to be the first Chinese American movie star with a career spanning silent movies, sound, television, radio and stage.


Edythe Turnham 

Was a pianist from her early childhood, who later formed a band with her husband and sons.

flapers 1920

Flappers and Jazz Women

The Jazz dancers of the 1920’s, whose signature dance appeared to be the Charleston, were seen throughout the Jazz scene in Harlem and wherever Jazz was played. It was considered that without these women and their dance and enthusiasm, the 1920’s may not have ‘Roared‘ at all!!!

What’s In A Genre!


I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’m still at a loss as to the answer.

There’s are two reasons for this.

One: What does it mean to have a genre, or to be in a genre. As a reader, I find that reading a book that is listed under a particular ‘theme’, (for want of a better description) can have elements of that would be the guiding factor in another ‘theme’.

Two: As a writer, we find that we “cross-over” with our genre’s and find it hard to put them into a particular box.

On Wikipedia, there are twenty-four listed Genres for literary writing. That isn’t to say that they are clear cut and in the box. There are many side genre’s, all listed with the main idea, that stem from these and cross the boundaries, often blurring them. And this is where the confusion often occurs.

In recent years, there’s been invented a number of new genre’s. Fan-Fiction, for instance, which for many years wasn’t viewed as a serious form of writing. But ask anyone who writes fan-fiction and you will get more than just an earful!

Speculative fiction, is also something, in my opinion, that wasn’t written about as often, being a cross between fantasy and contemporary themes. Also, another that Wiki failed to list is, Afro-futuristism, which was brought to the attention of literary circles by Mark Dery, back in 1993, and was also discussed by Alondra Nelson, during the same period.

My main reasons for writing about this, is the I find myself blurring the lines between genres. I read an interview given by a prominent Literary agent, and when asked about the types of manuscripts he was looking for, he stated that he “was interested in literary fiction that crossed boundaries and genres”!!!

I’m currently working on a few stories, each of which crosses boundaries and would have difficulty fitting into a particular genre. I have always said, I hated to be put inside a box, but i wonder where that leaves writers such as myself, who excel and find their niche writing about what crosses borders and brings about a touch of the unexpected.

I’m still in the process of exploring 100 stories, and have put up a few; the last, story 4, by  myself. When I look at it, I wonder where it would fit as a genre. But then again, I’m not too sure I care!