Women Whom I Draw My Writing Influence From

Black History Month-

As February came to a close I thought what can I write about that is touching on the subject of Black History Month. I thought it may be interesting to you all to know where I’m coming from and shed a little light on my influences and who has brought me to do what I do…

There are a several of women that have had a positive influence on my life  and why I decided to pursue this journey into becoming an author. My great-grandmothers, grandmothers, aunts, my momma encouraged this shy soul to express herself in some form or fashion.

I was exposed to Black History and its importance at a very early age. It was way more than just doing book reports and celebrating one month out of a year, black history was year round in our household. My grandma Alice taught me, “Say It Loud” (I’m Black and I’m Proud), which at the time I didn’t even know was a James Brown tune. My mother encouraged me at an early age to keep a diary or journal and took me to several exhibits in Kansas City on black art, music and other influential things.

Thanks to my Grandma Thelma, Great-Grandmother Edith, Aunt Audrey who shared with me many Black History books that I still hold near and dear to my heart and will be a part of my book library. When I started reading heavily in the Summers when I was in elementary school, I loved to read about other black individual lives. Where they came from and how they became successful against so many obstacles was and still is so fascinating for me.

favorites2

Three of my favorite books and female black authors (pictured at the top), “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is by Zora Neale Hurston, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou and “Tar Baby” Toni Morrison which I am currently reading.

Not only are all these authors women and black, but they have continued to influence me as a writer. The women behind these stories and poetry are so influential. Reading and re-reading their works it seems I to find a new message every time and draw strength from their stories.

With Black History Month ending, I believe that we can learn from those who came before us. I cherish the knowledge that was passed on to me. That wisdom that is so valuable. In my literary life and real life I have be so blessed to have knowledge and guidance that has led me down this path to be able to share with you all.

D

 

A Playlist Inspired by “The Misadventures Of Melody T.”

The Misadventures of Melody T. (1)

My Novella, “The Misadventures of Melody T.” is set in the early 2000’s. Melody is a 10th grader who is trying her best to figure out where it is she fits in, dealing with young love and loss.

I put together a playlist of songs on Spotify that are reminiscent of those times. These are songs that my main character Melody T. blasted in her headphones while riding on the school bus to school and band competitions. She also sat up late some nights, just laying in her bed when she couldn’t sleep listening to some Dru Hill or maybe Aaliyah or Avant.

Some of these songs she jammed to in the car while hanging out with her BFF’s Shannon and Mecca. Music is a big part of Melody’s life and later in the story we will see how it plays an even larger part.

Hope you enjoy!

P.S. A lot of these songs are the Explicit version…Spotify is just not very edited version friendly 🙂



Do You Need To Fit In?

Do You Need To

When I was in High School (I know everytime I say this I sound old), there were different cliques. There were the “popular kids”, who weren’t necessarily athletes that everyone knew their names.

They usually had the freshest gear, set trends and their hair was always done in the latest style. Then there was the “smoker crew” who hung out across the street before and after school to well, smoke. They were cool peeps for the most part even though some were known to frequent the principal’s office. We had the athletes and cheerleaders but they could be mostly lumped in with the “cool kids”.Then there were “The Goths” ( I think they’re called something different now) who wore all black, some wore heavy dark makeup and were Thespians. I related with a lot of them because they were seen as outcast for doing their own thing. Many of them were very artistic and creative and I loved that.

But more or less I just tried to blend in. I was about 90lbs, 5’5 wore glasses and wasn’t very fashionable (I tried, it just wasn’t my thing). Also, I was quiet and for some reason kids assumed I was super smart when I had to study just like them.

I hated being picked on and avoided conflict at all costs. Popular kids who were loud and talked alot, thought I was weird for being quiet. Some of the black kids would tease me for hanging with the white kids. I didn’t fit into any particular category, I just was and when I became a Senior that was finally OK with me. I stopped trying and just was comfortable with me.

It seems like nowadays, you can be who you want and people leave you alone for the most part. It’s totally opposite from years ago. It seems like different is embraced more.

As a teen, do you still need to “fit in”? Is it easier to just blend in? What’s your opinion? Comment!

Who Is Melody T. ?

Who Is Melody T. - (1)

My novella being released this spring is titled, “The Misadventures of Melody T.”! I’m so excited to share the prequel to my novel “Drama University” (being released this Summer).

In “The Misadventures of Melody T.” we meet Melody Ann Thomas as she’s entering 10th grade after a rocky start to her first year of high school. Although she’s not a total nerd, she’s not with the popular kids either. Being in between sucks for her.  She’s trying to figure out her place.She doesn’t get along with most girls at her school because they’ve become very cliquish and disapprove of people she hangs out with.

She loves old school music, hip hop but is also a big fan of classical and cuts out from hip hop magazines to create collages on her wall. She also tends to shut people out when she becomes stressed, which scares her.

She has her BFF Shannon to get her through things and her other friend Mecca. Being a quiet person has it’s benefits and negatives. She’s has always excelled academically as well. I don’t want to give away her entire being though.  She has some different and tough obstacles to overcome.

The creation of the character Melody is a typical teenage girl in many ways I think she will be relatable. Many of her characteristics are inspired by a couple of different people I have met throughout my life. She quirky, she’s fun yet she’s apprehensive, she’s striving to figure out her place in the world at 16 years old which is a tricky thing to try and accomplish.

What do you think about Melody’s character so far from this description? Does she sound like someone you’d be curious to know? Does she remind you of anyone particular? Comment!!!

 

4 Ways To Enjoy Valentine’s Day, Bae Or Nah

happy valentine's!

My character Melody Thomas goes through a couple of love interests in my novella, “The Misadventures of Melody T.” (to be released in March). Like her, I went through crush stages, like stages, love stages and eventually my first real boyfriend. In high school, there’s so many feelings you go through, right? Oh, the drama!

You may find your first love or you may not. You may think that all the boys in your school (or boys period for that matter) are lame’s or jerks. And that’s perfectly fine. However, you don’t necessarily need a bae or a boyfriend to have a great Valentine’s Day! (If you have one though that’s great, too!)

It’s a fact though, young love is often time’s fickle and a strange character to understand. So if you find yourself down because Valentine’s is Sunday, don’t be.

Show yourself some love!

Here are 4 definite ways to show yourself or someone you love on Valentine’s Day:

  1. Take yourself to Starbucks, girl! Have a caramel macchiato or two!
  2. Buy yourself some flowers, chocolates, Ice cream and/or balloons and have a netflix marathon
  3. If you have other friends that are single, a sister or even a brother go have lunch or dinner
  4. It may be late to send or give a card (do people still do this? I do. ) Instead send them a e-card

You should be doing things on a regular to show some self-love and to show your loved ones love. Since we have February 14th to do it in a special way, why not take special advantage!

D

 

 

Sick Before Homecoming

This a flash fiction piece based on the main character, Melody Thomas from my upcoming novella, “The Misadventures of Melody T.”

The last class of the day always took forever. I waited and waited on Fridays especially for the short hand on the clock to hit 2 and that long hand to hit 9. I couldn’t stand this class anyway. Even though it was more the teacher, than the class I couldn’t stand. But today was even worse. I could feel I was coming down with something. So time really was dragging extra hard.

I didn’t even want to get out of bed this morning. My nose had been running all day. Mom wasn’t going to let me stay home since she knew midterms were starting today and I had been struggling hard in Science class. Shannnon said this morning that I didn’t look so hot after Science class this morning too. Good thing Cortez wasn’t in class today.

I didn’t want him seeing me look like death warmed over. Homecoming was this weekend but it look like a big question mark in my head.

Now if the bell would ring I could go home, get away from this place and just sleep the night away and feel better in the morning. The final bell, yes!

“Miss Thomas, I need to see you,” Mrs. Lindell said. I looked around as everyone else was rushing out the classroom door.

I was still sitting. I slowly threw my notebook and pen in my bag, stood up and placed the hood from my hoodie on my head and slung my bag on my shoulder.

Standing there feeling hot and damn near about to faint, I leaned on her desk as she handed me the typed paper off her desk. I could see the letter “D”, handwritten largely at the top in red pen.

“This Miss Thomas this isn’t going to cut it, now I know you can do better. So do it.” I didn’t even look up, my eyes were so focused in on the letter at the top of the paper. All I could manage to eek out was, “I will, I will.”

This lady had it in for me since the beginning of the semester, I swore it! I had never received below a B and now all of a sudden I was getting D’s and stuff. I took the paper and saw that she probably expected me to say more by the look on her face. But I had to go. I still had to stop by my locker and the rest of my stuff for the weekend.

Walking very briskly down the hall and the around the corner, I got to my locker grabbed my stuffed and rounded the corner just in time to see that busses were already pulling off. I reach my arms out, running busting through the schools front doors and down the stairs. There was no way in hell I was going to catch bus 92 which was already turning on to the main street.

5 Reasons Why I Miss High School

DayshaDevine.com

When I think about high school now, all four years seem like a complete blur. Much like the main character Melody Thomas in my upcoming novella, “The Misadventures of Melody T.”, high school seemed like a long sequence of ups and downs.

I remember significant events like that time I got dumped in the second floor stairway during passing period by my first love Sophomore year. But I also remember happy times like performing for pep rallies and when our school won our first football state championship in like 10 years.

Reflecting back now as an adult, people kept telling me the same thing over and over, but I totally took it for granted. So here it is, cherish those 4 years like you cherish that little iphone of yours you love so much!

Yes, high school can be both exciting and full of disappointments, but it’s an experience so enjoy it you’ll never get that time back. You may think life sucks now, it doesn’t…it only gets better!

Here are my 5 Reasons Why I Miss High School:

  1. No bills– I lived with my parents and I didn’t get a cell phone or a car ’til Junior year. I had part-time jobs, but it was my choice. I mainly spent the money from those checks on junk anyway.
  2. Band– If you’ve never been in band before you won’t understand.
  3. Football and Basketball games– I’m a Basketball fan myself. Before Facebook and Twitter you actually had to meet boys from other schools at events or the mall.
  4. The Dances– I loved getting all dolled up to go dance and hang-out. I didn’t have a date for each dance, but I always had fun.
  5. Tennis-Every now and then I get an itch to play, but it doesn’t happen often that I get to. Most of the time I just watch it on TV.

Shout out to my alma mater Center Senior High School home of the Yellowjackets!

What do you miss most about high school? Are you still in school? Does it suck? Do you think you’ll miss it when you graduate?

Comment below!