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DAILY READ: Covenant Relationships

But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with y...

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Revisited

Hello Folks,

As you may or may not know, I'm a former bookstore owner who didn't have a backup plan for 9/11. Between leftover inventory and my personal collection…I've got waaaay too many books lying around my apartment and storage room, just gathering dust. Looking at my bank statement and looking at the shelves of books, I decided that it made no sense to hold onto them. So welcome to my clearance sale!

Just to get the ball a-rolling, I've listed a mixture of old, new and in-between items at Amazon.com with prices ranging from $0.20 to $39.50. These items will also be listed on a new blog I'm in the process of creating.

Why a blog and Amazon.com you ask? Well, I utilized Amazon for its quick uploading and wide customer base. Unfortunately, said ease of loading and wide customer base comes with a cost: $0.99 per item sold, as well as a 15% commission on the sale price.

The way I see it, although the blog will take longer to upload the items, when all the work is said and done, it will be a better proposition from your point of view, because the prices of the items will be 15% lower.

Take a look around, if you see anything you like, email me or post a comment. Let’s see if we can help each other out.

Btw...did I mention that subscribers will receive an additional 10% discount? Yes, you will!

In addition, to offset my angst at the inconsistencies with which we celebrate the season (imho), on top of my customary tithe, I'll be donating an additional 10% to my church's Mission Fund.

If you see something you like, be sure to share the good news with a friend...


Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanks For My Memories

You might have noticed that there was no "Happy Thanksgiving" post from me.

As I sat in my chair early yesterday morning attempting to compose a cheerful, upbeat, gosh-darned-glad-to-be-alive post. It just wouldn't come. Whilst I am glad to be alive and not unduly saddened, this year I seem to be undergoing a "what now" phase.

I didn't want to run down the usual list (life, health, strength, family, job), yet I didn't want to appear as though I wasn't thankful, which I am. I then recalled a recent revelation I had while writing a portion of my book-in-progress, which for the purpose of this post I'll title, "Thanks for My Memories" :

Saturday, November 12, 2005
6:46 a.m.

Are You there, God? It’s me, Diane…

This was a particularly harrowing week. It was open enrollment at work and I caught a stomach bug of some kind on Wednesday and couldn’t call in sick because the rest of the folks in my department were out on benefit fairs or meetings about benefits for the year 2006.

As the only African American in my location, great pains were taken to ensure that I was given an opportunity to attend any of the fairs I wanted, to represent the department. At this stage in my work, I really don’t want to meet and greet, all I can think about is the mounds of work awaiting my return.

Either they’re different from all the other companies with which I’ve worked or just really clever.

On Monday past, my supervisor got me a Temp, three days a week, hours 9-3. Thank You God. She doesn’t need much hand holding. We get along like a house on fire and she’s even born in August as well. I knew someone was coming because I saw, what they probably thought were discreet, arrangements being made.
(Computer set up, phone set up etc.)

I just wondered if it would be my replacement or some help. Now that she’s here, I still wonder whether she’s my assistance or replacement, but I’m not too worried, because I know you wrote somewhere that no weapon formed against me will prosper.

I also think my co-worker is jealous or upset or whatever. She hasn’t come out and given me any attitude, but I sense that at the back of her mind is the thought. "How come she gets a Temp?" Could you, would you do something about that please? Send her a message--something. Let her know that it’s not about her, but about the work getting done? Unless she’d like to stop doing what she’s doing, to come assist me? Thanks.

Oh and one more thing? It’s November 12th. I know You know what day it is because You created the time structure and all. But, taking an example from You, You know how You always repeat things of importance? Well, it’s November 12th and the holidays are coming up. Except for a few bad days throughout the year, holidays are really hard for me. What with depression, assessments of my status quo (which is always a disappointment) and the absence of a man. There I said it…absence of a man.

Maybe it’s all the happy coupled people in the commercials, maybe it’s watching my sister and her husband, or my co-workers, bustle around busily. It seems as though the more they bubble and bustle, the emptier I become inside.

I’m not jealous, really I’m not…I got over that some years ago. But at these times, I’m more aware of how different my life is from theirs. I seem to have been fighting being different all my life, which I’ve learned, is a good thing in Your eyes, but sometimes, it’s just so hard.

The overweight thing, I’ve gotten used to and realize that griping about it won’t solve it, unless I get off my butt and start walking again and cut back on my intake. The shortage of funds, that doesn’t even bother me so much anymore, because it seems that with the little I make now, I tithe, pay the bills, repay my family,
provide for my daughter and still, I have left over. I know that’s all you God, because I wouldn’t even have this job, if you hadn’t decided it was the job for me. I’ve seen the resumes of the other candidates who applied for the job and eighty percent of them blew me out of the water.

Btw…did I say thanks for the miracle you performed with the TransitCheks situation last month? If not…Thank You God!

It’s like I become this outsider, watching the world go by. I know Christmas is coming, I know without the birth of Your Son Jesus, I would be in even more of a pickle than I am now. But it seems that everything has become so routine, that at times I just don’t want to do it anymore. Nooo…I don’t mean, not celebrate Jesus’ birthday, I mean the way we do it.

Sing this carol here, shop for this present there, exchange presents there, and act like we care about the poor and the needy. (Like if they go away for the other 364 days of the year). Not that I mind doing any of the above, it’s just that I want the special feeling to return.

You know–when I couldn’t wait for Christmas to come, largely for the presents, but also for the gathering of family members from East, West, North and South. We’d sit around and tell stories and rehash memories…

Memories! That’s it isn’t it? Every time I start to feel empty, I should start thinking of all the progress I’ve made, all the people who love me, all the people who need love and what I can do the help others, instead of thinking about me right?

It’s like when we used to do the food pantry at church. The feeling of bliss that used to fill me up when the day was all over, despite the fights, arguments and accusations of the very same people we were trying to help.

Thank you God! As always, talking with you makes me feel better. Oh wait, I’m supposed to say through Jesus Christ our Lord, right about here…right? Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Look What I Found Now!

No...not another NaNoWriMo gadget. A blog award just for women! I read about it in Eph2810's feed. So actually, it would probably be more accurate to state, Look What Found Me!

My thoughts ran the gamut of, why we gotta have our own contest, we quitting? I'm not a wuss, I can and have competed with guys all my life! Which was quickly followed by...yup, and that's probably why you're up at 5:14 a.m. writing a post for your blog!

For the many excellent blogs there are out there written by men and women--there just aren't enough awards to go around. Rewards, in the form of a life saved, a captive freed, hope renewed, maybe...but how can the reward occur if no one knows they are there? (The Blogs, that is).

So while the latent, competetive, tomboy in me thinks, we don’t need no stinking separate award! The spirit of Malcolm X whose motto was "By any means necessary" reminds me that in the process of voting for the blogs, they must be read which is the reason they're written after all. Therefore the award becomes another avenue through which I can spread the message of Love.

So, without further ado I present:

The 2005 Blogs of Beauty Awards

Created by Sallie of TwoTalentLiving.com in an attempt to equalize the playing field for Women Bloggers with content of quality who might otherwise be overlooked in the 2005 Weblog Awards. (Nominations close November 26, 2005)

The nominations for the 2005 Blogs of Beauty Awards will close on Tuesday, November 29, 2005, at 8:00 p.m. EST. If you'd like to nominate a blog as reader or author, for detailed instructions click here.

I [nominate Dee] could [nominate Dee] never be [nominate Dee] crass enough [nominate Dee] to suggest, [nominate Dee] nay beg [nominate Dee] that you [nominate Dee] nominate me [nominate Dee], but I'm [nominate Dee] not averse [nominate Dee] to subliminal [nominate Dee] messages. LOL.

Seriously though, do use this opportunity to put in a plug for your favorite blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

How Ya Like Meh Now?

Okay people, I now have two volunteers, I just need one more. *looking around...let's see...who will it be?*

As you can see by the nifty little progress meter below...I'm rolling right along, 50,000 by 11/30 or overeat trying!

Conversations With God

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,550 / 50,000

NaNoWriMo Update & Request

Hey Folks,

I have managed to write myself into a headache...I have been in such a writing frenzy since I got the latest epiphany. Book number one has been tabled to be finished at a later date and Book number two Conversations with God is all systems go.

At the time of this post, 4:09 p.m., I'm up to 7,865 words which is amazing, considering how long it took me to get to that point with Love Quest. This doesn't necessarily mean that Conversations with God is all gold so that's where you come in. I'd appreciate it if you'd read an excerpt and let me know your thoughts? (I've included a tiny excerpt below)

Those interested email me and I'll send you the secret "link".

I've already gotten one volunteer and could use two more.

That was the request, now for the excerpt which includes an update I'm sure you've all been waiting for with baited breath:

Thanks Lord, talking it out with you, I feel better already. Oh and did I mention, that I did go apologize to her after looking in the mirror? Yes I did. “I said to her that it was all me, I was cranky and she did nothing wrong.”

I didn’t believe it at the time I said it…but this conversation has showed me that while things are not ideal, talking it over with you as soon as it happens, makes me feel better about things.

Oh and God? I know that you wrote that if I desire anything at all, it should be wisdom, but when fulfilling that request, would you please send me an extra helping patience and understanding?

Thanks again. Talk to you later.

5:05 p.m.

Are you there God? It’s me again Divine…

Today was another crazed day at work. There wasn’t much time for web surfing or email checking, but I did manage to squeeze in some blog explosion surf time. I surf while I do other stuff, I just have to check back periodically for the word go.

I actually got some writing done last night, just not Nano stuff. I think I’m avoiding dealing with the issues I raised in Love Quest. Either that or I’m lazy. What do you think?

Anyway, guess who I saw again today?

I left the office a little later than yesterday because after the debacle of last month I absolutely had to get those TransitCheks out to the New York employees via Fed Ex.

I hustled on up the block, shuffling in some spots and flat out running in others, which was enough to make me begin to wheeze. (That’s another thing…wheezing? I lived in New York for 21 years, slight allergies and nothing else…I move to Pennsylvania, of the open air, green trees and oneness with nature and in under two years I’m carrying around an inhaler…you surely do have a sense of humor).

As I got to the corner near the bus stop I spotted the red jacket that signaled my silent buddy of yesterday was there ahead of me again. Call me wicked or mischievous, if you will, but I began searching my mind for today’s aria.

Just the thought of it gave me a second wind and I practically skipped across the street in glee.

To my disappointment, when I said a cheerful and quite audible hello, he actually looked at me and lip synched, hello, before turning back to contemplate what I'm sure was a quite fascinating wall of the pizzeria across the street.

So I just pulled out my trusty composition book and penned this update because I’m sure you wouldn’t have wanted to miss today’s episode.

Much more of this and we’ll soon be bosom buddies!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Then There Were Two!

Okay, maybe it's the lack of sleep, or my fractured thought patterns...but I couldn't stand it anymore and now there are two, count 'em--two books in progress, each with their own nifty little meters.

Book No. 1 - Already in Progress - Working Title: Love Quest

Heyyy, no snickering, it's a novel!

Book No. 2 - Begun Today - Working Title: Conversations With God

Building on the slew of thoughts spurred by my re-reading of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret of last Friday.

Love Quest

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter

8,965 / 50,000 (17.9%)

Conversations With God
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3,065 / 50,000

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Look What I Found!

A word count meter! If you'd like one of your very own click here:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,682 / 50,000

My word count is below the projected bar, but after attending a NaNoWriMo (you knew the word was gonna come up sooner or later) get together last night. I am rejuvenated! I went home last night and scrapped some parts and wrote 1,o78 words before bed.

Yes, I scrapped some, but I figure that was better than starting over.

How are you doing today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Whatcha Reading?

I just read a post in one of my crit groups about a survey showing that the pressure of the literary world being such as it is, “more than one in three consumers in London and the south-east admit having bought a book “solely to look intelligent”, the YouGov survey says it finds one in every eight young people confessing to choosing a book ‘simply to be seen with the latest shortlisted title’ This herd instinct dwindles to affect only one in twenty over-50 year-olds.”

This article brought to mind my bus ride home on Friday night:

Sitting in my front row corner seat, I pored avidly my book as I analyzed just how the author conveyed a certain emotion, how she got her point across without breaking the “show don’t tell” rule. Basically re-reading the book to see why above all books I’d ever read, (except for the Bible) this one book, stood out in my mind, even though I’d read it eons ago.

You know how, you realize that someone is watching you and even though you try to ignore it and are totally focused, you just have to look up to see who it is?

So I’m reading and I can’t take it anymore, I look up, just in time to catch the eyes of a little girl, of about twelve years of age.

She looks at me, looks at the book I’m reading then looks at me again.

Finally, I get it. She’s wondering why an adult is reading a book, clearly marked for a 5th grader. What? Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret is a classic!

Had I not been using the book for research, I would have donated it to her as I left the bus, but…I had a few more chapters to complete.

What I realized is that my writing tone, closely mirrors that of Judy Blume. No I don’t have her skill…yet, but we are both open, and not afraid to push the envelope. Funny how things influence us without our realizing, which is a good argument for monitoring what our children are exposed to.

Btw…re-reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, spurred a post the next day, which I don’t really want to expose to all and sundry, but if one of my regulars would like to read, email me and I’ll send you the link to the post.


Monday, November 14, 2005

NaNoWriMo Update & New Look

Hello Folks,

As you can see, I got colorful for the holidays. This is my Thanksgiving rendition. In the meantime, I'll be scoring the web for a Christmas look. So if you see anything that looks like me, don't be shy--forward it to me!

As to NanoWriMo:

I am so stuck, it's not even funny. First I was busy at work (still am), then I was sick, Wednesday through Friday. Got healed on Saturday (it was a miracle!)

I hope to jumpstart again tomorrow when I attend a local NaNoWriMo get together. Either that's a great support group thingy, or we all need to get a life...lol.

Now for my new "I Did It!" moment or as I coin it my "Non-Confrontational Solution of the Day"--

As I hustled to the bus stop, I took in great gusts of air, thankful that my workday was over. Arriving at the bus stop I said hi to the guy on the bench reading the newspaper. No response. I seated myself and said hello, a little louder. Again, no response, it then dawned on me that this guy couldn’t “hear” me.

No worries, I love a good warble anyways. I began singing a Mariah Carey song, as I whipped out my trusty composition book, no not to continue my Nano count, but to write up this rough draft.

I sang without cessation for the entire ten minute wait for the bus. While I sang, the thought occurred, what if he really is hearing impaired and you’re just tripping?

To test my theory, I hit a particularly bad note, and then smirked to myself as out of the corner of my eye, I saw him wince. Hehehe…whaddaya know? No hearing problems.

When the bus arrived, you should have seen him hightail it to the very back of the bus.

My mama always said that there is more than one way to skin a cat or a pig.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Un-Churched Black Men, Part II, or, Where the Men at in the Churches? Part II

Nation of Islam and Christianity

Well, I tried to stay away from this particular topic for a minute, but hey, it’s another Saturday night, and I ain’t got nobody (I think she's out with her Hula Hoop again)…LOLOLOLOL!

Once again, just a thought provoking post. I am NOT the chief representative for “Black Men of BSC”, or black men period. If you find a “Sauktoid” that is false, or not true, please feel free to correct it. I’m not perfect. . .. matter of fact, I tried to walk across a puddle of rainwater yesterday. . .and got my socks wet!

This post is done in "love". . .not meant to hurt anyone. . . so if you have a problem with it, let's sit down and discuss it.

Over ten years ago, as an Ordained Itinerant Deacon in the AME church, I had the privilege of working in a “Sho Nuff Urban Community Church”, in North East Atlanta. The church owned property in the inner city. However, due to the lackadaisical attitudes of the prior Church Officers, they ran their property into the ground. You could tell at one time, the boarded up homes, were well kept and pristine. Not anymore. On a hot summer day, you could smell the stench of drugs, “human waste”, and filth, right in the church parking lot.

At night, even during evening services, you could see cars pulling up to the homes, folks walking in and out, loud music playing, gun shots, pit bulls, etc., etc. Well, us young “Church” folks just gunna do something about it, and stand up for the community. The Atlanta Police Department’s notorious Anti-Everything Officers known as “The Red Dog Unit”, helped us to shut down the crooks, hoodlums, rapscallions, “dregs of the earth”, villains, and hoodrats! We swept the “broken pipes”, copper mesh filters, used needles. . .hosed the buildings down (inside and outside).

Finally, we were able to re-vitalize the houses, and use them for three low income family. Happy ending right?!?!? WRONG!!!! As I’ve grown older, I thought to myself one day. Self, and he responded in a ghetto Arnold Schwarzenegger kinda voice “Huh?” I said, we cleaned up the homes, but what about the people? Surely, unless they got some kinda help, either they perished, or they are still addicted!

What about the woman, who would sell her baby for a hit?
What about the man, who takes his entire paycheck to “Diamond Dog” for his hit?
What about the girl, who is pregnant for the 3rd time, 19 yrs old, and has a Crack Dealer as her baby daddy?
What about the boy, who is the crack dealer, who believes the only way to survive, is to become the “beast of the streets”?

In steps. . . the topic for discussion. . .. the Nation of Islam and the “Church”.

To Be Continued. . .


You may read Part I here...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

NaNoWriMo Update

Yep, you might actually grow to dislike seeing that word, I'll be writing about it for another twenty-five days. Let's see, so far I've managed to find a writing community that caters to Nanoers -- nano.darkescapes.net. You receive FREE access to a blog and a book creating software on the net.

Now you know a sistah has trust issues, so I nicely asked the head honcho "mother" why?

ME: This is soooo cool and I can't keep a secret to save my life! Am I allowed to mention this on my outside blog for other NaNoWriMo bloggers? I know quite a few.

Please advise.


MOTHER: Definitely, you can mention it anywhere.

ME: btw...what gave you the idea for this? And does it cost a lot to maintain?

MOTHER: I've done nano a few times and I know that not everyone can have a blog or webspace of their own so it's a nice way of giving back to the net community for me. My husband and I both do web development so I have server space to use ;)

So there you have it folks. If any of you reading this are blogging your way to NaNo heaven? Give this is a try, the learning curve is not steep at all and mother is a hostess who deserves the mostest. Mostest thanks, mostest kudos and mosetest mention.


What? Oh you mean why am I not typing the great novel? 'Cause y'all didn't sign up to comment and keep me on the straight and narrow...that's why...lol.

Oh, you mean stop stalling and give you a word count? *sigh* Alright, I'm at ****

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Call Me Crazy...

"They say that crazy is defined as someone who repeatedly performs the same actions, expecting a different outcome. So I guess I must be crazy.

I keep on trusting, hoping, reaching out, expecting to find love. I deserve it, don’t I?"

Okay, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I've signed up for NaNoWriMo month (National Novel Writing Month). And I've pledged to complete 175 pages which equals 50,000 words (1666.66 words per *gasp* day) by November 30.

The only problem with that is, I'm not a novel writer. I'm a straight up non-fiction person. So...I have really done it this time. Set myself up to fail...or have I?

Might I not be expanding my horizons, as I did with writing my song? Discovering the hidden talent within?

Anyway...I could use your help. Above is one of the possible openings of the story. I'll be creating a new blog just for the book, and I will send the link via newsletter to y'all (my subscribers). I'm counting on y'all to keep me focussed and tell me gently (y'all know I'm sensitive) what stinks or what needs fleshing out.

I would say wish me luck, but since I'm a Christian, I'll say...pray for me.