Does the Race of the Main Character REALLY Matter?

I’ve never really thought of race as important. Not that it isn’t, It was just never a concern in my mind.

a bit of History…

I grew up in Jamaica where I was surrounded by people of African descent. So race was never a consideration. I remember the first time I met a Caucasian white girl. She instantly became the most popular girl in our school. Then coming to America, it was often confusing as to why race was of such huge consideration. Why was it that couples were mostly either black or white; never interracial? I remember having white friends and being chided by other black kids. In addition, I spoke proper English and was made fun of as speaking white. At that time I had absolutely no idea how to respond. 15 years old and I was being taught that we are not like them.

I’ve worked with interns from multiple countries and I remember one asking me, “why are Americans so hung up on race?” The answer to which I am a bit ignorant.

This post is not meant to bring offense, yet I want you to know where I am coming from when I ask this question.

who cares?

It never quite sunk in, irrespective of the American history lessons, why race was so important. I remember the editor of my first book, do you think your mother would like me asked me the question why is your main character Spanish. And for me the answer was quite simple, the setting is in Florida, there are a ton of Spanish people in Florida.

here’s my question??? to you

Now that I’m about to start a new book, the question weighs on me. What race should I make my new main character? Does my new character really need to be black in order for me to have a black audience? What about interracial love interests. I want to know your opinion. Please leave it in the comment section below. Thank you.

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3 Powerful Character Themes of Star Wars The Force Awakens

Eagerly await the release of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I have this persistent desire to revisit the first of the trilogy, The Force Awakens. I read an interview recently which spoke of the overall theme of the new movie, The Last Jedi and I wondered what are some themes in the Force Awakens and will they carry over. I will look at three character themes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and hope to glean something meaningful.

Wait

Let’s start with Rey, our main character. We find Rey on the planet of Jakku. She’s a scavenger who just happens to be Force Sensitive.

From the moment we meet her we realize something subtle yet important. She’s waiting on something or possibly someone. After she meets her new friend Finn, we find out that she was left on this desert planet with the promise of someday being rescued. There is this deep sense of abandonment in Rey’s story and she deeply desires to be found.

Decide

In the battle at Takodana we see Rey facing a decision, one which she finds hard to reconcile. She must decide to abandon her current quest of waiting on Jakku. Is worthwhile to wait to be found or go out and do something which needs to be done, fight with the Resistance. In addition, there is a call to something deeper as she discovers Luke Skywalker’s very own Lightsaber. If you’ve seen the movie, you know the choice she made, if she didn’t the movie would’ve probably ended right there (would’ve made for a bad movie). Underneath it all, we see a young woman who has to forego satisfying her own deep desires to be stand against evil.

Stand

Rey has escaped her passive state of waiting on Jakku and is now entangled in the affairs of the Resistance and General Leia.  Despite the crazy plot to destroy yet another planet-sized weapon of destruction, Rey starts to discover, in greater measure, who she is and what she’s made of. Her raw and untrained ability in the force is pitted against the evil and murderous Kylo Ren. Though quite reluctant at first, the injury of her friend Finn, who helped her in times past, forces her to become greater than she’d ever seen herself. Abandonment issues or not, she must stand.

In All Of Us

The power of a good story comes from how well others are able to identify with the characters in the story. Even if you’ve never gone through something like what Rey has gone through, we can put ourselves in her shoes and somewhat draw conclusions. Whether we’ve been abandoned or not, our imagination can make it real.

In this case, we all must face satisfying quite legitimate desires. Rey’s desire to be reunited with the person she’s waiting for is completely legitimate and a worthy goal. And who could fault her for that? Who could fault a foster child wanting to know who her real mother and father is? Or fault a mother wanting to find her lost child. Rey faced something no one should be without, yet turned her back on it to accomplish a greater purpose. This shows great character and heroism.

As I look forward to the coming of the new movie The Last Jedi, I truly hope the character Rey has shown in The Force Awaken will carry over.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at Finn and his character themes.

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[Short Story] Price of Glory

He is walking slowly and breathing heavily. The moment has come, the time is near. His eyes are red as if He was crying. His heart is burdened as if He was dying. What is this that has come upon the son of the King? The weight of sin and sorrow of imminent death looms before His eyes. A separation from His Father means separation from love, grace, and everlasting mercies. Is this the way He should go? Is this the path He should walk? Is there no other way? Can this cup really be for His lips? The taste of sin is bitter. The taste of sin is death. The taste of sin is the grave.

In His face is evidence of the weight of a divinely appointed time. The moment has come and a sacrifice of love is required. It was ordained that He should be the Savior of the world. He is the Passover lamb. He is that snake on the cross. He is sinless, yet found guilty; blameless yet scourged. He stands before sin, death, the grave, and much torture, so that the beloved children may approach the loving Father once more. In the courts of a pagan government, He stands accused of a crime He did not commit. Rejected by His very own people, He was left to the mercy of Gentiles. All who saw Him, mock Him, shaking their heads saying: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord deliver him.” Where is God? Where is the Father at this crucial time? Where is the Spirit of Holiness that He so greatly relied on? It would seem that He is nowhere to be found. The miracle worker is left standing alone, betrayed, and abandoned.

The bitter taste of sin, like that of a fatal poison, left a horrid savor in His mouth only foreshadowing the eventual sting of death looming in the darkness. In a few moments, the poison will seep through his digestive tract and into his bloodstream. Its nature is to kill. It literally chokes his organs, robbing Him of life. Sin separates Him from the mercies of breath, strength, and even rest. Sin separates Him from love and Love himself, who is God.

Secreted through the pores of his skin, was the carrier of life, the blood. The One who had no sin became sin, and it was killing Him. Life was leaving him and death was taking its place. The inner workings of every sickness, every disease, was upon Him. He was bruised with the curse of every generation, the results of sinful man. He was oppressed by every sort of demon; they sought to mutilate him, the sought to mar the image of God in Him. In the streets they spat on Him, in secret, they crowned Him with thorns. In the square they whipped Him, leaving not one square inch of his body untouched. His bones were exposed and out of joint, His blood was poured out, and He was made to carry the symbol of a failed messiah. He made himself subject to everything which sought to dehumanize Him. He walked all the way to Calvary clutching tightly to the symbol of shame; and it was there at the top of the hill, the “Place of the Skull,” they pierced his hands and feet.

The King of Glory

The strength He once had He subdued; the authority He possessed was momentarily relinquished. He was treated like an outcast, a slave of foreign descent. His heart grew faint and the light in His eyes was quickly getting dim. The dogs surrounded Him; the terror of hell threatened His spirit, melting His heart like wax within His chest. The bulls ravaged His body, till His appearance was no longer that of a man. A body made in perfect symmetry was distorted by blasphemers. His image no longer resembled that of His Father. He could no longer speak, His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. They took him clothe and gambled for them.

Crucify the King of the Jews? “But what has He done to deserve such a punishment,” Pilate asked? Jesus Christ had to pay the price of sin for humanity, yet He himself knew no sin. Jesus Christ bore the persecution of hell, for the deliverance of those who were dead to the Father.

Although He was innocent, He took the beating of a guilty man. And in all this, Jesus Christ the son of God never once complained, never asked why, and never looked back. And though He was tempted to turn away from this path of torture and death, He drank the bitter wine which was prepared for Him. He did it so that the will of His Father would be fulfilled. Jesus, in all that He did and in all that was done to Him, never dishonored His Father. In His affliction, He praised the Lord. In His time of need, He worshiped. Even in the bowels of hell, Jesus faithfully waited on the deliverance of His Father and He never doubted. Hope was never dull, for He longed for the presence of His Father. In eager anticipation, He waited for the glory which was to be revealed through Him.

Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” The resurrection of Jesus was the greatest miracle to ever grace this planet. But how did the Son of God rise when such unimaginable things were done to Him. Hearts of hatred poured out violence, hostility, and murder upon Him. Hearts of lust poured out debauchery, depravity, and all forms of corrupt sensuality. Selfish hearts abandoned Him. Prideful hearts rejected Him. Jesus knows what it is like to be hated, to be beaten, to be laughed at, and to be scorned. Jesus felt what it was like to be raped, to be treated like a piece of meat, to be betrayed, and to be doubted. He can identify with the victims of racism, sexism, violence, envy, and anger.

The darkness of the world tried to creep into His heart by the temptation to become equally self-reliant, vengeful, prideful, and hateful as they. The rulers sneered, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked Him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Even one of the criminals who hung next to Him insulted Him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Anger and pride could have motivated him to come down off that cross and with the help of 10’000 angels, He could have severely punished them all. But with one single swipe, He overcame it all. Jesus looked upon each one of them, seeing their ignorance and the lostness of humanity in sin and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The victimization he then knew and felt, He accepted. He accepted it without remorse. He will forever live with the memory of what happened during that terrible day, that glorious day. And though the pain lingers, the nail scars still in his hands, he forgave and still forgives.

And so that you know the Son of Man has the power to forgive, rise, take up your bed and enter my kingdom. Jesus spoke with that authority as the Son of God forgiving sins and making the lame walk again. There is forgiveness for all who look upon that bloody gory cross to find that Jesus paid it all.

On the first day of the week, the dawn of a new era, Mary and Martha stumbled upon the empty tomb, the tomb of Jesus, with two angels standing guard. Indeed the death of Jesus was not the end but the beginning of a new age. His death was not one of a failed messiah but one of a King who gave Himself in love to redeem man in glory. Mary and Martha were the first to bear witness to the resurrected Jesus Christ, walking in the glory of God. The resurrection power of God raised Jesus from the dead. Not only that, the resurrection power of God defeated the sin which separated the Son from his Father. God’s resurrection power completely dissolved the chains of every curse, every sickness, every disease, and defeated the oppression of the enemy. No devil in hell could keep him bound. Jesus bore the ultimate weight of sin for all humanity, for all time, and the resurrection power of God raised him in glory. Jesus bore the weight of glory.

 
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The Word

The Word is the only Way

The Way

Do you realize that the entire Bible is inspired by God himself? There are some texts which are direct quotes of God where the author simply copied down exactly what God said. That’s why the scribes of old would take painstaking measures to make sure the text was copied correctly. Even if there were mistakes, grammatical or otherwise, they would copy it regardless. They were very careful to change anything irrespective of their opinion or feels towards the matter. They knew the God who created the universe said it and it was worth their effort to copy it correctly.

In the book of Psalm Chapter 100, the author David says, “enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.” Do you realize that David just gave you the keys to God’s heavenly realm? Let’s take it even further, God gave David the keys, who passed it on to us, so we might enter his heavenly realm. We have the keys to his courtroom. He gave us the keys to his kingdom; access to his personal chamber (found throughout the book of Songs of Solomon).  God gave David the words which gave access. The word of God gives access, it’s the key, it’s The Way.

In John Chapter 1, we find out that the word of God, that which he used to speak the world into being, that which he spoke to the prophets, that which he gave to his people to enter into his presence has put on flesh and became a human being and lived with us here on earth. God gave his word to David to enter into his Holy Bedchambers and now God has put flesh on his word and allowed the same word to live with us here on earth.

God’s Word is spirit and life. His word lives. When God speaks, his word is so powerful that it takes on self-awareness. Whatever is in the heart of God, his word goes out and creates, breaks down barriers, heals, binds up wounds, restores beauty. God’s word accomplishes the desires of God’s heart. The Word has a personality which is completely identical to God, yet separate from Him. The Word bears the same character as God. When the Word was issues from the mouth of God, it went out, moved, and lived, and did and still does what God the Father of the word say.

In fact, God’s word is the only way back to God. His Word leaves a trail which leads right back to him. In everything the Word accomplished, there are signs posts which lead back to One who started it all; the Father and Author of the Word. All that’s required is trust that you trust what the Word proclaimed. Trust that what the Word accomplished is true, because just as David was given the keys, so is the Word the keys. The same trust in Jesus, the Word leads us to the presence of God.

Check back for my second post on truth

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[Short Story] In The Beginning

In the beginning is the first chapter of my book “In Fullness of Glory,” a non-fiction Christian inspirational work. I often use short stories to express ideas which can only be understood when deeply felt. Enjoy and thank you for reading.

Everyone grew silent. No one stirred. No one moved. Something great was about to happen and the anticipation was growing thick in the air. The angels watched intently as the Creator began his work. God, three in one, took center stage. And like a symphony, before it begins, preparations were made. God had a plan, a piece of music to be played. But of course, all the angels knew that when God steps out like this, it is going to be an amazing sight.

Then he spoke, “Let the show begin. I will build for myself a temple.”

“A temple, what’s a temple?” they all whispered amongst themselves.

“A place where my presence will dwell,” God proclaimed quite boldly.

All the angels looked at each other a bit confused. They thought that the current space they lived in was already God’s dwelling place. So what was this temple He spoke of? God lifted up His hands and his Spirit went forth. And this would prove to truly be an amazing adventure for the angels; because this is the first time they were ever to witness the creation of a whole new world. When they were created, the current world they lived in was already in existence. So this was quite a sight to behold.

The Spirit of the Lord rose up like a great and mighty wind, shaking everything in His path. The trees swayed back and forth. The waters of heaven synchronized. And what seemed completely discombobulating became symphonic. God’s Spirit filled the atmosphere in a different way. It was as if He hovered, just waiting for the first command. All chatter had ceased and everyone’s eyes were focused on God. They awaited the revelation of the Creator’s great plan.

The power of God began to intensify as though preparing to do something big. Finally, everyone was in his place. The wind, brass, string, and percussion instruments were all ready. The Creator had not yet given a command. Not long after, He opened His mouth, lifted both His hands and spoke, “Let there be light,” in a thunderous voice. No sooner than when the words escaped His lips, the most beautiful music arose. Everyone played together in one beautiful harmonic voice. God’s Spirit lit up the sky. It was almost as if the entire atmosphere was on fire. Yet it was not in any way harmful to the multitude of spectators.

This was the beginning of a new atmosphere where the physical realm would exist. This new atmosphere was completely different than any other the angels had ever witnessed. The complexity of physical science was formed, expressing the beauty of the Creator’s heart in a new way. And though the bodies of the angels had been enveloped in this creation process, they were certainly aware that their feet had not left heaven. These two realities where somehow overlapping.

God spoke again and His Spirit moved and the earth was formed. The entire congregation of angels gasped at the sight. Then God uttered another command, “Let there be light.” And there it was. But this light was not like the first light. This light seemed like a great smoke at first, and then it became dense and eventually formed what is now the sun. These physical things were certainly not of the same bodies as the angels, yet they declared the glory of God loudly.

The Creator created many planets in many different varieties and forms. He set them all in their orbit around their sun. There was one particular planet called Earth, God allowed His Spirit to hover over its waters. Then He meticulously formed and created the land and the sea. He created vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and trees that bore fruit. Then there was one particular area on the planet the Creator called Eden. And in Eden, he planted a beautiful garden. He allowed his Spirit to flourish that garden and when it was all complete, he inspected the work himself and made sure everything was good.

The angels know what it is like to serve the true and living God. They know what it is like to be directed by Him. They know what it was like to go where He bids them to go and come where He commands them to come. And it has always been their pleasure to execute the will of Almighty God. After all, it was for that purpose they were created.

But when God stepped down on planet earth and he formed man with his very hands. When God breathed the breath of life into man, He made man in the image of himself. The angels wondered with great amazement: what is man that you are mindful of him. What is man that you crown him with glory and honor? What is man that you give him free will? What is man that you give him your creation to have dominion? What is man that you love him?

“It is my nature to love,” God replied. Well, it all makes sense now. Humanity is the offspring of God. They are the beloved children of God. He wants a class of creatures who would love Him by their own free will. “Yes, and though the world they are living in is completely unruly, I have placed my Spirit within them and have given them my power to subdue it,” God looked around with a bright smile on his face. “Oh, how wonderful it will be when they realize their full potential within me.”

“These men and women are my children. They are my image on this earth and I have given them the fullness of my glory. When the rest of creation sees them, it will be as if they are seeing me because my glory will be upon them. And though evil ones arise from among you,” a gasp of surprise came from the entire crowd.  “Yes, many of you will betray me. Evil ones from among you will tempt many of my children away from me. They will dishonor me by corrupting my divine image in my creation. The mind of men will become clouded with sin, their spirit corrupted with darkness and they will lose sight of me their Father. As a result, many of my children will lose sight of who they are. But many of them will come looking for me. I made them to have intimate relations with me. So when they hunger, when they are sad, when they feel pain, it will be a reminder that they were made for intimacy with their Father, Lover, King, and Friend. Their true purpose can only be found in me. And when they come, I will hold them in the safety of my arms.”

The Lord turned towards the entire congregation of heaven. “I am sending my word, my eternal power that brought everything into existence. His name will be Jesus. He is my unique Son, the radiance of my glory, and the exact representation of my being. Even though my glory cannot dwell with sinful man, I will not leave man without an image of me in the earth. Jesus will be their roadmap back to me. He will be the blueprint for their lives. He will be the lighthouse for those who are lost at sea. He will show them the way to my presence and introduce the Holy Spirit to dwell within them. He will show them the fullness of my glory, the way, the truth, and the life. He is the King of Glory”

 

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[Short Story] Needed to be Loved

This story has inspired so many people to see love differently. This story is a fresh taste of love told in an unconventional way.

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She looked into his eyes and became lost in his eternity. Her heart fluttered like a thousand little butterflies in the bright of spring. “My love,” she whispered. But not a word came out of his mouth. Yet she knew how he felt. He loved her and it was all in his eyes. Her eyes immediately filled up with tears, as her heart overflowed with a joy that was unspeakable. She stepped in closer to him and wrapped her arms around him, holding him tightly. He could not escape her grasp, but he did not want to. Tears were running down her face and her ears were pressed firmly against his chest. His warmth was radiating and his heart was racing. His arms closed in around her, saturating her with his love. She had never been so happy to see her husband, lover, and friend. She felt closer to him than ever before.

And without a thought or effort, without a trace, all her pain was washed away. All the people who used her, in an instant, did not matter. The bitterness of being lied to and disappointed suddenly disappeared. She did not have to do anything but accept his love. There were no other obligations but just to allow her husband to really love her. And though it was an initial struggle for her, his true intentions were apparent when he came to her rescue. And who would have thought to rescue a whore? Who would have thought to listen to the heart’s cry and prayers of a woman broken in spirit? There was no innocence in her. Her virginity was taken long ago. She was used and unwanted. Yet when she called out, “I just want somebody to love me,” he answered and came running.

He was a respectable man in the community. He had done many things in the name of our Lord and is seen as a righteous and holy man. People often looked to him for counsel and advice; he was held in high esteem. Yet, that meant nothing when compared to his love for her. So what pain he must have felt when he found out where his wife was. She was back in the arms of her former lovers; those who paid to use her. She was caught up in the web of lies her mother bore her into. This depraved life was her only truth and he knew that. He knew her struggles and still, he loved her. He knew her shame and yet he held her close. He knew her affections had a split personality. Sometimes she wanted him and other times she felt the pull back to the life of the Red Light District. Yet his mind was exclusively on her and her alone. He grabbed his leather trench coat and hit the streets; his destination, the Red Light District. He wanted his wife back and he was prepared to fight to get her.

On his way there, the people who knew him recognized him and the chatter began. The rumors flew, “Isn’t he married? Why is he heading to the Red Light District?” Those who knew him personally and the predicament he was in advised him, “Please don’t do this. You can easily get a quiet divorce and be done with her. There are better women out there.” Others started to say, “His wife is a whore.” And others chimed to confirm, “I knew there was something wrong with him. No one is that perfect.” It got out over the social media and grapevines and his reputation took a steep decline. But matter the price, no matter the consequences, his love would not say no.

He sought her in the storefronts where she would be on display. He walked quickly, looking for that familiar face and figure. But she was nowhere to be found. He pulled a picture out of his wallet and started to ask questions, “Have you seen this woman? Have you seen this woman? She is my wife, have you seen her? I know she is around here somewhere.” Then finally a man stepped out of one of the stores. He was quite big in stature. He was about 6’5” and had a rather large stomach. When he stepped out he had a handkerchief he was using to wipe the sweat from his forehead. The husband stepped quickly towards the man and showed him the picture of his wife, “did you see this woman in that store?” The man with a big grin on his face replied, “I was just with her.”

Anger and jealousy rose up within him and he stepped past the man almost knocking him out of the way and ran into the store. To the first person, he saw he said, “I want this girl.” The attendant pointed towards room number eight. He stepped into the room, closed the door behind him, and walked in slowly. The room was very shabby, as though there was no effort in putting it together. There was a double bed off to the side and it had a red veil as a canopy. There was a woman lying in the bed with her arms out wide as though she was tired and resting, just like his wife would do when she was tired. The woman became startled as though she fell asleep and was awaken suddenly. His wife was always a light sleeper. The woman spoke slowly as though she was drunk, “please, just allow me 10 minutes to freshen up. You can have a seat.

“Marie? Is that you?” her husband asked.

“John?” she replied with a shocked sound in her voice. She grabbed one end of the sheet and tried to cover herself. He walked over to the bed and pulled the veil and there was his wife completely naked and bruised. She had dark circles beneath her eyes. And though the sheets were pink and red, he could clearly see that there was blood on them.

The pain of seeing his beloved in this way set off in him what seemed like an eternal pain. Marie could not look at him; she tried to hide her face as the shame of her activities finally made itself apparent. She started to breathe heavily and she cried out, “John I am so sorry.” John took off his leather trench coat, reached out to his wife and picked her up by the hand. He used his trench coat and wrapped it around her. He picked her up and started to carry her out of the store.

But as he was walking out, there came a rustling from the back. Word had gotten to the owner that one of his workers was leaving before her contracted time. “Where do you think you are going? She has a contract with me,” the owner exclaimed.

John replied, “She is my wife and I am taking her out of this God-forsaken place.”

“Well you must first satisfy the contract, or else I will call the authorities.”

“How much,” John angrily replied.

“Well, she has three years of service left in her contract, and she averages 36k per year, so you do the math” the owner nastily said.

John gingerly put his wife down to sit on a chair near the exit. He pulled out his cell phone and called his assistant, “I want you to transfer 108 thousand dollars to this account.” He passed the phone to the store owner, “give him your account number.” The store owner gave John’s assistant the numbers, the call ended, and the store owner handed him the phone back. “And if you come near my wife or anyone in my family for that matter, you will be sorry.” John turned and picked up his wife, “You’re going to pay for everything you did to her.”

“I felt as though I had nowhere to go. I just could not escape,” the tears started running down Marie’s face again.

“I know baby, but you are safe now.” John got his cell phone again and called his assistant, “get me a car, at the entrance of the Red Light District, I want to go to the hospital.”

At the worst time in her life, he still loved her. Though she was not faithful he still paid her ransom. He took her, washed and cleaned her wounds, and loved her the way she needed to be loved.

Chp 5 Like Mother, Like Daughter – DYTYMWLM

These are the first 5 chapters of my first novel, Do You Think Your Mother Would Like? which you can read online completely FREE!

Chapter 5: Like Mother, Like Daughter

“Ma,” Sylvia looked sheepishly over to her passenger seat where she could see the gray starting to slowly litter her mother’s hair. Her mother, Sophia Ramirez, was beautiful. But it would seem with every passing year, that beauty was fading a lot quicker than she had seen in women her age. She was a tough woman, able to take the world’s burden on her shoulders. But even the strongest beasts of burden eventually get tired. Sofia was certainly tiring.

“Why did you come? I didn’t even call you,” Mom said in a tone which sounded more than a little displeased.

“Well if you didn’t want me to come then why did you get in the car?” Sylvia rebutted.

“Don’t you dare talk to me like that. I raised you all by myself, with no help from your worthless father. So don’t you ever dare think I need your help,” Mom said.

“Ma really? Why do we have to go through this every single time I see you,” Sylvia said with anger bubbling inside.

“If my car wasn’t in the shop, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.

“The fact is ma, your car is in the shop and because I came by, you don’t have to walk nor take the bus home. Can’t you just be grateful for that?”

“I’ll be grateful when you don’t come and pick me up in a slut mobile. You’re putting that sweet boy of yours in, in, in…” her voice stuttered with anger.

“In what ma, in with what,” Sylvia’s voice climbed.

“You’re a disgrace,” Mom finished with a final blow. Sylvia rolled eyes, dismissing her mother’s words. She knew her mother to be a bitter woman, but that did not stop her words from stinging. She placed the car in reverse and started pulling out of the parking lot of the Bank of America where Mom worked.

“Too bad I didn’t have a mom to teach me how not to be a disgrace,” Sylvia muttered under her breath, actually hoping her mother didn’t hear it. There were already too many hurtful words. Under any other circumstance, if it were anyone else, Sylvia would not have stood for it. But her mother reminded her of Joshua. Her little Josh, who at first she couldn’t have cared less about; though she wanted to. Looking back now, she felt as though she did not have the capacity to love anything or anyone back then. She felt incapable of giving love and also unable to receive it. She had made so many mistakes and Josh bore the brunt of it. He was practically an orphan. Sylvia didn’t even know who his father was. That truth held her tongue; instead she would take the lashes her Mom dished out. The truth held her still, because kicking this seething cesspool of bitterness, aka Sofia Ramirez, out of her car might actually endanger the safe haven she’d created for Josh. The reality is Sophia, mother of Sylvia Garnet, was more of a mother to Josh than she had been. She was always out doing her thing, making that money, financially supporting Josh, by fattening the pocket of this aging greedy insufferable woman. Sylvia’s knuckles went white as her grip on the steering wheel tightened. She understood that Josh and Sofia, and everyone else had full right to hate her. After all she was a no good slut, a whore, a body for hire.

“Ma, I know you hate me and that’s fine. So I’ll figure out a way to take Josh full time,” Sylvia calm resolve took over.

“I don’t hate you,” Sofia snapped back. Hate might have been too strong a word. After all, a good Catholic woman like Sofia doesn’t hate. How dare she even consider Sophia, her mother, of all women, with such harsh discontent. “I just hate the demon in you.”

“Mom, I haven’t heard the words ‘I love you’ in God knows how long,” Sylvia’s voice pleaded. First time for everything she thought to herself. This was never a subject these two were prone to discuss.

“Oh stop, what difference does it make anyways,” Mom again snapped. Her face was in a pout as she looked out the passenger side window.

“What do you mean what difference does it make? You’re my mom. You are my mother, doesn’t that mean anything?” Sylvia replied, voice cracking. The jumbled thoughts irritated her tear ducks, causing them to burn.

“What difference does it make when all you do is go and find love in some other man’s bed,” Sofia said in a softer voice. “I never intended for you to turn out this way. Even though your father left me, I had you all for myself. You were mine. You were always mine. Mine to protect and to keep safe. I prayed to God that you wouldn’t fall into the same crap I fell into when I was your age. But you just ended up in worse,” Sofia said then sighed. “He needs you Sylvia. That boy, Joshua, really needs you. Not your money and not a new toy or video or computer. He needs his mother.”

“I’ve been trying my best to provide for him,” Sylvia’s words felt inadequate. At this point, she was like a horse running on heart. No physical strength to go on, there was only pride. “He doesn’t even want me around.”

“He is your son, you’re not allowed to give up on your son,” Sofia said, the words catching in her throat. Sylvia noticed the profound revelation in Sofia’s eyes. She had given up on Sylvia. The night she got the call from the Miami-Dade Police Department was probably one of the worst nights in Sofia’s life. The MDPD had called and asked if she knew this 5 feet 2 inches female with black hair. Sofia knew her daughter to be the rebellious thrill seeker, much like she had been, so she expected this call. Sofia never imagined that Sylvia would have ended up in the hospital. At the time Sofia worked nights at Walmart so she would be able to drop Sylvia to school and pick her up. But Sylvia had gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd and was now failing high school. Sofia was so angry. Sofia worked so many hours to provide, thinking that Sylvia would be a good girl and do what she’s supposed to. The call from the MDPD sent Sofia rushing to the hospital. Her heart was in her mouth as she saw her 15 year old girl, hooked up to tubes. The doctors told her that Sylvia’s heart had stopped and they had to use a defibrillator multiple times to get it going again. Sofia thought that maybe this would be the wake up call Sylvia needed. She thought this would get Sylvia on the straight and narrow. She had hoped and thought for certain that this was a sign from God for her daughter to be the good girl she was meant to be, but to her surprise, Sylvia was pregnant. Sylvia, the immature, lack luster, fun seeking, back talking, angry, and rebellious child of hers is bringing another human being into the world. Another mouth to feed, Sofia had thought. Here comes another person to take care of. To make matters worse, Sylvia started hanging with the same crowd that got her into this mess to begin with and Sofia was left to pick up the pieces. But she was tired of picking up the pieces. She was tired of always being the old lady everyone took for granted. Tired of shouldering the burdens. And now she had allowed her spoiled rotten daughter to run over her and take advantage of her love. If she wanted to go wreck her life, Sofia would stand aside and let her. Sofia had given up and she knew that she was in no position to say otherwise. “He needs you, be there for him,” Sofia said and again turned her head towards the window feeling the conviction of her own choices.

This has been the fifth chapter of “Do You Think Your Mother Would Like Me?” I Hope you’ve enjoyed these chapters. The story only gets better from here. Get the the full book completely free below.

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Discover 7 Ways to Capture and Keep Great Ideas

This is a continuation from the previous post, “3 Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality.” If you didn’t read it yet, please head back and take a look. Otherwise, we’re off to the races.

1. Write It Down

Do you have a dream? Write it down. Make sure it’s on paper (or on some kind of note taking app). There are probably hundreds of products out there to help us write our ideas down. The very app (Evernote) I am writing this post on now is designed to capture your ideas and thoughts on the fly. Whether on my phone, tablet, or laptop I have a note accessible to me to jot down my ideas. I have very dangerously (kids, don’t try this at home), pulled out my phone while driving in order to audibly capture an idea. However you do it (hopefully not dangerously), capturing that idea, writing it down, recording it or even taking a picture of the thing that sparked the idea is very important. Don’t let it escape.

2. Don’t Go to Sleep

For some reason, many great ideas come to me before bed. Because it’s such an amazing idea, I use to think that there was no way I’d forget this wonderful thought. Then in the morning I get up and remember I had a great idea but have no clue of what the idea was. The details of the idea just pick up and leave.

3. Pen & Paper

For some reason, whenever I am writing a song, using pen and paper always seems to help get things flowing. I’ve known writers to actually pull over to the side of the road to physically write down the ideas tumbling around in their heads. Physical writing, in itself, can be a source of inspiration. If you haven’t given it a try in a while, give it a go and see how well it works for you. I heard someone say something of this sort:

4. WARNING: Don’t Starve the Muse!

If you refuse to pay attention to the inspiration flowing into you, you will not only lose the idea, but future inspirations will certainly go without warning. It’s almost as if you’re training your subconscious to not listen to creativity. We need creativity in all the areas of our lives. Our imagination is one of the most powerful tools and ally we have and ignoring it is not a good thing. Even if the idea is rubbish, don’t ignore it. Some of my greatest productions arrived from rubbish ideas being worked until it becomes something useful. A diamond in the rough is a stone like many others, but once shaved, sanded, and shined, its true worth comes forth.

5. Focus

Just as in the previous post, one of the benefits of writing down your dream, your vision, and/or goals is adding greater focus. Focus cannot be overstated here. I read somewhere something of this sort:
Be the river and not a flood
Writing down that dream, idea, or thought helps you to chart the path of your stream. A stream becomes refreshment to the animals, villages, and people around. Do you realize that dams, which provide power for thousands, are powered by rivers? Rivers are pathways which lead you to something. On the other hand, a flood brings destruction in its path. It is not the result of planning, it is not the result of a natural flow. Floods are often the result of natural disasters which only destroy. Hence, it important to focus and write those thoughts down, become that stream or river and flow with purpose; not the unplanned random destruction of a flood.

6. Sort It Out

One little tip I picked up from Michael Hyatt is to sort through those ideas. In my Evernote, I currently have a Ideas notebook. That notebook is full of small sparks that come in like lightning across my brain. Many times at the moment I’m super excited about them and think they are great. But give it a week, go back, and read over those ideas. You’ll realize sometimes that they are not as good as you originally thought.
There are other times I will go back and read the idea over and am floored that I even came up with such a masterpiece. But if I didn’t write it down and simply forgot about it, then I might have never retained that idea.

7. Look at it

There is no sense in writing it down if you don’t actually go back and look at the idea. Set aside a time when you go back and look at the ideas that you’ve gathered. It’s exciting to come up with new ideas, but don’t get hooked on the thrill move beyond it. Weeding through them can be more like a patient treasure hunt.
I really thought this was gonna be short, but please bear with me…
Do you ever think why so many apps have these dang notifications? Those things that drain the life out of your battery and shorten that claimed 20 hours battery to a mere 1.5 hours. Notifications get you coming back to that app for more. Look at your most used apps and see if the reason you use them is not related to the notifications. We have to treat our ideas and those thoughts like notifications. Once you get that prime idea figured out, put it somewhere you can see it. Put it out in the open. Put it on a sticky note on your computer screen. Edit your computer/tablet/phone wallpaper so you see it where ever you go. Keep coming back to it. Revisit it over and over again.
I’ll stop right here. But these thoughts should certainly get you going for the next blog in the Start Something series!

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Whats Going On! – Sept 25, 2017

What’s going on you ask?

I have a few new projects I am currently working on.

  • I am currently working on a short story for a competition.

    • The top contestants will receive the opportunity to publish their stories in a short story anthology. Once the competition has ended and the decision has been made, I might release my entry on anovelescape.com, read fiction online section and it will also be available as an ebook on Amazon and complimentary to my email subscribers.
  • In other news, I am also starting a new web novella

    • which I plan to release for your reading enjoyment, again, on anovelescape.com, in the read fiction online section. I haven’t yet decided on a title for this work. Therefore, at the end of the series, I plan to get it professionally edited and released as an ebook. I will have various competitions and votes taken for titles, book covers, and other decisions I might not be inclined to make on my own (or just being too lazy). To sweeten the deal, I plan to give away Amazon & iTunes gift cards for simply giving your opinion.

This has been “Whats Going On!”

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