Thursday, July 30, 2009

Because it needs to be said again.

Totally ripped this off of Nathan and Elana's blogs.

I read two really good blogs today by Elana and Nathan Bransford

Basically dealing respectively with whether or not writing was worth it and how fellow writer's deal with the whole "Am I crazy for doing this?" that I think we all feel at one point.

I was reading the comments in Elana's blog and while alot of them said some really amazing things, there were a few that really stood out to me.

Michelle Mclean said:

"It isn't the writing that brings me stress. It's the querying, the submissions, the constant and never-ending edits and revisions, striving to get the ms as perfect as I can get it. THAT is what drives me to the ledge and leaves me hanging."

I thought that was profound in a really simplistic way. When it boils down to it--THAT'S what I stress about. Even though I have gotten writer's block, when it's gone...a floodgate of creativity rushes through and the writing is the easiest part.

It's the querying and re-writing and edits and synopsis and all of that which has me wigging out in the middle of the night. It's worrying about if I have the ms formatted in the right way, and if I worded my query exactly right, oh and--how exactly should I do a synopsis. And the fear, the absolute dreading fear that even if I DO do all of that right...agencies STILL might hate it.

And as much as I love writing, just for the writing it would really hurt to feel like all that work was for nothing.

It's just shitty is what it is. But we do it..because we ARE crazy. Every last one of us. And if you say you aren''re in serious denial and I'm calling you out right here and right now. I'm from the ghetto. That's how we do!

Another one that stood out to me was by Suzanne (I don't know her, but I love looking at her blog!)

She said:

"Because right about now, I don't friggen know.

So I am trying to figure it out as well. Sometimes I wish I'd never started. Sometimes I can't believe it took me so long.

There is that quote right? I can't remember who said it: "I write because I must."

That is it right now. Just like breathing. Only right now I have writers pneumonia and each breath feels like knives in my chest. (overly dramatic?)"

No, not overly dramatic. Just true.
I've been there...probably get there again before everything is said and done.

Sometimes this hurts.
Somethings this feels hard.
Sometimes it seems pointless.

But we do it because we're crazy. Because we're artists. Because we love this.

It makes sense, even if we don't.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Truth (it's a long one folks)

On the internet, it is so easy to paint yourself into anything that you want to be and most times, no one would be the wiser. But truth of the matter is that eventually, whether you want to or have to go back out into reality.

For a while now, I've stopped using this place as an escape. Why would I want to escape something for a little while, only to return to the same stuff I was so desperately trying to get away from?

Starting this blog really wasn't my idea. It was my friend Crys's idea.

I had been writing and I wanted to really pursue getting published--like seriously and she suggested this. Really, I would have never thought of it on my own because I was content to posting various short stories on the internet and keeping my work and my stuggle locked in my top drawer.

I had gotten so excited about it and really--blogging became a very important extension of me because it allowed me to really branch out and put myself out there with the big dogs so to speak.

It has allowed me to approach my writing in a way that I never thought possible and for that I am eternally grateful.

Having a blog opens you up to people and a world that you may never have had access to before. You let people into your life because of this need of someone allowing you into theirs.

After a few short months, I surprisingly have a decent amount of followers and I follow LOTS of people. I never expected that. And with that...with the people who read this blog regularly, though I've never met them and maybe never will, I have this profound need to just...let people REALLY know who I am. Or at the very least, give them a bit more insight into my life.

I think that it'll give people a better understanding as to why I write what I write and what I draw from.

I got pregnant in 2007 by a man that really doesn't have the capacity to be anyone's father. But I was in a strange state of mind that even now I can't understand. I remember the events leading up to meeting him, and life was so...horrible at that point that he seemed a means to an end. No more running.

I've never been on drugs. I've never committed any real crime. I only have drinks on my birthday.

But I was a perpetual runner. Life got hard...I ran. That simple. I didn't want to deal--I ran. I'd pack my things in the middle of the night and by morning I'd be gone without so much as a 'by your leave'.

That pregnancy was...horrible. He was horrible. The only light was my daughter and for that alone, I'd do it all over again. My mom likes to tell me that she was the reason for...everything. I couldn't really appreciate life until I had one growing inside of me.

The relationship with him was volatile at best and after a year and a half, I walked away. I took my daughter, packed what little I had and I walked away. I didn't run.

It was difficult. But I got on with my life and I'm still making so many mistakes.

Currently, her father is in jail for domestic violence towards his current girlfriend. I remember picking my daughter up from his mother's house and they would be fighting, and I literally had to pry his hands from around that woman's neck. He even tried to hit her in the face with my daughter's scooter thingie. And I grabbed it in barely a fraction of a second.

I never thought I'd be a 'baby momma' or that woman who's 'baby daddy' was in jail. That's not me.

I never thought I'd be broke and struggling. But it's true. I am. It could be worse. I could be completely content in not doing anything with my life and becoming a statistic.

But c'mon folks--I'm a Leo. And women in my family, we just don't go out like that.

I could be a complete idiot.
I could have no aspirations or dreams.

But I'm not...and I do. And I'm prideful to the point that it's probably a hinderance. There are certain things I won't accept even if it's 'alright for now'.

I could go on for days about my life...but we all have a story. It's what we do with that story and what ending we chose that counts. But I draw from my life experiences because they are so rich, so painful, so beautiful, so

In the first chapter excerpt when Charlie is on the bus...I've BEEN on a hot bus after being gone from home for ages at a time and wanting nothing else but to be home.

Like Charlie, I know what it is to have secrets so painful that they stifle you and to love someone so much that you think you'll die from it.

But in order for me to do make her come alive, I've got to be honest with myself. I've got to be honest with you folks because I want you to know me. Because I want people to like me...respect me even though I can be a seriously fucked up individual sometimes.

I'm wishy-washy, I procrastinate, I'm too sensative and I'm a little selfish when I want to be.

Yeah...I'm writing my manuscript with a notebook and pen. I don't have a stylist laptop and time to go off on my own and write. I write my manuscript while cooking dinner, making sure my daughter doesn't climb out the window, and listening to my boyfriend when he's talking to me.

For the past few days I've been feeling guilty because I've been so wrapped up in writing that I haven't spent as much time with my daugter as I like. I've been barely present in conversations with Eric and I've been moody trying to get this thing done.

Sometimes, to write in quiet...I go into the bathroom and sit on edge of the toilet and use my hamper as a 'desk'. Mr. King wrote about the importance of being able to close the door. It's hard...but it's important.

I write because I have something to prove. I write because it's the one thing I'm really good at. I'd say I'm a great mom...but hell..who really knows that? I'm learning... and most times I don't know what I'm doing, but I'm learning. I write because one day it's really going to get a few people's goats that I actually made something of my self...and believe me I will.

I write because I can tell the truth without stumbling over my words or making apologies.

I write because there really is nothing else out here for a girl like me.

I sincerely appreciate you all for reading this, for taking the time to comment...for just being present. It means SO incredibly much to me. I could never express.

But thank you. Each and every last one of you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Here we go.

So...I figured after a few months it'd be alright for me to post an excerpt of the book I'm writing. Don't worry, it's pretty short. I know I don't like to read long excerpts--my attention span isn't all that impressive really. So, I've erred on theside of caution.

This is the first chapter of Halo. Constructive criticism, advice, feedback are very welcome.


Chapter 1
Louisiana 1943

There was nothing like a Louisiana summer.
The air on that cramped bus was so stifling that one could scarcely breathe without feeling as if they were inhaling pure fire.
Clothes clung to bodies and old women fanned hot air around the bus, adding to the general feeling of irritability and discomfort.
Charlie was as hot as the rest of them; her flower print dress felt like a second skin against her flesh and her carefully applied make up had all but melted down the side of her face. Tendrils of dark hair stuck to the side of her neck and she could have sworn that she could smell herself cooking.
But to her, it was a small thing to bare. She could have stood in the mouth of Hell with Lucifer himself driving that damned bus and her joy wouldn't have faded one little bit. And nothing could take that from her. Not the heat, not the fact that she had been standing up on that bus for nearly an hour, not even the fact that she lost her last five dollars two stops back.

She was going home.

Three days ago exactly, she'd stood in the dark interior of the Negro Dance Troupe studio and claimed her independence from a life and a love that no longer suited her. It had taken less than two sentences for her to realize that she had fallen out of love with him and the life she thought she was destined to have. She wasn't sure when it began to feel foreign to her. Perhaps when the letter had come to her from Mema stating that Elliot returned home from the war in a 'terrible state'. Perhaps it had just been plain old women's intuition letting her know that it was time to go home.
Charlie ignored it for as long as she could, not wanting her Mema's parting words to have any other meaning aside from the usual superstitious nonsense she grew up with. She was a grown woman now, more than capable of making her own decisions--and yet, she was grown enough to know that if she used the good sense God gave her, she would have listened.
"The city ain't no place for a colored girl from the country, Charlemagne. Everything moves too fast and pretty soon you forget which way you intended to go." The old woman had whispered it against her ear in that final embrace right before her train left some six years ago now.
Charlie couldn't remember what her response had been to her grandmother then, but she was certain it was full of youthful naivety that came with being eighteen years old.

"Maybe dancing isn't for you anymore." Michel told her three nights ago in that studio as she iced a sore ankle. Oh for a moment how she hated him and his words! But she didn't say anything. She never said anything. It was his look of bored indifference that solidified the decision that she had been wrestling with for weeks.
"I'm going home Michel." Charlie had said into the silence. A feeling of utter relief spread through her like a cool glass of Mema's sun tea on a hot day. He didn't say anything. She didn't imagine that he would.

Oh, a year ago, his coldness would have hurt. A year ago she was still in love with the idea of being with a French painter--she was still in love with the idea of being his muse. And hell, if nothing else, he had been fun. His sort usually was. There were endless rounds of parties after her dance recitals or after one of his or a friend's successful showing at a local art gallery. Those nights were filled with drinking, dancing and laughter. And at the height of it, Charlie couldn't imagine a more fulfilling existence. She was far away from home and the pain that waited for her there. She was far away from that damned war that seemed to want to put a damper on her happiness and her good times.

But eventually, reality asserted itself into her life. With the sacrifices that everyone was forced to make, the parties became less frequent because things like art and music became less necessary. And soon enough, she and Michel ran out of things to talk about.

He'd said, "I thought you said there was nothing left for you there, cherie." It was spoken as if by some sense of requirement, not because he was particularly concerned that she was leaving.
" There's even less for me here."
" Maybe." And then, almost as an after thought he said, "I think I shall miss you Charlie."
"Oh, but you won't. Not you Michel. You aren't that sort. No regrets, remember? No, you'll miss going to those ridiculous parties we used to drag each other to. You'll miss getting drunk on cheap wine at three in the morning with me. But I think that stopped being enough for us a long time ago."

He had laughed then. Not a her words, but of the memories that her words conjured. Those were easier times for the both of them. They had both been full of youthful optimism and while neither of them had been older than twenty-five, the city had a way of hardening even the most benign of saints. And Charlie needed to leave before it was too late--before she no longer recognized herself.

In the end, they had parted as friends and Michel understood without her having to explain. There were promises made to stay in touch. But that was all.

And three days later, here she was--sweating in the back of some bus wanting nothing more in the whole world than to see home again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flat Characters

Last night I couldn't get much writing done. I was unbelievably tired, but that was no reason to at least not review my work. I'm reading it...and I'm absolutely in love with this Mable character. She jumps out. Immediately, you know where she stands--you know she's not going to take your shit and you just...KNOW her.

But she isn't the main character. Charlie is. And she has absolutely no dimensions. I can admit that because if I can't admit it then I better not expect to get any positive response once I send this out to agents like Janet, or Nathan or a few others I have on my list.

I asked myself "What's her personality like?". And I was like...stuck. It was like "' know?"

Man...for real?

So because I know alot of other writers read this, I'm interested in your ideas of how to give life to a character that actually feels like it's made of paper.

Let me see what you got!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today it was not hot.
It was rainy--very rainy.

I did not have an umbrella.

In attempts to get my daughter in school by Monday, I had her with me.

We were walking to meet mom for lunch, and to check out the school she'll be going to on Monday...and it began to rain.


Really hard.

Realy freakin' unbelievably hard.

Izzy had a little jacket with a hood.

Mommy had nothing.

Mommy's shirt is now see through.

Mommy's bra has a hole in it.

Izzy was cranky because mommy wouldn't let easy play in the mud. Izzy was also angry and confused as to why mommy wouldn't let her frolick through traffic.

Mommy is drenched.
Mommy is not happy.
Mommy is hungry.

Sexy times on a Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dude, seriously

Today was hot.
I had to take Israel with me on errands and she was was really obnoxious. She kept throwing grapes at the birds. Not cool.

She had one moment of cute baby'ness when she made friends with this pudgy little spanish baby around her age. They kept copying one another and then when it was time to leave, they hugged and kiss like they were old friends.

But that was not my 'dude, seriously' moment. That moment came when I was sitting on the bus with my daughter trying to get her settled and this man made a really rude, vulgar comment to me. I was already agitated because I was hot, my bra strap was sliding down, my jeans were too tight and I was thirsty.

I'm not going to repeat what he said, but he thought it was flattering and cute. And I couldn't believe he spoke to me like that in front of my child.

And I said, "Dude (like the title) are you freakin' serious? In front of my kid though?"

Granted, she's 20 months and unless you're shiney, have food, or you make funny noises she isn't going to pay you much attention.

I've had a few "Dude...seriously?" moments in the past few days that ranged from little "boys" walking downtown literally while one hand was latched to their crotches. ( it going to fall off? Seriously)

These little "girls" screaming 'bitch' this and 'bitch' that and being as vulgar as those little boys. mom would have strangled me and my sister if we acted like that in public.

Then there was this pregnant girl that got on the bus and there was no where to sit, and this man takes the last seat and he wouldn't let her sit down. And I felt her pain because when I was pregnant with Israel people were generally inconsiderate, so I gave her my seat.

I dunno. Today was JUST one of those days you know?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Uncovering the Fossil

"The writer's job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you uncover is small; a seashell. Sometimes it's enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth. Either way, short story or thousand page whopper of a novel, the techniques of excavation remain basically the same."

--Stephen King 'On Writing' pg 164

I don't plot. I'm not saying I never will in the future, but I don't think it'd pan out too well for me. Everyone who has ever loved my writing has always told me that my best stuff comes when it just...comes. Stephen King mentions that he leans more towards intuition than anything else when it comes to writing.

He and I are completely different genre's of writing (and he still, to date one of my favorite authors)and yet I think any serious writer could benefit from his advice.
I don't like sounding artificial and contrived and trust me, I know when I do even if someone else doesn't pick up on it.

When I pick up my pen and paper every evening I absolutely have NO idea what's going to happen. I have a general feeling for the story as to where I want it to go and even the voice that I'm writing in--but there is a profound beauty in discovering things as your character does.

When you do that, you're uncovering a fossil. Maybe only a little bit at a time, but yeah...there's definitely something under there.

Monday, July 20, 2009


We're all allowed them right? I felt this moment building up until--until I just had to do something to get rid of it.

I was working on Halo and I got stuck. I didn't want to admit that I had gotten stuck. I didn't want to admit of after MONTHS of working on this that I had reached the point of...nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Maybe it's because I let the work sit after I lost the baby and up to the weeks of losing the pregnancy and I lost the immediacy of the work. I don't know. Whatever it was, I just plain old LOST it.

I sat there at the table writing and then tearing out the page and starting again. I couldn't concentrate. I was thinking about the huge argument I had with Eric and how I will still stinging from that. I was thinking about how much I couldn't stand this city. I was getting annoyed because my daughter kept taking off her diaper. I was annoyed that it was hot and I had gotten my period and... I just cried.

I kept saying "I can't do this. I can't freaking do this." And I took all that work and I tore it to shreds because it was crap...utter crap and I knew it was. The magic was gone. It felt like work. I was writing because I 'had' to...not because I had to. Crystal's advice was ringing in my ears and...I had a moment.

I had a moment of just wanting to give up and just...quit. I had to sit on the couch with my face covered and just..cry. And Israel, bless her heart, thought I wanted to play peek-a-boo. I got it together in under five minutes. I took a breath. Closed my eyes--and I started over.

I realized that I was so bent on writing it a certain way that I DIDN'T realize it wasn't working for me anymore.

I was angry because I did ALL that work...only to start over. I was angry because really, my future and my daughter's future is riding on this. Not JUST this...but it's a big part of it. I was angry because it feels like it comes so EASY to everyone else.

I was angry because I read a seriously BADLY written book and it got published, but I'm just not willing to lower my standards.

I was angry because the only thing that I am a perfectionist about is my writing and...and...and I was just angry.

I had to *breaaaaaaatttheeeee* and let it go.

So I think I'm alright now. The writing gods have smiled upon me, because within a half hour of my outburst, it came back. I'm cautiously optimistic.

In other news, last night I dreamt that I went to Nathan Bransford's office in Cali...IN my pajamas and manuscript to ask him some really DUMB question like "Do you prefer email submissions or snail mail" and my daughter was with me--and she took off her diaper and peed on his floor.

Then I told him "Happy Birthday" and he was like "Okay."

Look, it's way too random for me to make up.

Friday, July 17, 2009


A simple two syllable word.

To begin means...action, movement, motion and it's all reaching towards an end. You begin so that you can end.

And as simple as that concept should be, it is a profoundly difficult thing for me.

How many days has my very unfinished manuscript sat on the dining room table amidst my boyfriend's books, and dictionaries and DVDs and cups and whatever else he has there?

I dunno. Four. Fourteen.

I walk past it, you know? I'll have a cup of water in my hand and some grapes and I'll look at it, and it'll look at me. And I'll pretend that I didn't see it--and it'll pretend that it didn't see me just looking at it.

Maybe I do need some direction with that. But God, I guilty sometimes--all the time when I do that. Last night was a free night for me. Izz was with her dad's family and I was home. And when I got home yesterday, instead of taking a shower and writing...I took a shower and fell asleep. And then Eric came home and made dinner...and I ate...and then I went back to bed again...frusterated, bored guessed it...guilty.

It was sitting right there. And I did nothing. And I'm thinking 'oh here we go with this again.'

I don't know how I imagine a writer's life to be. But I know how this one's life is. I get distracted very easily sometimes. And it's not like the ideas aren't there. It's not like I don't have anything to write. I do. I just don't see an end in sight.

I'm not eternally optimistic.
I know how to write a good query letter.
I know how to write a good book.

After the steps forward have been minimal even though every waking moment has been...filled with thoughts of writing--hoping I can pull some inspiration from somewhere--hoping to kick this feeliing of apathy into the bucket once and for all.

This is reality folks. It isn't always an image of some dedicated writer pounding the keys late into the night--dedicating nights and nights and hours and hours to the craft. Sometimes the writer is doing absolutely nothing... eating grapes and dripping water down your shirt while staring at nothing out the livingroom window.

Monday, July 13, 2009


After being away for about a week, maybe not even that, I opened up my email and I got a message from someone I've known for years. She and I worked together at this store called Sally's Beauty Supply and she was the assistant manager. But more than that, we used to go to school together, but we stayed in our own seperate worlds because I was a grade or two ahead of her. The first time I took notice of her was back in 2001 I think. I was standing at the bus stop waiting for the 601 to take me to The College of New Jersey because my house was on the other side of the campus. And I knew she lived near and she was waiting for the bus too. I was fascinated because she was the black girl, wearing some rock band t-shirt, some sort of punk rock studded, collar thing and these huge skateboard pants. And I was thinking 'wow, she looks cool.' There weren't...hell...maybe aren't too many other black girls like that. I never spoke to her that day, but I thought it'd be nice to be her friend.

Fast Forward to five years later. February. Sally's Beauty Supply. God how I HATED working there. My boss was Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and she frequently admitted that she was a little crazy. I could tell so many stories about that place, but this entry would be disgustingly long. Me and Stephy (that's her name by the way) ended up becoming best friends. We both hated that job, we mutually loathed the two other chicks that worked there and when the store was slow, we'd walk up and down the aisles picking out what we'd buy when we got paid next.

Sometimes we'd lean against the door frame staring at the rest of the strip mall area, eating lunch from the sub shop next door wishing that something would happen for us. The only fun in the day was flirting with the boys that worked at the sub shop next door. They'd give us free food and just hang out with us. Very unprofessional--but that's how it was.

It made working there bearable. She made working there bearable. Stephy is one of the two people in the world that you're kind of half in love with be you girl or guy because of who they are. She's put up with so much of my shit over the years and when I think that it'd be best if she'd just cut me off she'll laugh and say something like "I still love you honey bee."

She's amazing really.

The other person and in no way less important is my friend Seppy. I got an amazing comment from her that just made me grin like an idiot. I remember the first time I spoke to her on the phone. I was with my other friend Wendy (who's also pretty darned amazing in her own right) and we talked for hours.

I don't how we even got in contact with one another again, but we did. I could and still to this day tell her EVERYTHING. She's the sort of girl who doesn't make any sense and tries to...not realizing that it's a part of her charm. She'll be like "Oh, Alicia...I'm going to bake you a cake and send it to you." and I'll be like "No...don't do that..." and she will...because that's just how it is.

Or...when she knows you're going through a really hard time because you're pregnant(2007) and the father and his family is a living nightmare...she'll send you a card, twenty bucks (even when you told her not to) and a picture of a saint.

I'm always telling her not to do something and she's always doing it and going out of her way for me and I never get it. With both her and Stephany, I cannot for the life understand why they love me so much...and I feel humbled and awed and undeserving of them. But I love them and that's how it is really.

I've never been a girl to have a gaggle of friends...especially females. There's this line in this song that says "I don't run with many girls 'cause they talk too much." and that's been my motto for a long time.

But then there's a few womanly type that are so much more than 'girl' friends. There's an unspoken bond between us that time and miles can't touch...and I'm really thankful for that because I gotta wonder where I'd be if it weren't for them.

And I really thank those two for giving me a little of their light.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Here We Go Again

I feel like I have to start from scratch with everything since I've been gone so long. Well, a month really isn't all that long, but it felt like that for me.

After the miscarriage, I had a change of heart with the book I'm writing. One day, I just read over everything and then--I tossed it.

It was time to start over. No discs, no computer, no air conditioned office to write in. I sat down at the dining room table with my boyfriend's stuff all over it (cd's, books, papers,) I grabbed a yellow writing pad, one of the pens I had to confiscate from my daughter's mouth and I just started over.

I didn't think about it or even worry about it. Something said 'start over' and I did. It goes beyond just the writing though--I needed to revamp my entire lifestyle it seems. The way things were going just wasn't working for me anymore. I finally took my partner's advice and I stopped eating meat--completely. Of course he's thrilled. And really, it just isn't that big of a deal. I feel better. And after this whole thing with he and I losing the pregnancy, I feel alot closer to him.

Life is no where near perfect. There's still never enough money and there was this huge spectacle with my daughter's biological father who showed up unannounced at my doorstep announcing that after months, he wanted to see his daughter. But that's another story for another day and I'll promise that I'll get around to telling it.

Writing seems the most important epiphany because now I'm back to the stage where I don't have to try and it just becomes what it's supposed to become.

Not entirely sure if this entry made any real sense. It's one of those days where your mind is all over the place and you're scrambling to find some sort

I think I'm slowly starting to get there.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's Been Forever

This is probably one of the harder things that I have to write...and I have to write it fast because my daughter is currently running around being impossible.

3 week ago, I lost the baby. I needed to be rushed to the emergency room and I had never saw so much blood or experienced a pain more excrutiating than anything I am likely to feel again. I actually needed surgery. I had an incomplete miscarriage. Eric came after the surgery. He had to stay home with my daughter whom I had to leave in the middle of the night. And he was great. Got her dressed, changed her diaper and even combed her hair. By the time my mom came and picked her up...she was ready to go. When I saw him while I was in recovery, he cried and I think that hurt more than anything.

But, eventually life has gotten back to normal and I'm fine. No problems since then and I've dealt with the loss. It still hurts a little to think about. But one of the EMS guys told me that one woman had lost her baby in her eighth month and she had to deliver a stillborn--and while this was devastating, it was better it happened now than later--and I agreed emphatically.

I have been so busy with life and getting things back into order. I'm writing again, which frankly, I was too depressed to even attempt it. But it came back and I feel myself again.

I have been thinking about you all constantly, feeling guilty I couldn't get back to you all sooner. I have so many stories to tell and experiences to share since everything happened.

Seppy, I know..I'm horrible with keeping people updated. Not sure I'll get better at it, but for you I'll try. *grins*

I hope to be back more regularly in the next week or so. So keep a look out for me.

Much love...