Christmas Shopping!

Hello Readers!

It’s Christmas shopping time!!! I’ve made my list of people I’m shopping for and I’m trying to figure out what to buy everyone.

This is the first year where I have been totally void of any idea whatsoever. I mean there have been years where I had to muddle through on a few people but never my whole list!

I keep looking at their names trying to draw some sort of inspiration and nothing comes to mind. I think of their likes, dislikes, favorite colors, favorite foods, whether they have pets or not. and still nothing!?!

I know I’m probably just putting way too much pressure on myself but I have built a reputation as giving really good gifts and I feel like I’m failing that reputation right now.

I’ve been to my usual stores of gift buying genius, the websites I frequent the most and my own place of employment. And nothing says I am perfect for so and so buy me.

Does anyone else seem to be having this problem this year?

What are you doing to try and shake yourself out of your gift giving funk?

Well I still have time to be inspired but until inspiration hits enjoy this video of Christmas shopping pranks.

Smooches,

Shineka

Advertisements

What are my characters thankful for?

Hello Dear Readers!

So it’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S. The holiday where friends and families gather together around a large meal and tell each other what they are thankful for this year.

I’m a subscriber to several blogs that give readers tips on how to write and advice on self publishing.  One of those blogs issued a writing exercise asking readers to list what the characters in their current WIP (Work In Progress) would be thankful for. Writability Blog

So I decided to try the exercise in a blog post. So here goes:

Andrea Sylvan – I’m thankful for my family and for my wonderful friend Mya who has been my girl throughout all my crazy insecurities and hang ups.

Lt. Byron Johnson – I’m thankful for my daughter and for a lovely woman named Andrea Renae Sylvan

SGM Chris Sylvan – I’m thankful for my beautiful wife and my two precious daughters even though they don’t like my taste in clothes.

Melissa Sylvan – Well this is just silliness. Of course I’m thankful for my family. Now if my oldest girl would get married soon and give me some grandchildren I’d be thankful for them too.

Cynthia Sylvan – Girl I’m just glad to be out of high school. Now if I could just get through college.

Mya Parker – Mira, I’m thankful for Byron coming into my girl’s life and he better keep treating her like a princess or he will have to answer to me! Also I’m thankful for a certain Vice Principal but I’m not going to say anything more than that.

Andrew Byers – I’m thankful for my job.

Anna Maria Johnson – I’m thankful for my daddy, and my grandpa, and my granny Gloria, and Andrea, and puppies, and rainbows, and Jesus, and God.

Well, those are my main characters in my book and what they are thankful for. Me personally as their creator I’m thankful for all of them, my wonderful friends and family, and for all of you who take time out of your busy days to read some of my silly ramblings.

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Smooches,

Shineka

 

Puma or Sugar Baby?

Hi Dear Readers!

I know its the week of Thanksgiving and I should probably be posting something about what I’m thankful for… but I’m in the mood to be  silly and I thought I’d share some of the crazy thoughts that come into my head.

One of which is whether I’d like to be a Puma or a Sugar Baby?

Some of my friends are probably rolling their eyes right now because I have been bringing up this question with several of them and getting their take on the situation.

So let me explain to you what I’m talking about and you tell me what you think.

A Puma is the same thing as a Cougar. The big difference is that I’m not quite old enough to be a Cougar.  According to a website when I googled how old a woman had to be to be a Cougar the general consensus across the board was that a woman had to be in her 40’s or older. However, a woman in her 30’s that dated a younger man was called a Puma.  So since I’m only 33 I fell into the Puma category.

Of course I’m also young enough that I considered the possibilty of being a  Sugar Baby. A Sugar Baby is a woman who dates an older man. I could see how either could work for me but I haven’t made up my mind yet.

Here is my thought processes on both of these categories.

If I choose Puma:

The guy is younger so he is more apt to want to go and do all kinds of different activities. That works for the times when I want to be adventurous

Hopefully If I catch him at the right age he will just be starting to think about settling down and possibly thinking about marriage.

Once I start to think about retiring he still be young enough and well established in his career to take on any unforseen bills that may accrue in the future

Also when we have kids he will still be active enough to play with them and keep them out my hair every once and a while.

If I choose Sugar Baby:

The man is old enough to be well established in his career and is looking for someone to spoil.

Once he retires he’ll be more willing to go on really great trips and of course I will have to go with him to keep him company.

If I out live him then I of course inherit his estate and I could still be young enough to be a Cougar!

LOL

That is just a taste of the weird thoughts that I contemplate from time when I’m bored.

Feel free to weigh in and tell me which one you think I should choose. Which one would you choose and what would be your reason for choosing it?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Smooches,

Shineka

Hello Dear Readers,

As an aspiring self publishing writer I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about the industry and the million and one things that go into creating one book.

Lately I have been following the blog of August McLaughlin and found this blog on creating the perfect book cover.

I thought it was great and I hope that the rest of you enjoy it as well and can take something away from it.

Smooches,

Shineka

Girl Boner

“Writing a novel… Now THAT’s hard,” my friend Phil said to me recently.

Phil is a neurologist. He’s brilliant enough to understand the inner-workings of the brain and that carving a creative path isn’t easy. To those of us who adore the process, however, it’s worth every brain cell and glucose molecule required.

As many of you know, LOVEhas been a theme in my life lately. Deciding to self-publish and related happenings have left me punch-drunk exhilarated. Thanks to Steena Holmes, indie author and graphic/book artist extraordinnaire, my latest heart swell derived from developing my cover—one of the most valuable ways we authors have of showing our work some love.

Having complete control over book covers is a huge benefit of self-publishing. It’s also one of the most important factors separating successful indie-authors and those whose books scarcely see the light of day.

The biggest giveaway that one…

View original post 577 more words

The Death of Courtesy

Hello Dear Readers,

So I read a blog this morning by a very dear friend of mine that really spoke to me.

This last election was one that rocked my world in a lot of ways. I believe that Kristy has the right take on what happened and I couldn’t agree with her more.

I hope you read what she had to say and think over it just a little.

Smooches,

Shineka

Kristy K. James

I believe that 2012 will go down in history as one of the ugliest years ever. At least as far as politics goes.

(Oh no! She’s gonna talk about that now that it’s all over!)

No, I’m not. Well, not technically. At least I’m not going to talk about candidates, or the election, or the results.

What I want to talk about is my fellow man. The people who share this country and planet with me. The normal, non-politician-type people. The regular Joe’s (and Josephine’s) who work hard, try to live decent lives, and pay their taxes.

Many who caused my jaw to drop –repeatedly– over the course of the most vicious, mud slinging excuse for a campaign that I have ever the misfortune to witness. And as our political candidates went, so went far too many of their supporters.

Who I supported, and who I voted…

View original post 522 more words

Chapter 2 of “Quirky”

Hi Readers!

So I took a vacation on Thursday from blogging. Sorry about that. I’m going through some things with trying to attain some professional goals that I got bogged down and just couldn’t process and get my creative juices to flow. So I said let it go for this Thursday and come back fresh on Monday.

I’m not exactly fresh yet but I’ve been looking for some more opinions so I’d like to share chapter 2 of my literary baby.

I hope you enjoy it. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Smooches,

Shineka

 

Chapter 2

I woke up Sunday morning praying. “God, why do you let me do embarrassing things like what happened yesterday?”

I was mortified after I slipped on the beans and fell hard on my butt.  I will say that the look on Byron’s face as he helped me up was priceless.  It was that strange mix of concern for my safety but wanting to laugh hard at my comical accident at the same time.

“Oh well God, if we can’t laugh at ourselves from time to time, is life really worth living?” I chuckled to myself and got out of bed.

I love Sundays.  I put on my praise music and just sing and dance around the house as I get ready for church.

Life in Jesus Worship Center, my church home is one of the reasons I stay here in Augusta.  I’m sure there are wonderful churches in other cities but in my mind, Life in Jesus was the only church for me.

My pastors, Pastors John and Stacey Peters, are the salt of the earth.  Pastor John is a quiet man on a personal level but, once the anointing falls on him; he preaches with such passion you’d think he was a whole different person.  Pastor Stacey on the other hand has never met a stranger.  She is just the embodiment of love, peace, and joy.  She never ceases to amaze me how she can talk to five people at once and keep track of every single conversation making each person feel like they are the only person in the room at that time.

I pulled into the parking lot of my church and noticed the time.  I had just enough time to grab a cup of coffee from the bookstore and dash into the sanctuary for our choir practice before service.

Even though I’m still upset with Andrew I’m hoping he shows up a little early so we can talk after practice.  While preoccupied with my thoughts I walk into the bookstore and nearly collide into Lt. Johnson!

“Whoa! I see I need to make sure I keep an eye out for you whenever food and beverages are around.” Byron had a cup of coffee in his hands and our near collision surely would have been fatal for both of our outfits.

I look startled, into his eyes. “Oh my goodness! Lt. Johnson, we seem to be destined to meet like this.” I chuckled as I stepped to the side.  “I’m so sorry. My mind was somewhere else and I lost track of where I was going.”

“No harm done,” he answered back.

“I didn’t know you came to this church. How long have you been coming?” I ask. Life in Jesus Worship Center was big enough that you could easily miss people but small enough that you still felt at home.

“I’ve been coming for about a month. Your dad invited me a couple of times and I finally took him up on his offer.  After the first service I was convinced that this was where I needed to be.”

“I’m so glad you like it here.  What brings you here so early though? Service doesn’t start for another hour and the only people here usually are the choir and the band for rehearsals.”

“Well, I made the mistake of singing in front of Pastor Stacey and she insisted that I come join the choir this Sunday.”

I laugh, “That sounds like Pastor Stacey.  She gets excited when she finds someone truly gifted.”

“I’m not sure how gifted I am but I thank you for the compliment,” he chuckles in return.

“Well it’s almost time for practice to start so we better get in the sanctuary.”

I was a little self conscious as we walked into the sanctuary.  Why is it that this man seems to unnerve me? So what if he’s handsome? It’s not like I haven’t met a good looking guy before. I mean Andrew was definitely no slouch but he never made me feel the way Lt. Johnson did.

“By the way Andrea, since we are bound to keep running into each other so to speak, how about you call me Byron from now on.”

“I can do that,” I answer with a smile.

“Andrea! I’m so glad to see you. You look nice in your purple and black this morning,” Pastor Stacey boomed into her microphone from the stage.

“Thanks Pastor Stacey! You look amazing as well,” I call back as we walk to the stage.

“Byron! I’m so glad you made it! Choir, band, this is Byron, the amazing singer I told you about.” Pastor Stacey turned to the choir “Everyone say hi and make him feel welcomed.” I looked at Byron and saw him blush a little.  He took it all in stride though.

I love Pastor Stacey but her exuberance can be a little overwhelming to a new person sometimes.

Byron helped me climb the steps of the stage and our director placed us in the line where she wanted us.

Choir rehearsal ran as normal. We started with a few worship songs from Deluge and Gateway then moved to a couple of praise songs from Clint Brown and Hillsong.  As we were coming to the end of practice all of a sudden Pastor Stacey gave Byron a microphone and asked him to lead us into a place of worship.

As he started singing the whole atmosphere in the sanctuary just seemed to change.  Byron has the most wonderful tenor voice I’ve ever heard. The way he sung to God made you believe that he really had a relationship with our maker.  A sense of peace and joy just filled the room and I was awed by this man all over again.  Here was a modern day David.  He was a warrior as well as a psalmist!

As he sang I close my eyes and raised my hands in honor to God. I love worship. To be able to just show God how much you love and cherish him in song just makes my day go so right.  Eventually Byron’s song came to an end.  I opened my eyes and saw there were tears in the eyes of everyone on the stage.

This is a truly gifted man.

~~~~~~

Practice ended and I was on my way out of the sanctuary when I spotted Andrew. He was talking to some of his friends from the Men’s Ministry.  I didn’t want to interrupt but we really needed to talk. Especially after that wonderful impromptu worship service, I really wanted to set things straight between us.  So I said a little prayer and walked over to the men.

“Hey Andrew, can I talk to you for a minute?” I ask timidly.

He turns to me and I can see he has his defenses up ready for me to start up yesterday’s argument.  “Can we talk later?” He says in a guarded tone.

“We could but I’d really like to talk to you now if it’s okay with you,” I say with a smile on my face. I figure if I smile he will understand that I come in peace.

Andrew excuses himself from the group and walks away with me to a quiet corner.

“Look Andrea, if you are going to lay into me again about not going to your sister’s party, let me just tell you now that it was an emergency and I could not help being called into work.” He says defensively.

“Andrew. I just wanted to say that I understand and I forgive you. I didn’t want to fight this morning. Why are you jumping all over me?”

“I’m sorry, Andrea. I’m just tired of fighting with you. It seems that no matter what I do it isn’t right.”

I step over and give him a hug. “I’m sorry Andrew. I’m tired of fighting too.” I look deep into his brown eyes and wonder why we can’t seem to make things work between us. He’s a good man. When we weren’t fighting we got along well enough but for some reason he and I just couldn’t seem to … Oh I don’t know take our relationship to the next level I guess.

“Look Andrew. I have to get back in the sanctuary and get ready for service. I just wanted to come and make up from the fight yesterday. Can we have lunch after service?

“I don’t think I can. I already made plans with some of the guys.”

I stare at him in disbelief. “Andrew, I love you and would like our relationship to work. This one time could you please just meet me for lunch so we can discuss us and our relationship?” I ask him quietly.

“I’ll see what I can do.” He gives me an exasperated look and walks away.

“God, what just happened here?” I pray, “I love this man but I just don’t know if we are gonna make it.”

I walk back to the sanctuary so I will be on the stage in time for service to start.

“I’m leaving this in your hands God,” I whisper as I walk on the stage.