Recovery- The Storm

 Today, I’m sharing another excerpt from Recovery. I am still enamored with the story and characters so I’m a bit reluctant to take time away from it to start something else for NaNoWriMo. Decisions, decisions. Hopefully I can start on a connected story so that I still work with some of these characters. 

As always, enjoy!


“Despite my failings as a wife, you are the one who cheated. You’re the one who lied. You are still lying to your son. If you don’t want to be bothered say that so that he can stop getting his feelings hurt,” she told him.

“I just need to know why…,” he began before she held up a hand cutting him off.

“Look, that’s the past. We’ve been divorced for nearly five years. All I want from you is for you to be a consistent parent to the child you created,” he said.

“If you wouldn’t have taken him…,” he said.

“Are you serious Max? Are you punishing him because he was created outside of our marriage? Or are you blaming me for taking him? Cause the marriage was dead long before I found out that he was on the way,” she told him.

He ran his hand over his face and told her “I’m going to try to do better Aub, I am. Once Anatra and I get settled, I plan to do better.”

“Are you sitting here telling me that your son has to wait for your life to settle down before he can have a relationship with you? Max, you have to want this. I’m so tired of trying to force you to be a father to your son. Let’s just stop trying,” she said looking him in the eyes. He slumped back in the seat as they stared at each other in silence.

She probably could have said it better but Aubrey was tired of fighting him. Max thought of Lucien as an inconvenience. Unless the press was asking about their relationship.  After she called him upon learning that he’d gotten a young lady pregnant. He denied that the baby was his. He even refused to talk about supporting the mother after he’d stopped paying for the apartment and car that he’d gotten for her. That’s how Aubrey found out. The twenty-one-year-old called Aubrey asking her to please convince Max to continue his support after he’d cut off all contact with her.

After she left the café, she went to her parent’s house for dinner and picked up her son. Once he’d been bathed, said his prayers, heard two bedtime stories and put to bed Aubrey went into her workshop in the basement and blasted her Jill Scott playlist and began to work out her stress. If she won the lottery, her ex-husband could ruin that. He wasn’t satisfied with shaking her self-esteem he had to try to ruin her son’s life too.


Literary Things (A List) 

Have you seen those roundups where bloggers share their favorite things? Well, I decided to give it a try. I love them but have been to lazy to curate my own lists. While searching my phone for a specific picture, I recently discovered that my gallery is full of things that the bookish would love so here’s the first curated list.

I hope you find something you love or something to gift to a bookish loved one.



1.) I love throw pillows and this one is such a cutie! I can see myself with this in an armchair in my reading nook or in the future when I have a home library. It can be purchased from The Nerdy Birds(Etsy) for $15.95.


2.) These awesome library coasters are from Book Riot! As someone who consumes tea as she reads I think that these would a welcome addition to any reader or book lover. The brightly colored set costs $18.00


3.) One of the things that I have absolutely been in love with lately is book scented candles. There are quite a few companies that sell them but this one from Paper Street Candle Co.(Etsy) is among my favorites. I think that it would be one way to add a little coziness to your reading space without making major changes. It’s no longer available but hopefully there will be more soon. wp-image-1731295806

4.) I love these larger mugs. They mean that I can drink without having to stop to make more tea. I was searching for new ones since one of my favorite mugs has a chip in it and I stumbled across this beauty from Blue Fox Gifts(Etsy); the 12 oz mug costs $14.99 and the 17 oz costs 18.99.

5.) This hoodie, just in time for cooler temps, features the name of my favorite fictional coffee house. It comes in quite a few colors but the gray is so lovely. It’s on the website for $28.49.

6.) This cute pouch can be used for a number of things (I can see it as my new travel tea pouch) and has the same library design as the coasters. This one is also available in a really cute yellow.  It’s from Book Riot as well and costs $12.00



My Autumn Leaves-Bruce Weigl

Tonight I’m sharing a bit of autumn since yesterday was the first day of the season. I spent it catching up on some grading on my front porch. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, this was once my favorite season. This year, I’m committed to finding my joy in this time of the year. 

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed. 

I watch the woods for deer who never come. 

I know the hes and shes in autumn 

rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen 

apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work 

so I may let the crows in corn believe 

it’s me their caws are meant to warn, 

and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves 

they know me too. They know the boy 

who lives inside me still won’t go away. 

The deer are ghosts who slip between the light 

through trees, so you may only hear the snap 

of branches in the thicket beyond hope. 

I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.


Ten Things I Learned from Planning a Literary Festival

I have some semi-big news to share! I alluded to this in my Rocky IV post and maybe one before. But I have been hard at work planning a literary festival. It is going to be in a small town in North Carolina but this was the litmus test for whether I would like to plan more events. I’m sharing the link to the site too just in case anyone is nearby or wants to share with others.

Lit Hang Suite media 912

  1. You can’t plan enough: I had a well-drawn out plan from the inception of the festival. A lot of those plans fell apart. Starting with the location and part of my author lineup.
  2. There will be setbacks: see above! I was scrambling over a month ahead of the event to find replacement authors, to change the location, and to build registration.
  3.  You will be surprised by who says yes: I was astounded by the authors who initially said yes as well as those who told me to let them know about my next event. Some of my favorite authors and some who I would have never thought to approach were willing to appear.
  4. It helps to have relationships with authors: I was amazed by the authors who agreed to participate and it helped me realize that I need to extend my circle and interact with more authors so that I can plan larger and better events.
  5. And other readers: As I was having my major freak out, I realized that I had never reached out to one of my Facebook friends who I’d had an immediate bond with upon speaking in the group of one of our favorite authors. As soon as I contacted her, she was ready to help however she could. And help she did! She suggested authors that I could contact who were reasonably close and she shared the information on her page which got it shared in other groups.
  6. Use local businesses: There are so many small businesses in my small town but one of them that I use frequently really paid off for me. They made my flyers and were willing to work with me in all of my craziness.
  7. Have a relationship with your library: I love my library so much and planning this event did not lessen that love. I was able to speak to the librarians about the event and to leave some smaller fliers for readers they thought would be interested.
  8. It costs money: I didn’t underestimate this but I was lucky enough to encounter a partner who was willing to share the costs for a donation to the local HBCU where I previously worked.
  9. Use volunteers: I was lucky enough to have former students who were willing to “work” the event for free admission and publicize it. I also corralled some of my friends who were willing to spread the word about it.
  10. It’s addictive: I’m already planning more events!



Rocky IV as Inspiration 

On Tuesday night I was feeling real low. Like Sophia in the store when she saw Ms. Celie but then Rocky IV came on and all of a sudden, I felt like I could take over the world.  Which is always a side effect of watching Rocky IV (for me at least). The downside to that is that when I watch the movie I get really excited. That means that I have to at least see the part where Adriane goes to Russia and who can sleep after that? Not this girl! So I was up until 1:00 am being excited about Rocky’s win. 

After that, I was ready to tackle the challenges that loomed before me. Except, for taking the GRE! 

Here are my top four moments from the movie and why they make me so excited.

“You can’t win!”: When Adriane says this to Rocky on the heels of Apollo’s death it simply shatters Rocky so he goes out to drive off his hurt and anger. Which leads to…

The S0thpaw plate: Proud lefty over here! When this movie came out no one could convince me that I wouldn’t have a Jersey plate with the same thing as soon as I got a car. Never happened! 

Philly: I grew up Philly adjacent then wound up living in the city for a bit. It is still home to me, in a sense, so I love seeing it on the screen in any movie but this one always reminds me that I was once inspired to run up the steps of the museum. 

Living in America: James Brown performing this song! Classic! 


Star- Robert Browning

There are some poets that people invariably know whether it is because those poets are favorites of teachers, their poems are easy to understand or interpret, or one simply loves poetry and aims to learn about as many writers as possible. No matter how one has come to know poetry, Victorian era poet and playwright Robert Browning can be considered one of those that is often included when poetry is taught.  One of my favorite factoids about Browning is that he declared himself a poet at an early age but is thought to have not written between the ages of thirteen to twenty. He was the husband of popular poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning  and his work influenced poetry greats T.S Elliot, Ezra Pound, and Robert Frost. Today I am sharing another of my Browning favorites.


night sky in Yosemite


All, that I know

Of a certain star

Is, it can throw

(Like the angled spar)

Now a dart of red,

Now a dart of blue;

Till my friends have said

They would fain see, too,

My star that dartles the red and the blue!

Then it stops like a bird; like a flower, hangs furled:

They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.

What matter to me if their star is a world?

Mine has opened its soul to me; therefore I love it.






Dunbar- Anne Spencer

I apologize for the sporadic posting lately. I will be sharing more about the cause later this week. Today’s post comes from a Harlem Renaissance era poet who I’m just getting around to reading. Anne Spencer had thirty poems published in her lifetime and although she lived her entire life in Virginia she was close to many of the prominent writers from The Harlem Renaissance including James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B DuBois. She also lived to be 93, how amazing!
As always, enjoy!
Harlem Renaissance ballroom
Ah, how poets sing and die!
Make one song and Heaven takes it;
Have one heart and Beauty breaks it;
Chatterton, Shelley, Keats and I—
Ah, how poets sing and die!