Category Archives: Books

Goal Accomplished, Now What?

The best thing about a hard fought race is the finish line. It all begins with an idea which leads to developing a plan. Add some hard work and consistency. Eventually you break that tape. 

The worst thing about a hard fought race is the finish line.  Sweat covered brow,  catching one's breath. The endorphin high gradually fades. You are left pondering – now what? 

2014 was a year of completions. I completed my 2nd 5K. Most importantly,  I finished my debut novel, "Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story".  It was such a relief. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. After the buzz of the initial release, I found myself pondering the question – now what? 

Keep it moving. 

I have to market this baby and grow my platform(s). I have to start book number two. I have to meet Oprah!!! That's what. 

Life is a journey with a a series of land markers. You never really cross a "finish" line. The journey don't stop 'til the casket drop. Even then, I will be forever with my Lord. 

Can the church say, Amen!

It took me seven years to finish this novel. There have been many drafts, rewrites, ending changes, and edits. The finished product is a milestone. A little bump on my road to destiny. I want other dreamers to spy the territory I have marked and, hopefully, it will make their journey that much easier. 

Be blessed. 

 

Felicia Malone, Author

 

1BC

 

 

Forgive and Release, You

The year's end is upon us. Cue the onslaught of reflections and resolutions. I resolve to <insert goal here>. Bring on those rhyming catch phrases, "In 2015, I'm getting in those size 10 jeans." lol

It is what it is.

  1BC

For many, the New Year inspires hope for the future. For others, it can  spark an onset of the blues. I was speaking with a friend who confided that he felt a bit down. The New Year's Blues, I suggested.  I explained that when we reflect on how we have spent the year, often we focus on what we did not do quite right – the shoulda, coulda and wouldas. I found myself in a similar quagmire last night. In addition, a sand truck was dumping on all of the things I still had to do. 

I inhaled and exhaled. Through the simple act of breathing, I began the process of letting go. The more I focused on the air entering my lungs and escaping my body, I relaxed. Every mistake made is already past. I can only move forward. Trying to relive the past is as futile as trying to recapture yesterday's air. 

It came to me, like an epiphany. *cue Chrisette Michele*. I can let it all go and just breathe. 

2015 Right now, I resolve to forgive myself for bad choices. I release myself to make good choices. I also acknowledge all of the things I have gotten right – 40 lbs gone,  MBA received and first book published! Yeah me!!!!

This encompasses money, healthy, relationships, career, etc.  

I would encourage anyone reading to embark on a journey of self-improvement. Read books, join clubs, expand your circle of friends. Empower yourself, through knowledge and experience, to make better choices. Like the old folk say, "You know better, you do better!"

If you are looking for resources, check out the links below.

http://thebudgetnista.com/free-stuff

Get Fit With Fe

Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story

Preachers of LA? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

I must preface the following by stating that I have NEVER watched a single episode of Preachers of LA and I never will, Lord willing. What I hear of it, it is an abomination. Yes, I just used abomination in a current context. Why do I feel so? I believe in keeping what is sacred, holy, or set apart. When you make the gospel 'entertainment', especially a reality show, you are on Real Housewives of Ain't None of Ya'll Really Married territory. In defense of the show, gospel star Fred Hammond stated that God may be using this venue to save the lost. Mmmkayy. You can read a compilation of his 22-tweet response HERE.

Color me jaded 'cause I ain't buying it.

Who would you choose – Superman or Clark Kent? I know some one of you
would say neither but picture superman as that fine Tom Welling and not
old school Christopher Reeve. lol Who would you choose? The choice really is perfection or
humanity. Or better yet – humanity versus divinity? I mean, are not these men claiming to be men of God? I know sometimes we as human beings focus so much on the God-part we forget that men are really just men. I get that. I just do not want to see your humanity on display in a tailored-suit and driving around in a Bentley.

On to the next one.

My book is a romantic drama set in the church world. In it, I tell the story of a girl whose life is unraveling. She is trying to hold onto her faith as an old flame walks back into her life. I delve very bluntly into the humanity of the 'saved'. Do not expect a whitewashed PG version of a romance novel. I keeps it real. lol

Which kind of brings me to my point. Are we overly judgemental of those claiming to be saved, saints, men/women of God? Can we see their humanity and their calling?

As I began thinking about publishing/marketing my book, I thought about what other believers would think about the subject matter. I was researching publishers of Christian romance and one well-known publisher outlined what was acceptable material. It was something like – so sex, no drugs, blah, blah, blah.  How can you tell a story about falling and getting back up without portraying the fall because it is too 'dirty' to discuss. Everyone knows that Christians never have sex. . .except they do. Even unmarried ones.

*gasp*

I am not saying that it is right. I am saying that it happens. So, it is in the book. If my book includes the forbidden, is it a 'Christian' romance? Yes. The overarching theme in the book is redemption, faith and second chances. Sin is not rewarded. I try to portray sin as a reality that people encounter when they look to their own means to bring about contentment instead of looking to God. I just do not hit people over the head with the Bible.

I understand there is a line of demarcation. Does the reality show cross it? I do not know. I have not seen it. There is something a little more removed about a novel. After all, I made this stuff up *wink* lol

By January, you may all read it for yourself and let me now exactly what you think.

A Writer’s Burden

To create; to retell; to represent the history of a people in literary form. The self-ordained griot.

Life is full of amazing encounters and unbelievable heartbreak. The writer writes. 

The man I loved married someone else. A story is born. 

The one who should love me the most, betrayed me. Sounds like a plot line. 

I must forgive the one who has never apologized. This is good stuff!

The burden: How real should I make it? What if people think that I am really writing about me? What if someone mistakenly thinks I am writing about them? 

Type the words. 

Everyday strangers sit across from each other at church with only a timid smile and wave between them. What if one of them actually says hello? Ensue rising actions, climax and 'happily ever after' or not.

I give the character courage and dialogue. The 'what-ifs' are brought to life. And so, I write. 

I hope someone finds liberation in seeing their untold story play out in black and white. 

The prom date that never was. The crush that did not notice. The loneliness of doing the 'right thing'. This time there is a second act. 

Romance. Heartbreak. Faith. Dreams. Second chances. It is all on the page and out of the heart. 

My novella has gone into the editing phase. I am really excited. In truth, I am sharing my story with someone for the first time. I cannot wait to share it with the world. 

Until then. . . Once upon a time. . .

What I Am Reading: Eat To Live

So I bit the bullet and got rid of cable. My big flat screen monitor, yes monitor, has been relegated to finding the weakly broadcast digital signal converted by some little black box. I need said black converter box because the great deal I thought I had found on a flat screen TV was just a good price on a monitor. *insert sad face*

Due to the lack of variety in scheduled programming and aforementioned weak signals, I watch PBS a lot. Partially because the PBS station magically always transmits. BUT there really is interesting programming on PBS. Having had my IQ diminished by addictive reality TV showcased on cable, it took a force of budgetary constraints to bring me back to my first love, PBS.

Anyone remember Sesame Street?

I digress.

I am watching PBS and there is a show featuring a Dr. Joel Furhman discussing how eating less to no meat can literally reverse illness. From my frequent blog rants, you guys know about my constant bouts with acid reflux. ARGH!

I buy the book and it is truly a revelation. Dr. Furhman warns about trying the veggie/fruit diet plan that he advocates  before completing the entire book. As I am reading, I am having some serious reservations about giving up meat until I read this gem about “pink slime” going unlabeled in our meat supply:

"The trimmings are heated to soften fat and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat, which is then pressed and added to hamburger. A puff of an ammonia and water mix is used to kill bacteria." SOURCE

Don’t you just love the use of words like “carcass” and “puff of ammonia” used to describe food you put into your precious body?

Well, I do not. So back to Eat To Live. Great info, not so great recipes. Here is where my readers come in. Do you have any good meatless recipes? Something without a ton of unique ingredient would be helpful.

I am going to attempt to concoct one of my own, enchilada pie. If it works out, I will post.

Until then.

I Gave Up Cable, Now What?

Guys I have cut the proverbial cord – the cable cord. Saving money all over the place, which feels good. Have a whole lot of free time and less mental clutter. The challenge? Harnessing all this new found energy into something productive. 

I ain't gonna lie *no Fifty Tyson* I had some withdrawals. This past Sunday was the debut of the new Real Housewives of Atlanta. YET, I did not bow, I did not bend. I held my ground and surprise, my bank account is pleased. 

I cannot believe how much time I wasted on my reality shows. All of the time I could have spent working on my book. 

Yeah, remember that?

My mind is clearer. I abhor drama in my own personal life yet I had opted to allow other people's drama into my home for entertainment's sake. Surely real life has more to offer. In 2012, I am going to find out. 

SN: I have rediscovered PBS. They need the viewership, right? Ah, Charlie Rose, how I have missed thee!

Freeing myself of cable is the gift that keeps on giving. 

A Little Box of Favor

I found a box of books. No lie!

I was taking out the garbage and sitting next to the dumpster in a neat little box were about 8 books all clean and looking fairly new.

I have never read any of the titles. They include the following titles:

  1. A Love Noire by Erica Simone Turnipseed.
  2. Rhythms by Donna Hill
  3. Mr. Potter by Jamaica Kincaid
  4. Gather Together In My Name by Maya Angelou
  5. One Day I Saw A Black King by J.D. Mason
  6. Using What You Got by Karen E. Quinones Miller

This week is a blessing but the enemy is always trying to bring me down. Then God sends me a little blessing just to remind me that He loves me no matter what.

Roses, baby, roses!

I wonder what I will read first.

The Odds and Ends Post

I have discovered something about myself. I am greedy. Not in the sense of food or selfishly hording something but when I have something good, I want it all the time until I grow tired of it.

This is true in so many areas. If I go out and have a great time. I want to always go to the same place, have the same great time until the time isn't great anymore.

If I could learn to be patient and accept a slower pace maybe the good stuff could last longer.

Weird? I think so.

I found a great book, Jazz by Toni Morrison, at the book store for $3.00. I read like the first 18 pages and was amazed at the beauty of her writing style. She writes prose like poetry, very lyrical. I was reading and thinking. I need to really work on my novel.

My delivery guy has the cutest smile an the straightest teeth. Why does this make my suspicious. lol

 

Choices – The Old and Familiar or the New and Untried?

I became so frustrated with the lack of quality stories on TV and in the theater that I began to write again. I stayed at it and fully edited the first half of my novel. I began to fall in love with the characters again.

I think i know how I want the story to end. I need a little help from the few readers that still follow. If you had a choice between the man you have always wanted but who had not always wanted you and something totally new (but all good so far) What choice would you make and why?

Happily Ever After

I wrote a first version of the ending and I was hesitant to let the character have it all. So I ended it two ways – one in which she does not get the guy of her dreams and one in which there is a cliff hanger. Someone told me, "Hey this is your story, why can't the girl have happily ever after." The truth is I do not know a lot of happily ever afters.

 

Could I create one? Would it be worth the read?

Ugh!!! Now you see my dilemma.

How To Spot An Angel

I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR while driving the other day and learned how to spot an angel.

Terry Gross, the host, was replaying older interviews she had had with Maurice Sendak, the author of Where The Wild Things Are.

Sendak has an interesting life story. For example, his father was the only surviving member of his family. The rest died in the concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Sendak was a sickly child during the 30's growing up. His parents feared he would die. He had had pneumonia twice, plus illnesses that we are now immunized against. Well his father and mother would dress him in all white so that if an angel would come to take him away. They would mistake him for being an angel already and leave him there.

Sendak said that his father once told him that if he stared out of his window and did not blink he would see an angel. He told him if he succeeded that he was a very lucky boy.

Sendak tried to stare but his eyes would hurt so much that he would eventually blink.  Well, one day he kept his eyes open, even though they hurt really bad, and he said that is when he saw it. He described the image of a being in all white moving in slow motion from the left to the right pane of his window. He screamed, his father ran in. Sendak explained that he had seen an angel. His father responded, "You are a very lucky boy."

I wrote previously of my angel experience. Have any of you experienced a supernatural event that you care to share?