Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving, What does it really mean?

Thanksgiving, What does it really mean?

We all know the history about the Pilgrims who held the first fateful Thanksgiving celebration to give thanks for their harvest, survival and new life. A nearby Indian tribe was invited to celebrate with the settlers and that Thanksgiving day lasted three days.

However, Thanksgiving today has lost some of that meaning. Usually around this time of year the stores gloss over the Thanksgiving holiday and focus on Christmas. One of their biggest shopping seasons of the year, which out shadows the true beauty of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, a pre-cursor to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza is drowned out by the onslaught of Black Friday – the most fevered shopping day of the year.

For me Thanksgiving has been especially special. I have so much to be thankful for. Never in a million years as a girl who had teenaged parents, who lived in the littered streets of the city would I have dreamed this life up. After fighting through so many obstacles I would have never imagined being a wife, a mother, an engineer and an author. Through all of those difficult struggles I have become so strong, so assured and so determined that I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my life. It made me who I am, and I am still a little in awe of it all. My life is proof that good things can happen in spite of a difficult childhood and trials.

I hope you look at Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful to be alive, a time to renew a desire to reach for the stars, and a time when your realize that you can do or be anything thing.

Monday, November 9, 2009


When I sit down to write my novels from a teenaged perspective, I have a lot of material to pull from. I was called all sorts of names, teased, and jeered at. I wasn’t the lowest on the totem pole, but I was somewhere near the bottom middle of the middle school pecking order. Yet, through these experiences I learned something about myself. I was a survivor and I was never a follower.


The kids in my neighborhood would spend tons of time making up games. One we played was truth or dare. Usually I wasn’t invited to play because I was the youngest kid in the neighborhood. However, this particular time, they allowed me to play seemed like the best day of my life. I was going to play with the big kids, and no longer follow behind them. That day, nitaworm had arrived, and she was on top of her little world.


The game went on as usual. Dare’s were made, secrets were told and the bottle spin. Finally, it was my turn. My moment, my acceptance, and then it came. The kid that had made the last spin, looked at me with a sneaky grin, and I knew immediately that I was doomed.


“I dare you to eat this beetle!” the kid said. I gulped. Then I compared the penalty for not going through with a challenge. The penalty was to let every kid spit in your face. The decision was difficult, the choices were both gross. However, I refused to be made to eat something that I didn’t want.


At that moment of recognition, I felt strong and fierce. Ok, no really I was scared to death. However, I stood and said , “I renege on the dare!”. There were gasp, snickers, and whispers. I held my ground, stuck out my chest and licked my lips. “You know what that means don’t ya?” the kid with the dead fat beetle snickered.

“Yeah, and I don’t care!” I said, and swallowed as a tear ran from my eye. Man I was so angry. The other kids bustle to stand in line in front of me. Never before in our game of Truth or Dare had someone challenged their fate. I was the first, and they relished in the chance to demean me further.

There I stood, as each kid gathered as much saliva in their mouths as possible and spit in my face. My eyes closed as I felt the thick, cool, wet globs slide from my forehead, down my nose to my lips. I held back a gag.

Finally, it was over. My best-friend, who was last in line did a fake spitting sound that held little or no power. Then she took out a tissue and wiped my face.

“Why didn’t you just do the dare?" she asked.

“I opened my eyes and smiled at her then said, “Cause I didn’t want to.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Vampire Fetish

I have a confession to make. I love vampires. I have loved the idea of a gorgeous, strong, sexy creature such as a vampire every since I was a teenager. I used to read a lot of vampire books, but fell head over heels in love with the Vampire Louis. Then of course, Louis' whining got to me and I went for the bad boy, Lestat. Oh, as I prepared to watch Twilight with my daughter (who didn't like the books, but wanted to see the movie) I watched all the Vampire movies I could snag on cable. I started with Vampire in Brooklyn, Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Damned, 30 days of Night, Underworld, From Dusk til Dawn, Brams Stoker's Dracula, Fright Night Van Helsing, Blood the last Vampire, Vamp, Blade, Bordello of Blood and ended with Twilight. Yes, I watched them all over a 2 week period.

Although they all were the same I was intrigued with them all. However, I must admit my favorites were 30 days of Night, Blade, Blood the Last Vampire, and Underworld. I just like the kick butt, violent yet intriguingly sexy vampires.

I can't wait to see the second Twilight movie New Moon.