Angelia Vernon Menchan

Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published twenty-three books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than eighty ebook novellas on You can access her bibliography on search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan

Contact information:
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Everything happens in God’s time. I have said it here before we can’t make anything happen. However, we must be open and willing to allow God to work within us.
I look at so many young people and some not so young and they want it all now,
The best job, a fly car, fine clothing, a pretty woman, foine man,
And when that is not immediately forthcoming they quit,
Try that next thing until one day they end up with no THING,
A pile of jobs,
Repossessed cars,
Raggedy clothes,
To many women and men,
To even count or remember,
And a tiredness that leaves them unable to go on,
What they have to realize is that there are no overnight anythings,
That most of us who have good or even great jobs,
Slavered away in mediocrity until we established something,
We showed up early and worked late,
I know from whence I speak,
Every time the military moved us,
I started over, got more education,
Something for the betterment of me and my family,
And when I got that job,
I stayed and proved, sometimes when I didn’t want to,
Because you know what, that is what being grown is,
And just like I told someone last night,
A car is a car is a car,
I can afford to drive fancy cars,
But I prefer paying my tithes and doing for others,
God knows I love to dress up,
And I do,
But I can afford to just go buy some stuff,
Cause of all the work and sacrifice over the years,
And as to the man woman thing,
I got married many years ago,
And at times it was hard,
Hard as a twelve letter cuss word,
But he and I, both of us,
Die-bieden (that’s German for both of us)
Decided we were in it to win it,
But all of this occurred in God’s time,
And through us doing what we had to do to get what we have,
Such as it is,
Beloveds there are no overnight success stories,
Most of the folks who have anything,
Got there by working, planning, saving,
But mostly by believing in the promises of God,
And knowing that each day is a new day,
The past ends at midnight and we all get what is due us…


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Chill

There are a lot of serious things going on in the world, poverty, racism, wars, you get me...
But there are some things we simply need to chill on,
Mainly other folks business,
I am amazed by how many people feel they can tell someone what to wear,
How to style their hair,
What to eat,
What to read,
You feel me,
Too many people are all up in other folks business,
Like it's a book and they wrote it,
Just Chill~
Accept that it aint that deep and if it is,
It isnt about you~
I am amazed and flabbergasted, yes I am once again flabbergasted,
By how wrapped around the axle people become about small stuff,
Last week I was talking to someone who was literally losing sleep over something going on in a celebrity's life,
Now how is your lack of rest going to help~
Child get some rest,
And tomorrow you may see it differently,
Or parents who pace the floor at night,
While their children who live miles and miles away,
Are doing their own things, living their own lives,
Are living la vida loca,
Stop it already and cover them in prayer,
And Chill,
Loved ones we are going to have to focus on those things we can do something about and remember that most of it dont have a zipped, dang thang to do with us anyway,
Mostly, we will have to pray and leave it to GOD, who can take care of all of it~


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When Compelled~

Sunday I listened to my Pastor confess that he once felt that it was his job to provide the WORD, and if someone got it they got it, he admitted that he had changed his mind and knew that part of his responsibility was also to convince~
I agree with him because everything that we know or do we had to be told and in many cases convinced to do or learn, so why should it be any different spiritually,
On the other hand, those of us who are not in the pulpit have to learn that we may not be able to convince anyone of anything,
But as spiritual warriors we are often made to do or say when compelled,
There was a time when I was of the mindset,
"If they don't ask me, I am saying nothing..."
And in many cases that still works,
However, I know that if I see someone in pain,
I am going to say something, or do something,
At least once and whether others choose to respond or not is entirely up to them,
But sometimes God compells us to plant a seed,
And we can't claim to be God believing and loving if we never do or say things,
That make us uncomfortable,
Or more importantly that we know is not going to be well-received,
Sorry, but that is part of the mission,
To at a minimum try to provide a more spiritual viewpoint,
And know that in some cases nothing may ever come of it,
But we did what we were compelled to do,
And that often the people or persons may never acknowledge what you did or said,
But at some point they may be able to use it for good...
I know for myself that many things I was told and didnt want to hear,
Have later served me well and though I didnt tell the person how much they helped me,
I would not have been able to progress without their having brought it to me,
And for that I am grateful.
We must all do WHEN COMPELLED~


Monday, December 28, 2009


Had one of the best Christmases ever,
My house was filled with my sons, my daughter in law and my granddaughter, Amira,
For the first time in years we were able to see the joy of Christmas in the eyes of a small child,
It also made me realize how important a loving, supportive family is,
When we were done at my home we drove down to my home town,
We were greeted by my sister, my niece, my aunt and my cousins,
We laughed, talked, took pictures and oh yeah, exchanged gifts which was secondary,
Then we drove to more family, my husband's family,
Who are some of the most loving and embracing people in the world,
More love, more laughter, lots of food, more picture taking, and yeah more presents,
What ran through all of this was the love of GOD and family,
No matter what had gone on or would go on,
We were all wrapped in the knowledge that we would always be able to return to these wonderful places of unconditional love and support~
Made me know that I am BLESSED beyond measure~


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


2009 has been a most interesting year,
There have been ups and downs, but thanks be to God the downs have been few,
And I have learned from them...
So many things righted themselves,
My relationship with my man grew ever stronger,
I learned to let go of my sons and let them fall and pick themselves up,I became a grandmother, I love you Princess~
My sister and I are where we should be,
I became closer to my friends,
And I learned to allow those in who can enhance me,
As well as challenge me,
And leave those alone who bring trouble...
God is So AWESOME~
All I want to say is
Thank you Jesus,

angelia vernon menchan

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Something that the people in my life know is that they are at risk of showing up in my blogs, books or other writings…
Sometimes disguised, but every now in then in full color,
Yesterday it was my youngest son,
Today it is one of my dearest friends Nik,
Nik and I met about nine years ago,
She came to my office as a young, very educated scientist,
Immediately she and I had a connection,
I am about eleven years older than her,
But I instinctively knew you young, exotic beauty would be a thorn in the sides of some,
I was right, and coupled with the fact that she was not your typical scientist in that she had done many other kinds of work,
Well there you have it,
Over the years we have talked about so many things,
We can never break up, otherwise we would have to strike the other mute,
But the point of this rambling is that she had been having a time of it lately,
And been a little hard to bear,
I had railed on her, but we still hugged fervently at the end of the day,
Well, Tuesday, she walked in the office an I was TIRED~
And when I am really tired I am even more honest than ever,
And she said something about something,
And I unleashed,
She sat there on my file cabinet looking down at the floor,
Finally when I was spent,
She looked up and I started talking like I had some home-training,
We covered the children,
The poor child has a fourteen year old son, egads,
She said something that I had to straighten her out on,
“He is not like me, I wasn’t like that…”
Irked, I said,
‘Baby, our kids are not carbon copies of us. They will get many things from us, but some, they will come up with on their own. And if we have done our jobs as we are supposed to do, then they will be fine in their differences.”
I saw the light go on in her head…
We talked about other things,
I could feel the temperature in the room decrease,
We were oh so cool again,
She knew I love her, she loves me,
When I prepared to leave I hugged her, smooching her on the cheek,
Yesterday she sent me a message,
Thanking me for ‘telling her off’.
I told her that is what I do,
And that I am even better at it when I am tired…
I could hear her smile through the email as she replied,
“Yeah, Diva, when you think you have nothing left, we always manage to suck just a bit more from you…”
Now that is a mouthful~

Angelia aka ‘Mama Deep’

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yesterday I was talking to my youngest son, he and I have always been simpatico about many things,
In the past year he has become a father and had to learn some HARD,
Grown up lessons, HARD…
But he is on the upswing for real,
What has helped him is knowing God is real,
That his parents will not condone madness, but will always be there for and with him,
And his own innate ability to keep it moving~
However, as we spoke I had to apologize to him about a thing or two,
And his response was, ‘No I’m sorry’
I reminded him, ‘No worries, God forgives all and only he is perfect, your dad and I are not’
His sincere response to me was ‘Sometimes it is easy to forget that you and dad aren’t perfect,’
My heart warmed and chilled at the same time,
Warmed because what a wonderful way for a grown son to feel about his parents,
But chilled because oh what a burden,
To know how personally flawed you are and to have someone think otherwise,
But as I told him,
We are but FLESH,
And we make mistakes and act a fool just like everybody else,
Our saving grace is that his dad and I know that God forgives all,
And that so must we,
And also that we have a personal responsibility for more than just ourselves,
We are sold out to trying to help those who help themselves and those who sometimes cannot~
It isn’t always easy and sometimes there will be flareups,
But we are soldiers and soldiers stay in the fight until the battle is over~



Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Last night I lay thinking about all the things we are not teaching our children, our daugthers~
And how that lack of teaching is generationally perpetuated,
Sometimes I look at young girls all dressed up in fake finery,
Because they have been taught to 'look good'~
But when I look close there are so many things awry,
Like basic hygiene,
Not being taught to self care or self protect,
I recall being a young girl and my mother teaching me about lotion for my skin,
And becoming a pre-teen and being taught about deodorant and other feminine hygiene issues, even becoming a young woman and being asked by my godmother if I were sexually active and after telling her no, and hearing her sigh of relief, knowing that I had listened to them tell me to be careful and discerning~
Listening as she gave me some practical and a bit graphic information,
I was slightly uncomfortable but am I glad now~
I have to wonder what happened to all those conversations,
Between women of the generations~
I talk to so many young women who have had sex with a series of guys,
Without benefit of protection or information,
And leaving themselves exposed to a plethora of things,
Is it because mothers, aunts, godmothers and the like are too busy,
Or is it because many of them were so young themselves, they dont even know what to impart~
I know that telling them things will not insure they follow it to the letter,
But I kid you not, having the information leaves them with choices and a feeling that there is somewhere to go to find out~
It breaks my heart what these otherwise smart girls dont know~
They also need to know how to handle their finances,
And to be taught that babies are a blessing,
But that they are also entitled to be women and not just mothers,
That it is okay to self care,
Because for real, they can't take care of anyone else, if they themselves are uncared for~
As I write this I want to thank the women in my life who taught me and loved me,
My mama, Ora Lee Vernon
My aunt, Elouise Vernon,
My godmother, Eva Mae Jackson,
My grandmother, Mary Alice Vernon,
And today my mother-in-law, who through conversations we are teaching each other,
I am here to tell you there is nothing like it,


Monday, December 14, 2009


Yesterday our Pastor preached about reasonableness,
I loved it~
It touched me where I live,
One of my goals over the last few years is to be as reasonable as I can,
I know that I cannot go around talking about my faith and spirit,
Full of contrariness,
And I learned a lonnnng time ago that in the long run,
Contrariness gets one nowhere,
Nowhere at all,
I think a lot of why we are so combative is we have this ingrained desire not to allow anyone the last word or to let anyone get over on us,
But you know what,
Sometimes we have to let them have their say,
And say nothing in return,
Because a part of the victory for some is getting others,
Caught up in the madness,
No thank you very much,
I have learned that when I cannot have a grown conversation with folks,
To leave them be,
Or if I have to be around them,
Just let them fill the air with words and keep quiet,
And believe you me,
They will get tired of talking at some point and either be quiet,
Or find someone else to catch up,
That is not just true in life,
But as we forge more and more online relationships,
Sometimes we have to flat out ignore some things,
Because the intent in many of the cases,
Is to get something started,
Why even go there,
Chances are you don’t know the person,
They don’t know you and what is the point,
Really, other than to be messy~
Life is complex enough without all that,
The other day a friend sent me a message,
‘She liked my spirit and that I seek peace~’
I appreciate that,
Because I try to work on my spirit each day,
Some days I fall way short,
But the next day I try again,
And in this chaotic world,
At a minimum we need inner peace~


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


‘Oh my goodness, that can’t be Cheryl…” Aida looked across the room of the Laundromat. Aida was in town visiting her family and wanted to do her laundry all at once, so she had driven to the spanking new Laundromat. It had been years since she had been in one, though her young life before college and becoming a sought after sports attorney had found her doing the laundry every Saturday morning. Her mother, Elise, was a single mother of four girls and as the oldest, Aida did laundry for everyone. She had hated it then, but was now grateful. Elise had died year ago, but the Smith girls were all successful and a long way from that two bedroom apartment on the avenue. Michelle was a nurse practitioner, still living in the hometown. She was married with two sons. Eliza was a chef living in France and the baby, Marta was working on her PHD in African-American literature while working as a professor. The girls were proof that love, discipline and smarts could move you from the hood. Aida had spent the week with her sister after mourning her mom and not coming home for year. It had been a bittersweet visit. But, she had enjoyed being auntie to the boys.

Looking again, she knew it was Cheryl and she could only wonder what happened to her. Her mind floated back to twenty years ago when they had both been twelve-year old spelling prodigies. The only two Black girls in the bee, they had stood until there were only the two of them. Aida finally won by spelling, ‘egregious’ and defining it after Cheryl missed it. They had high-fived each other as they left the podium. It was nice to be two Black girls from the wrong side of the track who had beat out thirty of what were considered to be the smartest kids in the district. Cheryl and Aida weren’t friends beyond school because Elise didn’t approve the lack of discipline in their lives. But they coexisted peacefully. Rumor had it that Cheryl had been pregnant on that day. That summer Elise had finally become a nurse and had moved her kids from the hood. Aida never saw Cheryl again. Standing up she knew she was going to talk to her.

“I hope she don’t come over here, she looks really good, somebody told me she was a lawyer or some shit…” Cheryl thought those words as she kept her head down, folding clothes. She knew she looked a mess with her missing teeth, broken off hair and the fact that she had given birth to nine kids in the last twenty years didn’t help either. For the first time she had to admit she was ashamed of herself. She could smell expensive perfume and knew she had to look up. She stared defiantly into Aida’s dark-chocolate face and all she could see was compassion. Looking at her from head to toe she had to admit she looked awesome. But, she always had. Even when poor her mom had made them nice clothes that looked expensive.


“Yeah, it’s me, how are you?” Cheryl literally sucked down tears.

“What happened?” Aida was as startled to hear the question come out of her mouth as Cheryl was. But she knew exactly what Aida meant. Squaring her shoulders, pulling the ragged sweater around her shoulders, she decided to answer.

“You want to know what happened, well life happened. I had my first baby the summer after eighth grade. My mama let me move into the projects and by the time I looked around I had a house full of kids, no husband, a drug habit and I was tired. Now here I am thirty-three years old with four kids at home, no education and a sixty year old sugar-daddy I can’t stand the sight of, but he pays the bills.” The hard words hit Aida’s ears like a hammer. She could hear, see and feel the pain in her friend’s words. Reaching over, she pulled her into an embrace. With great reluctance, Cheryl relaxed into her embrace. Finally, she pulled away. She had just made a decision.
“If you let me, I think I can help you.”

“How?” Cheryl was wary of anyone offering to help her.

“I am going to return here to open up my own law office. I have an extensive client base and I need a secretary and a couple of paralegals. I can hire you as a secretary and pay for your education, if you are interested in becoming a legal assistant in a year.” Cheryl allowed hope to enter her heart.

“Why would you do that?”

“Because I can, I have been so blessed and I want to do something other than earn money and write checks. And it is time for me to stop running and come home. Mostly, it is because I remember how smart you are and I know you would be good.”

“You would hire me an ex-junkie and someone who never really liked you.” Aida smiled at that.

“Absolutely, so long as you are an EX-junkie and you don’t have to like me, just work hard. What do you say?” Fear and excitement raced through Cheryl’s veins. She had been looking for a better life and one stood in front of her dressed to kill. She knew she had to say yes, because she may never get another chance. Aida was also excited and though a bit scared she knew it was right. The two women stood looking at each other. Finally Cheryl said, ‘Okay, I will give it a try, but I keeps it real.”

“I’m sure. I wouldn’t want it any other way. By the way the starting pay is 37G‘s.” The shocked look on Cheryl’s face warmed her heart.

“Then how much does it pay to be a paralegal?”

“Much, much more…” Aida said as she walked out the door with a smile on her face.

“See you in two weeks.” Cheryl stared after the woman who in the span of several minutes had changed her life.

Assume the Position

To really get anything done, we are going to have the assume the position,
The position of personal responsibility and non-excuse making,
Something that SAVED me,
Was my ability to see my responsibility in a situation,
Make no excuses for me and do what needed to be done,
Because by age thirteen I knew that there were stacked decks,
I was daughter of a single mom,
I didn't live in the best place, chaos reigned supreme on 20th Ave. for real,
A rough three years~
There were adult choices being made that didn't necessarily take me into consideration,
But I wanted something,
To do something,
And in order to get there I had to do it,
Thanks be to GOD,
I assumed a position of weird maturity so young,
And even more thanks that I didn't hold anyone responsible for me,
I worked hard in school,
I worked on the same job all the way through high school,
I saved my money,
I always looked forward,
Were there times I was tired, angry and didn't feel it was fair,
Damn right!
But I did not allow that to stop me from handling my business,
The same was true when I got married,
Oh Lord was things different,
And hard but again my goal was to take responsibility for the position I had assumed,
And thanks be to God for that,
Because there are certainly any number of times I could have left or been left,
But here we are through the Grace~
Same held true for becoming a Mama,
Uhn, Uhn, Uhn~
Honey that was sure enough hard,
In a foreign country, money tight, no one most times to do it but me,
Man a soldier gone alot,
But there I went,
Assuming the postion,
Learning the language, stretching the dollar, never borrowing a dime,
Didnt send the kids home,
Found a job,
Took some classes,
Made it work,
Assumed the position of a grown woman,
Knowing that on any given day,
I could have blamed,
But no thank you very much...
I was in it to win it and no one was responsible for me but me,
And that is my position~


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Both of the images are of me, one was taken one morning before work, the other was taken at Key West....the question I am going to ask this morning however, is which one of those women would you hire....they are the same woman, with the same credentials, bringing the same mindset, morals and habits to the table...this of course is a rhetorical question. 99 percent of people would hire the going to work picture...for the most part, the image is professional as if though I care about how I look, thus I would be percieved as caring about what I do...
So the question then becomes does image and appearance matter?
Yes, it does, it matters a great deal and whether we think it is fair or not, it is what it is, and I am grateful that my ancestors taught me appropriatetness...
Because I see many young people who are so focused on doing their own thing, setting their own standards and not giving in that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces...many are not getting past a first interview because they look a certain way...others are not even getting an interview because a background check was done and as crazy as it may sound, they are being judged by what they appear as and say on social networks such as twitter, myspace and the like...
Young people it is a very tough, very competitive world out there and it takes more than a skillset to get somewhere...
If you are independently wealthy, dont listen to me, do your thing,
If you planning to never get married and have children and be responsible for anyone,
Do you thing,
If you want to be a Monk and live a monastic life,
You get me,
But if you want a certain amount of success,
Or you have children to feed,
Bills to pay,
Then, oh my, I am going to go out on a limb and say it,
You are going to have to conform to some things,
Carry yourself in a certain way,
Be mindful of the image you present...
You may not like it,
But life is full of stuff we don't like,
But the times comes for all adults,
When we just have to do what is overall the right thing,
Or we will continue to get left behind in droves...

Monday, December 7, 2009


One of the many things I was taught by the women in my life, thanks to God,
Is to not sell myself short, or give myself away easily,
To the ancestors that meant many things,
But lately to me it means,
Something else altogether,
I see so many of my sister-friends who are locked in these battles with other sister-friends,
And it makes them immobile,
The one sister does or says something that makes the other feel less,
While the one feeling less does not get that she is allowing the madness,
I had a friend talk to me, totally infuriated,
Because of how someone made her feel,
It was painful to hear,
And more painful to say,
“Stop it already, you have to know that you are as good as anyone, not better, not worse,
But God made you the same, so please, please, please don’t give your power away so easily… because if someone is trying to anger or intimidate you and it works, they have won whatever battle the two of you have engaged in and that was their goal…”
Later I was asked how did I become so confident,
And I explained that it was ingrained in me by my family,
But also I learned early on,
As the caramel colored girl with the long curly braids,
I had caught enough heck from others by the time I hit the first grade,
But thankfully that while I had been taught by my family that I was special,
I was also taught I wasn’t better,
That longer hair or nicer anything didn’t mean nothing,
And it saddens me to see women so trapped by the same nonsense,
Feeling that one who drives a nicer car or lives in a bigger house,
Or talks a bigger game has anything more than another,
Things change on a dime,
And so much of what we have is here today and can be gone tomorrow,
Balling on your job today,
Fired tomorrow,
Married to the man today,
Left alone tomorrow,
Long glossy hair today,
Chemotherapy bald tomorrow,
See what I mean,
The only things we should focus on is God’s grace,
And work fervently on having good hearts and treating folks accordingly…


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Who gets to decide what a woman should do when it is discovered her husband has been philandering~
Is it her husband, is it her girls, her family, her friends,
Or in the case of someone famous is it the media or women’s groups~
As a woman and a wife I am going to have to say neither,
The only people involved in a marriage is that man, that woman, their children,
And hopefully the God they answer to,
And before anyone says, ‘If they had God it wouldn’t have happened…’
Come on people we all know that is not true,
Those who believe are constant works in progress,
Always trying to do better, be better and falling short~
And I know people don’t like hearing this,
But all sins are created equal,
If you cheated on your payroll, fudged on your taxes, stole something,
Lied on your neighbors, hated in your heart, etc. your sins are just as bad,
As the cheater or philanderer,
I know we like to qualify sins,
But alas we don’t get to,
Now don’t think for one moment I am condoning cheating,
Heck to the NAW~
What I am saying and I stand behind this fervently,
Is that what goes on with a man and a woman in a marriage,
Is their business and not one of us, no not one…
Gets to decide who should stay married,
Who should get divorced or any such thing,
Because you know what,
At the end of any given day,
It just ain’t our business~
No more than any of what we have done is anyone else’s,


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Right Mindset

I havent blogged in a few days, nine to be exact according to my baby sister, thanks Diva V~
Anyway, I was tired,
And of course there was Thanksgiving and eating and reading, just being,
However, it is so nice to know that people miss me when I am not doing my thing,
So grateful,
Over the past few days, I have done a great deal of observing and one thing,
I came away with is that our mindsets,
Truly determine how we feel and react to things,
I talked to a young man who makes excuses for everything,
Nothing is ever his fault,
And with that being his mindset, he gets nothing done,
Just thinks about what he THINKS has been done to him,
A better mindset would help him realize that only he is responsible for him~
Another situation is a very lonely older woman,
She is sad and mad,
And even at her advanced age does not get that how she thinks determines what she says,
Thus how people treat her, she has alienated a bunch of folks, because she constantly shares,
The bitterness in her heart and mind and very few people hang around for that,
And finally there is a woman,
Who is so talented and gifted,
But has depressed herself by feeling that just because someone else,
Does something she should be able to do it also,
And is so bound up in thinking through the lens of what people think of her,
She is immobile,
All of these behaviors are tied to how they think,
Of others and of themselves,
I know for myself that when I learned to think better,
I was better,
And when I set my MIND on the goodness of life,
As opposed to all the darkness,
I could then see the light,
It is by no means automatic,
I have to make myself think good,
Through faith, prayer and a determined MINDSET,
I am able to succeed, MOSTLY~

PURCHASE MRS. BLACK? You will be glad you did~

Monday, November 23, 2009


Sometimes things have to be smashed at me for me to get it,
Guess that is due to my constant state of busyness~
Or maybe oblivion~
Last week I was boxing up books to give to the library,
And there were a good number of books that I had read,
But really wasn’t interested in keeping,
Main reason was because they were smaller paper backs and I tend not to keep those,
But a big reason was because they were books that I purchased of authors I didn’t know,
Some I enjoyed immensely,
Others not so much,
But in my fervent desire to support new authors,
Or ‘authors’ I know,
I buy a lot of books~
I have found some jewels and new writers whose books I have and will purchase again,
I have also bought some that well~ you know,
But my thought process is that had I not given it a shot,
I would never have known of these writers and I am glad I did~
No big deal,
Then last weekend I was at a Book club anniversary,
There were three of us, local authors and immediately I got in line,
To purchase the book of one author,
The other author didn’t have any books with her,
But I purchased on line,
It didn’t occur to me that neither author had purchased my book,
Until it was brought to my attention,
Because others did,
Then I thought, ‘Wow’~
That is kind of how it works with me,
I miss things like that, but when it is brought to my attention,
I feel it~
I didn’t like feeling that way,
Because I am truly of the mindset that it is better to give than to receive,
But at the same time~
As a human being and a writer,
Which is something else altogether,
It stung just a bit~
But I got over it and went on with my life,
Because what I know for sure is this,
Is that nothing will stop me from supporting those who are trying,
Or even those who are already there and struggling to stay,
But what I do know is that all of these emails and posts would not be going around,
About please support this author or that author,
If we all chose to support each other~
What a concept~



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Onika Pascal Reviews Mrs. Black?

Mrs. Black?, November 19, 2009
Onika Pascal (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviewsI picked up the book, fanned the pages before I began, breathed in and let my eyes get to work. I read the book in 3 days. From the beginning to end, this story was engulfed in a passion that almost every woman desires. The desire of that timeless love that will wait on her and treat her like a queen. In reading the book I understood the need for forgiveness of others and self, the need for peace of mind, the need for calm and the need for courage, to be able to love again. And the support of family to make it through. The characters were eloquent and graceful in age, yet playful in love. Though this wasn't a plot with the typical drama 20 something to 30 something year olds in love, the story reminded me that there is love at the age of 50 and beyond. Menchan definitely gave me an all new insight into love and love after being broken. And that being adult through it all supercedes any revenge one can seek on the heart. I totally enjoyed this book and would recommend it for a rainy weekend day read.



I am always tickled by the fact that parents think they should be able to determine how their progeny will turn out…
Now, there are some basics that will assure they will be pretty good,
Love them, nurture them, encourage them, discipline them, treat them like little individuals,
And usually they will be fine, overall…
If you honestly think you can turn them into little figures of you, or Martin Luther King,
Sorry dears, it does not work like that,
Much of who we become is based on our OWN experiences,
It used to tickle me silly after I got married and we would travel back to our hometown,
After being in Europe or Kansas or some such,
And my husband would do something that was so different than his family members,
Say, eat shitake mushrooms or kimchee…
Egads, eyes would roll and I would get some peripheral glances,
As if though I had initiated him into some secret eating society,
And then I would hear the infamous words,
“Where did he get that FROM?”
I would internally laugh, because I knew the general consensus was that I had taught him some illicit new activities….
I did of course but it had nothing to do with mushrooms…
Moving on!
Just the other day I was talking to a young man who was convinced,
That his toddlers was going to turn out just as he wanted, like him, no less,
I smiled at that and silently sent up prayer hoping they would be a tad different,
But I knew that one day, he was going to say,
‘Where did they get that from…”
And I hope he remembers what I told him,
“They get much from us, but many, many things they get comes from living, where they choose to socialize and oh my goodness from within their own little individual souls….”
Who grow up to be big people, with discerning tastes,
Individual outlooks and quirky personalities,
That as much as they are like ours,
They are blessedly different,
And I for one AM GLAD ABOUT IT…


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am endlessly fascinated by what folks are willing to accept but are unwilling to give;
Please trust me, promote me, support me, accept that I have foibles and quirks,
Don’t expect me to trust you unless you prove to me that you are trustworthy,
What the heck is that about?
Does the person not get that if they expect people to trust them, they have to trust others,
Listening to how many people are distrustful, clarifies for me why there are so many,
Failed marriages,
Lonely people,
Workplace issues,
Superficial friendships,
Because I am telling you as God is my witness,
That if you spend all of your time looking over your shoulder,
Waiting for the other shoe to drop,
Or trying to get someone before you get got,
You have truly boxed yourself in and that is so limiting,
I have a tendency to be open-minded and give someone the benefit of the doubt,
Thus trust…
Now I don’t mean anything silly like giving a stranger the keys to your house,
Or the pin number to your ATM card,
That is just well…dumb…
But what I mean is that if someone comes on a job interview,
And they don’t look the way you think they should look,
But they have something to bring, give them a chance,
Or if your heart has been broken,
Please don’t shut your heart off and vow never to trust another man or woman,
Because the only person that loses in that situation is you,
I have been singed and flat out BURNED by people I have trusted and invested in,
But it has not stopped me from trusting or investing in someone else,
Because we should weigh people on an individual basis,
I remember years ago I was managing a bookstore and a woman walked out in the middle of the shift, saying, ‘I can’t work for YOU?’ I asked her why…
She told me, “I don’t want someone like you telling me what to do.”
So I bid her adieu…
A few weeks later someone called asking for a reference,
I gave her a good one,
Because other than the fact that she couldn’t work for ME…
She was a hard worker and the person calling was not like ME…
So I figured why stop a woman who needed a job really badly from working,
Because if she could find someone she could work for, she would do well…
Several months later she stopped by at a going away party for me and was in tears,
I asked why,
She told me, ‘Because you could have ruined me, but you chose not to…it made me look at people like you differently, because in the same situation I would have not done that for you…’
I already knew that,
But I have made a vow,
To do unto others as I would have them do unto me,
Even when I know they would not do the same for me…



Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Every time a new movie or book comes out and African-Americans aren’t portrayed in glowing terms, the AA community is up in arms,
Trust me I know from whence this comes,
I can recall as a young girl that no matter what went on in our family,
We were admonished not to discuss it and to always put our best faces forward,
If we were outside playing and had gotten dirty,
We were hauled inside and scrubbed and vaselined until we looked like new money before we could go outside…it was very important to have a good image…
And I agree with that to a great extent,
But what I also know is that keeping things can sometimes fill us with rage and pain,
There were a lot of things I sucked down until I was grown,
Putting on a good face, acting as if though as soon as the occurrence was over,
I was fine…
And I looked fine, but I had a laser sharp tongue that could rip you to shreds,
And could look at folks,
Well they knew…
Because so many of the things I was keeping inside was manifesting itself,
Once I chose to reveal, I was able to heal,
Now I am in no way saying we should walk around telling all the family business,
But what I am saying is that if we teach kids to keep quiet about egregious activities,
We are doing them a disservice,
Just yesterday a young girl was found murdered,
And the story goes her mother had sold her into prostitution,
At age FIVE!
My God, if only she had TOLD someone,
Maybe just maybe she would still be with us,
Or for those young girls who see their mothers beaten to bloody pulps.
Who are told not to say a word,
And to pretend that all is well,
Even though mommy has broken limbs,
And black eyes,
Maybe, just maybe if she had said something or told someone,
Mommy would still be alive,
And she wouldn’t feel it was okay to allow someone to hit her,
I am telling you this,
That every now and then we are going to have to reveal some dirty laundry,
So that we can get it washed, dry cleaned or something,
Because as quiet as it is kept,
Sometimes we have to REVEAL TO HEAL!


Monday, November 16, 2009


I spent a bit of time this morning thinking about more of the sayings of my elders as I crossed the bridge coming into work,
This time the saying was ‘Follow your first mind…’
I can recall them saying that so often, and as a precocious youngster,
I would often think, ‘We only have a first mind…”
But trust me, I never articulated that to them,
Disrespect was not tolerated by those women,
I had another instance this weekend when I should have followed my first mind,
About two years ago I was asked to participate in something,
And I was pretty excited,
However, once I did it, I left thinking,
“I will never deal with this again…”
And I meant it,
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to participate again,
I hesitated a bit,
My first mind was yelling at me…
But, I decided to do it anyway…
As soon as I got there, I knew I should have stuck to my convictions,
It wasn’t a bad thing,
No one did me wrong,
But my first mind and now my gut,
Told me,
This is not for you,
It was of no benefit to you then,
And is of no benefit to you now,
Of course the title of one of my books rang in my head,
Is NO Not Clear Enough For You!?
Of course it was,
But as I am wont to do every now and again,
Is do it, go against my first mind,
Hoping and praying that I was wrong, wrong, wrong…
But ~sighing~
Per usual, my first mind was my best mind,
Maybe I will listen next time!


Friday, November 13, 2009

What I Know~

There are a gang of things I am totally clueless about,
But there are a few things I just know,
I know that if you love yourself, you are capable of loving others,
I also know the reverse is true,
I know that people who can be trusted,
Trust other people, and those who don't well don't tell em nothing,
I know that everyone is capable of changing, and will OR won't...
But I also know that the only person that I can change is me,
And the responsibility of changing others is not my JOB...
I know that we are all works in progress and though we are faithful people,
There are times when I faith wavers and we fall off track,
But I also know that GOD forgives us our transgressions and we have to forgive ourselves...
We have to remember that we have to forgive others the same as we have been forgiven...we dont have to be with them or around them but we must forgive them....
I also know that we can all create viable lives for ourselves,
But in order to do so, we have to believe in God, ourselves and those people that will assist us along the way...
I also know that there is so much to do and that to really move forward we must do it....
I am ready, are you?



Thursday, November 12, 2009


I was raised by a woman who had many sayings,
My mama had a way with words,
Blessedly I inherited her gift, thus I write,
One of the things she would say to us as a motivation to do something was,
“God takes care of those who take care of themselves…”
I took her words to heart and have been working since my early teen years,
However, I discovered once I came to know God better for myself,
That God takes care of those who take care of themselves,
And ESPECIALLY those who don’t, Thank God for that!
But the premise of the message was valid and poignant,
Because as a person who is willing to help others to the extent that I can,
I really am EXCITED to help someone who is trying to help him or herself~
Because that is really when you can get something done,
I remember as a Job Corps counselor,
That the kids who did best were the older students who had been through some
Bumps and had learned how little they know,
So that when the got to the center they were ready to be helped and to do all they could,
Not so, with many others,
I see that so prevalently amongst so many today,
They want you to help but on their terms,
They want you to give but ask no questions,
Be there for them but only if they are in the mood,
Cosign on their foolishness, even when you know it’s foolish,
Uhn uhn,
And that is exhausting,
But those who ask questions,
And listen to the answers,
Though they may ultimately do something different,
Or who are bubbling with excitement about having a better life,
Or who are willing to do without until they can afford more,
Are a joy to help,
Because you know that once your teeny weeny part is done,
They are going to be able to handle their own business,
And later help someone else who will help themselves!


Be Peace…

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Cannot Afford It!

Over the past several weeks, I have had several conversation online and offline about grown children…and what we owe them…
And I have to say right out the gate, that if you loved them, prayed for them, gave them food, shelter, clothing and opportunities for education…
Once they are grown, you owe them nothing but more love and lots of PRAYER…
That is not to say in any way that if you can help them,
You shouldn’t, but help does not mean, allowing your life to go down the slopes and for you to do without in order for them to have something,
That is not only detrimental to you, but not good for them, because what you are doing is enabling them,
If you give money over and over again to a grown unemployed child,
You are stymieing his or her growth,
At the same time if you are always financing a working child,
So they can purchase pleasures and frivolities with their earnings,
You are doing the same thing,
I am not guess-working on this,
I have been tried and found guilty of such,
And what I had to learn is that we aren’t doing these things,
In most cases just for them,
We are doing it for us,
Because let’s be real,
We honestly care way too much about ‘THEM’…
No, not just the kids,
But people,
As Black folks, we lay awake at night wondering what people are saying about us,
Cause we aren’t doing this thing or that thing,
And heaven forbid they are saying we are bad parents,
Because we are allowing our kids to do without,
Honey hush!
So what we do is finance their mess,
Especially sons and then wonder what the heck happened…
Well, we gotta stop the madness…
For real,
And mother is not here to tell you that any of this is easy,
But it is doable,
And do it we must,
Last night I was thinking about some of the elder women I know and love,
And how so many of them are broke.
Because they felt they had to give everything they had to kids,
Who outearned them by far,
But got to spend their money on frivolities while their aging parents went without,
That is wrong,
And parents let me tell you this,
You cannot pay for any mistakes you made years, and years ago,
If you messed up with the kids,
Ask God to forgive you, ask them to forgive, forgive yourself and move on,
You cannot buy forgiveness or love,
And you shouldn’t have to…



Monday, November 9, 2009

Umm Umm Umm!

I am startled by how many folks don’t realize that what they say is who they are and even more startled by those who look askance at positive people!
I listen sometimes to the absolute negativity that people spew about other folks and wonder if they even know how bad they sound or how it makes them appear,
Maybe they don’t care,
But I tell you this,
One of the quickest ways to turn folks off is always to be spewing some mess,
Especially to me,
I don’t care a twit about other folks stuff,
And I sure don’t want to hear someone talking about someone’s appearance,
And the red light for me,
Is please don’t tell me how I should feel about things,
Or people,
I am grown enough to discern that for myself,
Thank you very much…
And the other one,
Is someone called me passive-aggressive,
Because they said I always try to say positive things,
After I picked my lips up,
I had to ask them to expound,
They confidently told me,
They had never heard me cuss anyone out or go off on anyone,
And I always tried to say something positive,
I looked around for the police, because I was sure I was going to be arrested for that!
Come on:
When a younger woman,
I often told folks off,
But as I matured and grew,
I learned that much of that was a waste of time,
And the one who came off looking cuckoo was me,
So instead,
When I am around folks who make me want to cuss or go off,
I stop being around them,
Or if I absolutely can’t avoid it,
I write books in my mind while in their presence and keep my mouth shut!
I have lived too long and been through too much to get caught up in foolishness,
And there is too much to do and too many places to go…
Now don’t be fooled,
I can get down with the best of them,
But I choose my battles,
Because I am only willing to die on battlefields worthy of my fight!



Friday, November 6, 2009


Chapter Two

“So what are you planning to do Cinnamon, move him in my house?” Brown sat down, staring up at his wife. It was hard to look at all the pain in her eyes, pain he had caused.

“William, why are you here?”

“You’re my wife, this is my home.”

“I have asked you to leave.”

“For how long?”

“Forever…” Pain and fear raced in his heart.

“How’s that possible? We have been through so much together. I made another mistake…”

“No William, you made a decision. I told you when you decided to give up the Atlanta office that I wouldn’t go through this again. I meant that. I just have to figure out a way to tell the children. I can’t do this any more.”

“Is it because you have a backup plan? Your Black Knight is waiting in the wings. So are the two of you going to marry downtown in the square and make a fool of me?” Startled laughter flew from Cinnamon’s throat.

“Is that what this is about, your pride? Is that why we’re still married, to keep me from marrying Malcolm?”

“I love you, I’ve always loved you, but you’ve always been a lot of work. I allowed you your little indiscretion. You made love to him right up under my nose and I looked the other way. I didn’t want to lose you, but I won’t allow you to leave me and make a fool of me and all we have worked to have.”

“Negro, you don’t have a choice. I don’t think you know who you’re dealing with. And for the record Malcolm and I didn’t have an indiscretion. We had a love affair, he loves me and I love him!” White hot pain ran through Brown at Cinnamon’s words. He was shocked.

“So how do you expect me to only be with you, when you’re with him?”

“William, you were sleeping all over for almost thirty years before Malcolm ever touched me. And in almost two years, Malcolm and I haven’t shared so much as a kiss. He hasn’t had his hands on me or any other woman. He loves ME that much! Your idea of love seems to be ownership of me, while screwing someone else. How do you think I felt when that man showed up at my door with pictures of you butt naked inside his wife?” He cringed at her words.

“I’m sure if I had wanted to, I would have been able to have photos of you with Malcolm Black!”

“As usual you’re avoiding the real issue! I wish you had, then we could have resolved this mess years ago.”

“What mess is that, is that what you consider our marriage, a mess?”

“B, it is a mess…” His heart surged at her calling him ‘B,’ that was an affectionate name she had called him since they were children. “William, we have created a mess. For over two decades we traveled the world, in every port you had your little, ‘things,’ as a woman, a wife and the mother of your children, I chose to look the other way. What we had seemed to transcend that. However, once we moved back to Florida, I truly thought that was all over. I was so busy getting Muhammad through school, taking care of my dying mother and working, I couldn’t see what was going on. And Malcolm was there for me at every juncture. I didn’t know his feelings for me or acknowledge mine for him; but he took care of me when no one else did. I remember all those lonely nights I sat with mama and you were God knows where, doing the devil knows what. He came by with food, books and conversation. I never meant to love him, but it seemed to become inevitable. After he confessed his feelings to me, you practically forced us together, inviting him into our lives, our home. B, he told you how he felt and he also told you he would never go away, not once you invited him in. Now, I understand, you were having an affair with Khadijah and my being with Malcolm just evened the playing field in your mind. What you didn’t count on was how much he loved me! You are unable to understand that. For almost two years he and I have been running the Learning Center, we have been friends… that’s it, just friends. However, your latest little indiscretion changes everything. William, I want to be loved, cared for and honored by a man who places me first after God. William Brown, it seems you aren’t that man.” Swallowing down a lump, Brown stared at his wife. He didn’t know what to say. There was nothing he could say.

“William, please leave, I need some peace. I need you to come by tomorrow so we can talk to Aura.”

“What are you planning to tell her?”

“The truth… that her mom and dad are separating after over three decades of marriage and that while we love her and each other, it isn’t enough to sustain us any longer. She’s almost thirty years old, she’ll be fine.”

“What will we tell our families?”

“I only have Aunt Gladys to tell. You can tell your family whatever you want to, I don’t care.”

Not knowing what else to say he reluctantly walked from his home. His heart felt as though it were going to fly from his chest. He never thought Cinnamon would make the decision to divorce him. They had been through so much.

God, please give me the strength to deal with all of this. I know you frown on divorce, but God I can’t go on like this. I have stayed faithful and true to that man to the best of my abilities. I know I stepped out of your will, when I was sexually involved with Malcolm but God I also know I have asked for and received forgiveness from you. I’m going to need you ever so desperately to get me through this. I love William, but I’m too tired to go through this again. Amen.

What in the world am I going to do? I don’t know what I was thinking getting involved with that woman. For the past year, our lives have been almost platinum. I know Cinnamon has been true to me even though she was still close to Malcolm Black. We enjoyed helping raise our granddaughter and it’s been so awesome. God, why in the world did I allow myself to fall once again into the trap of my own lusts? I can’t imagine getting up everyday without Cinnamon in my life. I love and need her and God, though I’m ashamed to admit it, I can’t live in this town and watch the two of them. It would kill me.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


I am befuddled again…
By something else but kind of the same,
Last night I posed the question:
Why do others care about someone else’s sexuality?
Woo Hoo…
One brother basically intimated I was the spawn of the devil,
For even asking the question,
I am still curious actually,
Because the question didn’t have a thing to do with God, Faith or Religion,
It was basically, ‘HOW IS THAT YOUR BUSINESS?’
Moving on,
Now I wonder what makes people think they have the right to tell people what to do,
How to dress,
What to eat,
Where to go?
Is that not the most presumptuous thing?
Or maybe I am nuts,
I absolutely believe that people have certain,
As human beings,
And how they dress is one,
As long as they are clean and aren’t naked,
Who cares if they don’t dress according to some outdated or overtly modern,
Years ago a friend I love dearly had a problem with the fact that most days,
I wear dresses and hose,
I kindly gently told her,
It was my choice and I really didn’t like looking at naked legs,
At work, but it was her choice,
We didn’t miss a beat,
We love the difference in each other,
If there is a dress code at your work,
Follow it,
But if not and the supervisors are cool with it,
I am too…to each his or her own,
Does that make me an anomaly?
That I really and truly am unconcerned about such trivia,
Or are people way too bound up in other folks business?
Someone, anyone please feel free to wise me up?
The other issue is knowing when to let go…
A young woman I love dearly is so bound up in her feelings for people,
She is always in pain,
When she know full well that the people are opportunistic and only are about her,
When there is no one else,
That is not cool…
Sure it hurts like the dickens to leave someone you love alone,
But I am guessing it cannot hurt anymore than allowing them,
To use and hurt you over and over again…
Of course,
Because the answers are as plain at the curls in my hair,
And that is this:
If you spend all of your time handling your business,
And trying to help some of the social ills around us,
There would be little to no time to care,
Who sleeps with whom,
Who is wearing what or eating what,
And if you make yourself a priority after God,
You will stop allowing folks to pick you up when it’s to their advantage,
And put you down when they don’t wanna be bothered…
But like everything else I say,
Use what you can and toss the rest over your shoulder…



Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I write life as I know it,
I am perplexed, or at least I was when someone seemed amazed at the happenings of some of my characters…
The fact that Malcolm Black and William Brown,
‘Allowed’ Cinnamon the woman they loved,
So much leverage,
Or the fact that Alexandra Wilson was a lesbian woman,
Who stayed married to a man for thirty years…
Before she ever stepped out and became who she really was,
Or that there are women who are so hung up on things like skin color,
And hair texture that they sabotage the relationships in their lives,
Or uh oh,
That people are Christians and have so many struggles with being ‘good’…
Or that there are people who do all kinds of things to make their lives work,
The reason I am so puzzled is that even though I grew up in an environment of protectiveness,
My mom, grandmother, some of my aunts and my grandmother,
Were very protective of me,
Those protections didn’t stop me from seeing life or people as they were,
There was a man we all called, ‘Mother’,
He was a gay man,
No big deal to me, he worked hard and was a vital part of our community,
There was a woman I will call JB,
Who at first glance looked like a man,
And lived with a woman,
And was one of the hardest working loggers in the city,
Who I knew well,
She was part and parcel of my community,
And to this day,
I see her,
She was a large presence at my mother’s funeral,
And as I got older,
No one had to tell me that there were people who stepped outside of their,
Marriages and still remained married,
I had eyes and I could see,
Nothing about these people was strange,
Or titillating,
Or sexy,
Shoot, they were just the people I grew up around,
This morning I got a message from my sister telling me a friend had died,
He was a gay man who was probably ten years older than me,
But what I remember him for more than anything was how smart he was,
How he was always pursuing a degree in something,
I remember the last time I saw him,
I was selling my books at the African American Arts festival,
And he bought my book, saying he was proud of me,
And saying how good I looked and remembering my mother,
I hugged him fervently and we joked a bit,
Such has been my life,
So when I sit down to write,
That is what I recall,
As I craft characters,
All of those vibrant,
Loving people, that I was blessed to know,
And that thanks be to God,
People are now interested in reading about,
In a fictionalized form….



Tuesday, November 3, 2009


When someone says; ‘But, they…
I know immediately someone’s behavior is going to be excused,
Uncool behavior,
If I had a dollar for every time someone said,
“But he just being a man…”
Come on people, we get from folks what we expect,
And if we expect ‘men’ to cheat, etc. then…well you feel me,
Now for the next one,
I only need a quarter,
‘But they young…’
We excuse a lot of behavior that young people are doing by saying this,
It’s as if though you can do anything you want to,
And chalk it up to being young…
Not so, in my humble opinion,
Because there are just some things folks shouldn’t do no matter the age,
I recall when I was a much younger woman,
I knew this sister, who was dating a really nice man,
He was extremely good to her,
But she treated him rather shoddily,
Knowing how much he loved her,
She was considered a catch, had it going on,
Pretty, fine…hot…
He was just a ‘regular’ brother with a great future,
So many folks would say,
“But, she just young…”
When she would blatantly disrespect him…
I didn’t agree with that then and I don’t agree with it now,
Because the truth is this,
She knew she didn’t love him or want him,
So why play with his feelings, spend his money,
And treat him that way…that don’t have a thing to do with age,
So, of course he wised up,
And lo and behold,
Some thirty years later,
She still remembers him quite fondly,
Wishing that she had been a ‘better younger person’,
Umm hmm, cause Mr. Regular has got it going on with Mrs. Regular,
And Ms. Got it Going on is…
Well you get me,
So the next time,
You see someone you love,
Or have any influence over,
Doing something that is just not right,
Regardless of their age,
At a minimum, hip them to it,
Because whether we like it or not,
That is the role we as elders must sometimes assume,
Let them know that we all have to grow up,
Learning as we go,
But that we are never too young to be decent,
Responsible or just downright,
Good people…

But shoot, what do I know?



Thursday, October 29, 2009


I know you see my title, ‘Self-Love’,
And is probably wondering,
Lord, what is Angel going to say….
Well, I am going to pontificate,
Just a bit about love of self,
I love me…
I do, I do, I do…
And feel that everyone should,
And am astonished that folks take issue with those who love ourselves,
Because self love to me,
Being in touch with my spirit,
Taking care of myself body and soul,
Not allowing anyone to treat me any old kind of way,
And taking the time to rejuvenate,
If that is conceit and arrogance,
I confess…
The other day I was sitting across the desk,
From someone who I work with,
We are friendly and was once ‘friends’,
However, over the past couple of years we have worked well together,
And coexisted peacefully,
But no more girl-talk or sharing,
And I always knew why,
But finally she admitted it,
Yes, she did,
She said it…
She admitted that because she didn’t love herself,
She was unable to stand being around someone who loved herself as much as I did,
She couldn’t understand why a woman older than her,
Could be happy with who she was,
My heart fluttered at that,
Because I loved her growth,
I love her…actually,
But I had to remove myself,
Because self love involves not allowing anyone to rain on your parade,
Or bring you to down to a level,
With which they are comfortable,
No, No, No…
She explained a bit of why she was that way,
And I got it,
Because we allow other folks to play a number on us,
Making us feel we aren’t beautiful enough,
Smart enough or Good enough,
And to that I have always said,
No Way, No How…
I am good enough just as good made me,
And though I may not think like him,
Or look like her,
I am me and me is just fine with ME…



Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Parenting is the hardest job, bar none,
Those people who don’t feel they will be good parents and choose not to,
Are to be applauded,
Because why knowingly do something, you know you aren’t ready for,
And allow the casualty to be a child,
When I became a young mother,
There was a plethora of things I didn’t know,
For real,
As such I was overprotective with my eldest,
And thirty years later the residuals of that are still evident,
Six years later when I had a second child,
I was much less protective,
Ultimately more permissive,
The residuals of that are still evident,
So many mistakes and missteps,
Thanks be to God I was being covered in prayer,
By those who loved me,
There is one thing that I absolutely, unequivocally got,
And that was this,
I knew that my husband and I had created these beings and it was on us,
Totally to provide for them,
Raise them and teach them,
Anyone who knows me will tell it,
I was always mama,
We recreated our life in such a way,
That we did without, so they could have,
We also didn’t involve our parents,
In our parenting schematics,
We knew that if every time,
We didn’t have something,
We went to them for it,
Then we were in essence children raising children,
And we need to send messages that being grown was hard work,
But when you get in the grown business,
Work you must,
Sometimes I look around me and I am shocked,
By the numbers of young adults who live with their parents,
Not because they have fallen on hard time necessarily,
But because if they live at home, they can do whatever they want with their money,
Have cell phones with unlimited usage plans,
Drive in late model cars,
Get their hair and nails done weekly,
And dress the kids in designer wear,
Honestly, that is what is occurring,
And will they go completely off, if,
Anyone questions them about it,
Or they are pursuing dreams,
Dreams that are dressed up hobbies,
Cause, you know until you can pay bills doing it,
A hobby is all it is,
Grandparents are buying diapers and formula,
And welfare systems are providing the rest,
Sadder still are the young boys who are acting out aggressively,
Because they are defining manhood based on gangster movies,
Or the young girls who are predator magnets,
Because they so desire a father’s arms around them,
And are willing to take what they can get,
This parenting game is real,
And if we don’t take it much more seriously and make it about the children,
And not about us,
We are dooming these young people,
Yes we are….


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I love learning,
Even when learning is a bit…umm painful,
But oh boy, what is gained,
This morning I sat in my performance evaluation,
And bar none it was the best ever,
And that had nothing to do with high ratings…got em,
Or bonuses, will get it,
But with the fact that my supervisor and I have learned a great deal from each other,
And though it has been bumpy at times,
We respect and admire what the other brings to the table and we can get the work done,
Gotta love it~
I am now learning that as I grow my personal business,
I am going to have to learn to separate,
The personal and the business,
I have an inherent desire to always ask those related to me in some way,
To do this that or the other,
Because my feeling is that who better?
But what I have learned, quite painfully,
Is that it is not good business…
We don’t want to be in the position of asking those we love,
To step up their games,
Or egads,
To please give me my…gasp…money,
So we don’t,
And it leaves us frustrated and aggravated,
I learned that with my own son,
When I asked him to do a song for me,
He would take his time,
But when I started paying him for his valuable time,
I got what I needed and it was business…
So henceforth,
I know what I am going to have to do,
Is keep it strictly business,
When it comes to my business,
And be about the business of my business,
Because it is business…


Monday, October 26, 2009

How I Relate...

I was asked the other day by someone, ‘Why don’t you hang with the girls more…’
I answered very honestly,
“I do hang, as much as I want to.”
You see I have never been much of a hanger,
I love my friends,
But I have no real desire to be with them all the time,
Or talk to them all day,
That is not conducive to who I am,
It is much the same way with all my relationships,
I love the time I spend with people,
But if it is necessary for me to call you everyday,
Hangout with you every week,
Or go away on trips with you,
I am not real good at that,
Not my thing,
My mama raised me to take care of me and home first,
And let every other thing line up after that,
And that is how I love my life,
When my kids were young,
Most of what we did was family things,
And now that it is just the two of us,
There is nothing that I love more than spending time with my man,
Week nights me in my corner,
Him in has,
And now that we have mini laptops,
We can both do our nerd things,
On Saturday mornings,
We do separate things,
Then we do our late lunches,
And Sundays after church,
We just chill.
That is not to say that I don’t love,
Going out occasionally with the girls,
Giggling it up,
But that is not my primary thing…
I love my family life,
And another thing,
Very rarely am I in any messy stuff,
Cause I just don’t get involved like that,


Saturday, October 24, 2009


One of the harder things things to do, seems like one of the simpler,
And that is be true to yourself,
For years I covered up not being true to myself, by saying I was...
Lying to myself in essence,
Because myself was what everyone knew, but there were so many layers to me,
That were unknown, because,
I just magnified the one's people liked~
My husband loved my conservative look,
So I played to that, I loved it also,
But there were times I wanted to wear Russian Red lipstick,
With my pearls and show my rather, umm excellent cleavage...
But for years I didn't,
Didn't want to make him mad,
Then one day I did,
Because what I knew for sure was that the woman he loved,
Was conservative, a bit inclined to show cleavage and loved to make her lips pop,
And if he loved me as he professed, he would deal with it,
Much the way I had when he first shaved his head~
I loves it now, but wasnt feeling it then,
But love is acceptance of all the person brings to the table...
Umm to the hmm...
Also the same was true with my sons,
I felt that I could only express what I truly liked about them,
And as such I didnt say the other stuff until they pissed me off,
And then it came out HARSH~
Then I would spend time feeling like less than a supportive mama,
But being true to me has taught me that I can say,
"Son you are really talented at such and such, but when it comes to so and so, you are just,
Do that like that,
Heck to the no,
But do I spend much time concerned with what they like,
Because what I know for sure,
Is that GOD made me unique and that trying to first please HIM,
Is my focus,
Then working on being the best person HE has made me to be,
And if I handle that,
The folks in my life should be able to accept that,
As I accept them,
Russian Red Lips and ALL!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


The question I am most frequently asked when I write books is do I know the people I write about, my answer is of course, I created them…hello…
And then…
They ask me, ‘Are you Cinnamon?’
A bit trickier,
They start running the parallels,
Tall, brown, curly hair, sassy mouth,
Former counselor, writer, oh Lord,
It must be you,
Well it ain’t,
And it is,
I don’t have two men,
That I am juggling and navigating,
And most of what has happened to Cinnamon hasn’t happened to me,
But here I will confess,
In many ways,
I am Cinnamon and Cinnamon is me,
We love hard…
When we love you, there is very little you can do,
That we can’t forgive,
How-sen-ever, (I created that word)
When you cross THAT line,
Or do that thing,
That we have told you repeatedly not to do,
We are done,
We won’t stop loving you,
But we will stop fooling up with you,
We also love the children in our communities,
We will fight to the death to defend those who can’t defend themselves,
Mess with a child and you have messed the ‘hell’ up…
For real,
And we also define our own strength,
We will not allow anyone to define our femininity,
We know that we can be lovely and strong,
That we can be powerful and kind,
We can love and support our men,
But not take any….off or from them,
Mostly because we know who we are and what we want,
And we listen first to our hearts and spirits,
And then determine what we are going to do,
And though we may not do it as you would have us to do it,
We will do it as it was meant for us to do it,
So there you have it…
Oh yeah, we both love chocolate, cute shoes, books,
Dancing, and the occasional glass of wine,
So double there…


MRS. BLACK? @ all the other books with Cinnamon @ key word MENCHAN

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have always been under the impression that when someone asks for a favor,
That the askee…has refusal rights,
Because a favor to me is, ‘please can you do such and such and if you cannot, I understand…’
But it seems that I am totally misguided,
It seems nowadays when someone asks for a favor,
The only acceptable answer is yes,
Such as,
Can I use you?
Umm, sure absolutely….
All jokes aside,
I have found myself in the situation a lot lately,
Where someone asks for a favor and they are already making plans,
Based on my saying YES…
One case that sticks out in my mind is;
Last week a co-worker left an envelope on my desk,
In said envelope was a letter asking me,
If I would fill out the attached,
It also said, ‘If you choose not to, please do not discuss with anyone and dispose of…’
After reading it,
I knew that in good conscience,
I could not fill out the form,
First because of my role in the organization,
A bit of a conflict,
And because if I had done it honestly it would have not been totally favorable,
So I shredded it and went on with my day,
A few days later,
I was asked about it,
I explained my position and was told,
‘I can’t believe you, of all people wouldn’t do that for me…’
I knew what he meant,
He was using my race and gender,
Being a black female in a predominately white male agency,
But I was going to make him say it,
‘Me of all people…?’
His face colored and he said,
‘You know, you are such a civil libertarian….and my friend’
I hooted with laughter…good save,
‘Well, be that as it may, I didn’t feel it was appropriate, and I followed your instructions, and for the record, ‘my friend’, remember that a favor is a voluntary activity and that friends don’t compromise friends in such a manner…’
He nodded and looked away,
I walked away…
Haven’t had a conversation since,
But of course we will,
Or heck maybe we won’t…
I just wish folks would understand,
That using the ‘friendship card’…
Is just not good business…
And that a favor is just that,
A favor…


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


One of the things that befuddles me of late,
Is how little ownership grown people have for their own mess…
It is astounding how many, hard grown people,
Blame mama, papa, society or the infamous them for anything that happens,
To them…
I am not sure where it happened,
But it is a reality,
I have young adults stand in my face,
And act incredulous,
Because someone expects them to stay on a job,
Or go to a job on time,
Or be respectful to the people that have employed them,
Or parents who make ghastly decisions that impact the lives of their children,
(think balloon boy as an extreme)
And are absolutely flabbergasted that someone expects them to be accountable,
Or the masses of people who go out and buy stuff they can’t afford,
Knowing they can’t afford it,
Then don’t pay the people and wonder why in the hades,
Things around them are all jacked up,
One thing I know is me,
And I have flaws galore,
And will own them,
I am opinionated,
Sometimes impatient,
And make weird judgments,
All the time,
But the one thing,
I make sure of is that I don’t play victim,
Don’t make anyone accountable for my mess,
My mess is my mess,
And I am sure I could sit down and write up a laundry list,
Of things to blame someone for,
But, you know what,
My preference is to get up,
Thank God for being alive,
And go out and navigate this crazy world,
By working hard,
Paying my own way,
Thus being able to a certain extent to do my own thang…
Cause if I don’t the only person to blame will be,
And this is not THE BUSINESS!


Monday, October 19, 2009


Yesterday a question was posed on FB,
The Question being; ‘Why were so many successful, got-it-going on Black women,
Single or divorced?
I loved reading the answers,
And there were a plethora of answers,
That there were no ‘good’ men,
Or that men were ‘intimidated’ by women who had too much,
And the brothers weighed in with,
Women didn’t want to do ‘traditional’ things anymore,
And I was so fascinated by this,
I threw one out there that didn’t get a response,
The sheer lack of men to women,
For every heterosexual brother,
There are six heterosexual sisters,
Which makes the pickings mighty slim,
By that same token I must say that this weekend I saw more,
Black female and white male couples than I had ever seen,
One at lunch,
Another at wal-mart,
And three or four at church,
So I guess some changes are afoot,
But that is not the intent of this post,
First to the ‘Good’ man thing,
There are a plethora of good men that are getting overlooked,
Mostly because the criteria is so narrow,
He has to earn more,
Be as educated,
Be taller,
Have a nicer car, et al.
This Black woman earning more than Black men,
Isn’t a new thing,
I can remember every school teacher, nurse and secretary I knew growing up.
Earned more than her man that was a laborer, butcher or janitor,
But you know what they didn’t talk about it,
She allowed him to pay for what he could and they QUIETLY handled their business,
That wasn’t an issue,
Or not one for public debate,
There might be some merit to that,
But, surely I don’t know,
Then there is men being intimidated,
I know this is probably true,
Because egads,
Sister have got it going on,
And we can’t wait to tell everyone who will listen,
As such, many men feel they aren’t trying to compete with all that,
For a plethora of reasons,
There are those confident men,
Who know that to have a got it going on woman,
Is all good,
And it isn’t about what she has or he has but,
About what they can have,
And then the six to one thing,
All I am saying is that sisters just may have to stretch their boundaries and make the criteria for good men,
Loving men, honest men, men who love God and love them,
And they are out there,
And I haven’t forgotten the traditional thing,
I was just biding my time,
Sisters it is absolutely okay to cook a meal for you man,
Regardless of what your friends say,
That is your man and if you know he likes,
A ribeye and potatoes and salad,
Cook it for him erry now and then,
Then erry now and then he can cook something for you,
And take you somewhere nice,
Now don’t listen to me,
I don’t know much,
Other than that I have been married to a very ‘GOOD’ man for,
Over thirty years and one thing I know for sure,
Is all we got is OURS,
That if I take care of this,
He will take care of that…

You feel Me!



Thursday, October 15, 2009


Change is inevitable,
The more things change, yada yada…
We have all heard the spiel,
But when it comes to changing human beings,
The only things we can change is ourselves,
If you marry someone that is one way,
And you expectation is the change them,
You won’t be able to,
I’m not saying they won’t ever change,
Because people do,
But the change will come from God and themselves,
Not from any power you have over them,
The same is true for your children,
You raise them,
Pray for them and discipline them,
But the bottom line truth,
Is they are going to be who they are,
And crying,
Spoiling or not spoiling will not change them,
Growing up and discovering for themselves is what makes the change,
Okay and this is going to hurt, like the dickens,
Some people NEVER change,
Because you have a problem with them,
Does not mean they have a problem with themselves,
And then there is the greater world,
On jobs,
The reality is this,
There are sexists,
And the like,
And those you can’t change either,
There are laws that will make them at a minimum,
If not change,
Then change their behavior or take their madness elsewhere,
Because in this instance,
You might not be able to change ‘em,
But you damn sure don’t have to put up with that,
But the greatest place to enact change,
Is within oneself,
I am in constant evolution,
Every single day I focus on something about me that needs fixing,
And I pray fervently and ask God to better that thing in me,
Sometimes I change,
And other times I don’t,
Because there are things about us,
That God is absolutely pleased with and would like for us to continue to be,
So if there is any message in this,
It would have to be this,
We can change only ourselves,
But if the people we have to coexist with,
Aren’t good for us,
We might have to change our circumstances,
But we will not change them,
It is not our jobs,
And there is too much else to be done!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I am a self-defined ‘Hard-Headed Woman’…
Now by no means does that mean I can’t take direction,
Or am obstinate and will do my own thing even if I know it is wrong,
My mama, Ms. Ora Lee, taught me that a hard head makes a soft behind,
Actually aging past forty made my behind soft, but that’s another story for another day,
What I mean is that I am determined and never allow naysayers to tell me what I can’t do,
I know that if it is God’s will and I work hard I can do it,
I recall back in the day,
When chaos reigned supreme around me as a teenager,
I navigated life with the knowledge that I was smart and savvy and that no set of circumstances would stand in my way…
Then as a very young woman when I decided to get married and was told that statistically we didn’t stand a chance,
I turned a deaf ear and for over thirty one years have worked on my marital business,
While raising my sons and getting myself educated and climbing this ladder or that,
That is what hard-headed women like me do,
We focus on what is real and handle our business,
And we allow those around us to say whatever they damn well please,
We are too busy…
When I published my first book almost four years ago,
I was told by some,
My work was too narrative,
By others that I could not write about women over forty being sexy,
Sheesh; they had to be kidding,
We don’t really have it going on until we are forty,
But that too is another story for another day,
What I did as a hard-headed woman is continued to write my stories,
Own my own madness,
Seek and find those people who were interested in what I wrote about,
And tossed the rest over my shoulder like so much salt,
Because you know what,
Hard-headed women,
Know when to listen,
What to listen to,
And to whom to listen,
But they mostly know that while others are sleep,
The must grind and grind they must,
Cause there is work to be done….


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


There is much role playing when you are a WOMAN,
I know my sisters you are saying, ‘Role-playing, no not me!”
But come on, let’s be honest,
Some mornings we get up and we don’t want to do a thing,
And some don’t, but, mostly we do,
We step into the game and play,
At work we know that there are those who really has problems with our power,
But we know that the game must be played and play we do,
Cause let’s be real,
We are responsible for half this stuff…
Then there is our love thing,
We all know that we sometimes, straight up don’t agree with his,
But we want him, so we play the game to stay in the game,
Sometimes we suck down what we really want to say,
Cause for heaven’s sake we don’t ever want to be called,
Egads…an emasculator….whoo!
And then there are the children,
Back in the day kids were seen and not heard,
But nowadays they are heard and we are sometimes so damned afraid to say anything,
‘Son, you really need a job…’
‘Daughter, that man beating you up is absolutely unacceptable,
‘Son, please don’t leave babies all over time, that is just trifling and you can’t afford to take care of yourself…’
‘Daughter, it is okay to be alone rather than share a man who is known to be with someone else and please, please, please don’t have a child with someone that already has children he's not caring for….
Instead in many cases we say and do nothing,
Not wanting to offend or run away those we love,
Or heaven forbid, have them stop loving us,
Cause you know that is what this is all about,
That wants to be loved…