I am sooo sick of biases, stereotypes, and profiling…

**SPECIAL THANKS TO “THE ROOT” FOR PUBLISHING MY STORY

ON APRIL 16, 2016**

Rock ’n’ Roll Isn’t a ‘Nonblack’ Thing: How Racial Stereotypes Almost Ruined My Good Time

I was a bit overwhelmed by all the responses to this post, but it was a conversation that needed to be had. So many folks messaged me that they could relate. I hope I did my small part in bringing about bigger change.

Be sure to follow The Root if you have an interest in breaking stereotypes and promoting equality. And if you don’t, you’re probably on the wrong author’s blog. I am about diversity, inclusion, equality, and justice for all.

Thanks for your help, Yesha Callahan!

**added on 5-25-16** RIP Prince. His death is truly heartbreaking. He was and will always be heavily influential for rock music, musicians, and fans, though his impact could never be limited to just rock.

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A more detailed version of my story (2500 words):

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This will be the realest post I’ve ever written, because it is deeply personal… and I do not care how anyone else feels about it. This is MY experience. MY life. It is what is real to ME. I am just so sick of biases, stereotypes, and profiling, that I am actually going to use my blog platform to vent about it. I am sick of being silent about MY experiences, in order for others to remain comfortable, while trying to tell me what is and isn’t going on in the world through their own limited scopes. If you can’t at least be empathetic to my plight, just because it is not your experience, you can get the fuck on.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

12923107_257309694607300_1577272382701813110_nI listen to rock music. Not just rock…metal. I listen to heavy metal. I’m a black female, and I like heavy metal rock. I blast it as I drive down the road. I go to rock and heavy metal concerts. I get my mosh on in the pit. Deal with it.

Rock-n-roll is not a “non-black” thing. Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Little Richard… Hellooooo.

That’s not all the music I listen to, mind you. I love everything, except country, though I support Tim McGraw. His love and diversity message is one that I can get down with, so I follow and share his posts. But you get my point. If you’ve read my books (the opening scene of THE NARCOLEPTIC VAMPIRE SERIES is set to Marilyn Manson’s “You and Me and the Devil Makes 3” and BEST FRIENDS, FANTASY LOVERS is a rock-n-roll erotic romance) or have read my previous blog posts about music, you’ll see that I cannot be boxed in to only listening to what is expected of me: hiphop, R & B, gospel, and pop. Apparently, these are the only “acceptable” genres for me…because I tend to raise eyebrows when folks learn otherwise.

Here’s a middle finger for your box. Obama-big-middle-finger

So, I went to a rock concert last night. And I was pretty doggone excited about going to it, too. Last week, my friend, Ish, sent a message out of the blue asking if I liked Ozzy. “HELLZ YEAH,” I replied. We commenced to make plans to go to the Ozzy, Judas Priest, and Megadeth Tributes concert at the House of Blues last night. “Tribute concert” basically meant the actual artists wouldn’t be there, but some kickass bands would give us an experience that would make us feel like the real bands were. Let me be clear–the bands did not disappoint. They were AWESOME. (Thanks, JudasX, Gigadeth, and OZZ!) Ish had extra tickets, so I mentioned I knew some other people who would be interested in going. I reached out to them. We all couldn’t wait. We posted about it constantly on FB, in fact. Unfortunately, some had to back out at the last minute, but it was all good.

Flash forward to last night…

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You couldn’t tell us anything. We were going to rock out to Ozzy, dammit. We continued to post on social media in the hours leading up to the concert.

We arrived early.

We got in line.

We waited with the rest of the fans because doors hadn’t opened yet.

Then a guy went down the line giving wristbands to those over 21 that wanted to drink alcohol once they got inside. He went down the row nice and easy until he got to us. “Y’all here for the Ozzy concert?” We laughed. “Yes. We’re in the right line,” I said. He said, “Okay,” and gave those of us who were going to drink *ahem* a wristband, and went on down the line of people behind us.

Pretty efficient, right? It would make the line go faster once the doors finally opened.

Cool.

A few minutes later, a female went down the line with a wand to scan everyone for weapons and metal objects. She got to us and stopped. “Are y’all here for the Ozzy concert?” Ha! “Yes, we are. We are in the right line. We are here for the Ozzy concert.” “Oh, okay.” And she wanded us down and moved down the line of people behind us.

Still efficient, House of Blues. Good on ya.

The Hispanic couple in front of us turned around. “Wow. Everyone keeps stopping y’all,” the female persuasion of the couple said, and even pulled out a camera to take a pic of us in the background. “Yeah. I’m used to it,” I said. Which is kind of sad, if you think about it, right? Anywho… We laughed and joked with her about how everyone assumed we should be at a JayZ concert (love him too, btw) instead of at an Ozzy one. But whatevs. Like I said–used to it. Because this applies to just about every area of my life. I am a black author…that writes about…well, nontraditionally “black” things, I’ve been told, from multicultural/diverse characters’ perspectives. And I’m a black female…who happens to be part of the small percentage of us who practice law in the great state of Texas. Ah, yeah. I’m used to people assuming one thing about me, and freaking out when they get something else.

Doesn’t make it any less annoying. Why the stereotype to begin with???

But I digress…

Back to my story. ‘Cause it gets better.

And by better, I mean ridamndiculous.

So…finally the House of Blues doors were opened.

We followed the line up to the door. “Have your tickets out so we can scan them,” they said. Because House of Blues is efficient like that. *thumbs up*

“There are 2 lines. TWO lines,” they said as we approached to have our ticket scanned.

Okay. Let’s get in the other line that’s empty, because…efficiency. Yeah.

My friend, Meggan, went up to the employee in the other “line” and handed him her ticket.

“What concert are you here for?” the gatekeeper asked.

“Um–”

“You’re at the wrong concert,” he said, before she could even finish. “The March Madness Music Fest is over there.” He pointed to the mega concert going on at Discovery Green a few blocks away where Kendrick Lamar (love him too) would perform. We could see it from the House of Blues balcony, and we’d never made plans to go to it.

“Huh? No, I’m here for this one.” Meggan held up her ticket.

He wouldn’t scan it. He just pointed for her to get out of line. “This is not the right concert. The concert you’re looking for is over there. There are two different concerts.”

“We’re at the right place,” I said. “We are here for the Ozzy concert.”

But he had decided to dismiss us and not scan our tickets.

WHAT???

It wasn’t funny anymore.

I was NOT laughing.

He was about to make us miss the tribute concert because of his own biases.

I was pissed the fuck off. We had waited in line and been questioned twice already, to get to the front and be told we were not in the right place and couldn’t get in. Did this douche just leave a certain presidential campaign rally and come straight to the House of Blues to do ticket scans or what?

I gave Meggan’s shoulder a shove. “Fuck him. Let’s go in. We’re at the right place. We have the right tickets.” We started walking in.

Several folks shouted, “Noooo. You can’t.” Honestly, my back was to them at this point, so I don’t know who did the shouting. But I turned immediately and pointed to the Hispanic couple getting their ticket scanned in the line we had been directed out of to go to Douche’s “line”.

“We were standing and waiting in line right behind them. We have tickets to THIS concert,” I said. And I probably had an attitude. Lo’ and behold–I must be the stereotypical angry black woman…because I spoke up and stood up for us to get into the concert Douche wouldn’t let us in.

The guy from the first line held up his scanner, scanned my ticket, saw that it was valid, and I walked on inside the door.

I stood inside wondering what I should do about the way Douche had treated us. Wondering how angry I could appear without embarrassing all black females. Wondering whether it was worth complaining to management and possibly ruining our chances of enjoying what we had come for–the concert. I mean, the first 2 that asked if we were in the right place could have saved us some time if we had actually been in the wrong line, right? A simple inquiry from them wasn’t really that bad. But the last guy–AKA gatekeeper, Douche–his dismissive attitude toward us had crossed the line of decency.

I stood there remembering the time when I was in high school. In a class of all white students. I was the only non-white student in my class at the private Christian school I went to in Greenville, NC. I remembered the time we had gone on our senior trip. I had been a student there since the 8th grade, and I had just gotten to the point that I didn’t hate my classmates. I had just gotten to the point that–though I did not fit in–I didn’t mind spending time with them outside of school hours. Maybe I *could* be friends with one or two of them. So, I went with them on the senior trip to Schroon Lake, NY and some city in Canada.

Even as I type this, I feel emotional about it. You see, I’ve made great efforts to put my high school years in a locked mental trunk. Not a combination lock. A heavy duty, titanium lock with an iron key. But as I stood there inside those House of Blues doors–that I’d had to fight to get into instead of being given the same deference as everyone else in line–that trunk unlocked on its own…and out fell this memory. Along with others, but I won’t share the rest.

*deep breath*

This one’s important.

My high school classmates and I rode in a chartered bus on our senior trip. Do you know what chartered means? Good. Then you know it basically means only the people that belong there are on it. So I was on it. I had every right to be there. Just like all the other folks on there. And we crossed the Canadian border with no problems.

On the way back, however–YES, COMING BACK INTO THE U.S.–Border patrol climbed onboard and went down the line. Just like they did outside the House of Blues tribute concert last night. And when they got to me, they stopped. They questioned me. Just like they did outside the House of Blues last night. On a bus full of white folks, I was the only black one. That must have meant I was in the wrong place. “What’s your name? What are your parents’ names? Where are you from? Where were you born? Where are you going? Where are you coming from?” Just normal security questions. That Mr. Border Patrol didn’t ask anyone else. Then after looking me up and down, he decided I was just some nervous 17-year-old and left me alone.

I felt like shit. There’s nothing like being singled out and scrutinized for…just being yourself. Despite the good time I’d had with some of my classmates on our trip, I was reminded that I was different from them, and I did not belong with them. No matter what I did, I would not be accepted as a part of them. Our society would always view me as the outsider.

That was in 1992.

Nineteen ninety-two.

I, and my black rocker friends (the 4 of us), were given extra scrutiny outside a rock concert last night in Houston, TX, in 2016.

Why???

What exactly had we done wrong?

When will the profiling stop?

*pausing to get myself together*

I am sick of it. Of you. Yes, YOU. Those who say this doesn’t happen. Those who act like my experiences aren’t real. Those who somehow think because Obama was elected, we have racial equality. But THIS was not racial equality. If we had been treated the same way everyone else had in line last night, that would have been equality. If Douche had just scanned Meggan’s ticket and seen that it was valid, things would have been equal.

I don’t want special privileges or concessions to be made for me. And at 41-years-old, I no longer care about your acceptance either. I WANT TO BE TREATED EQUALLY, MOTHERFUCKERS. In all things.

Do better, folks. Your biases are infectious diseases. Your stereotypes are bullshit. And your profiling is disgusting. We are not a one-dimensional label to be stuffed in the tiny box that you think is appropriate. We are individuals. We should not be treated differently to enjoy the same privileges you do. I just want to go to the fucking Judas Priest/Megadeth/Ozzy tribute concert without being harassed or told I don’t belong. Is that too much to ask?

**PLEASE NOTE: My first concert at House of Blues was for the Roologic record label launch in March. It was fabulous. Such a diverse bunch–the artists and the audience. I posted on FB how much I enjoyed the concert. I tweeted to House of Blues how wonderful my experience was. So I’m not the sort of person who only complains when things are bad. I shout positive experiences from the rooftop. I am honestly less likely to share negative ones publicly, but I’ve decided some of my negative experiences need to be shared to combat the rhetoric that somehow the “majority” is being oppressed. That’s not even possible. I’m pretty sure none of the folks that attended the March Madness Music Festival last night were told they were in the wrong concert.**

Will I ever return to the House of Blues in Houston? Damn straight. Apparently, they need to get used to seeing more black faces at rock concerts. I just may show up 10-deep next time. Plus, the bands and bartenders were great! My friends and I had a blast.

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Overqualified Dummy. An Author’s Rant.

I post daily confessions on my FB page. This one turned into a rant and required more space.

Confession: I have a Bachelors of Science in Sociology, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor degree. I took the Texas 3-day bar exam in 2005 and passed. Throughout this educational attainment, I worked more jobs than I could possibly list (3-4 at a time) in order to pay for all that education and maintain a living. I still had to earn grants–no, I did not qualify for income-based assistance because of my parents’ income, and that STILL pisses me off to this day, since I did not receive consistent help from them until my last year of law school. Why did their income need to be a factor!–and I had to accept student loans. While I’m on it–another thing that pisses me off is that I never qualified for in-state tuition from my law school even though I worked in the state of Texas and met all the other criteria for being an in-state student post my 1L year. In case you didn’t know, college is expensive. Being an out-of-state student is even more expensive. [insert angry face]

Okay. Whatever. Back to…oh, yes. I also volunteered more time than I can even conceive, when I look back on it, and actively participated in many organizations. I mean, I held offices in some of these organizations, and still managed to party whenever I could. Hell, partying was a must to unwind from the stress of my busy life.

So, my resume is full of credentials and awards and impressive busy work, along with some awesome references from bosses and associates who can attest to my hard work ethic and reliable character. Unfortunately, there are many who can also attest to my low tolerance for alcohol. Gotta take the bad with the good, I suppose, and I have nothing to hide.

That wasn’t the confession. Those were just facts.

The dirty little secret I want to share with you all today is that after ALL that, the devil must have jumped in me, and made me decide to spend more time writing and being a published author than continuing to pursue the professional career I prepared for. Disgusting, isn’t it? Truth of the matter is that I always wanted to pursue liberal arts. I wanted to be in the entertainment industry, something to do with my passion for movies, TV and books. Really. I wouldn’t lie to you.

But I didn’t want to be a broke artist. In addition to all the jokes about unethical lawyers (stop all that, will ya???), we’ve all heard the ones about artists being impoverished. It goes with the territory…unless you’re part of the small percentage that gets a big break.

So guess what this genius did? Well, I already told you. I spent way too much time and way too much money and way too much effort going the educational route. To do what? Be a broke artist. And a supportive wife. And an exhausted mother. I certainly didn’t need to go through all that just to end up being THIS. Ah-mazing.

I may not be as smart as I thought.

You know what’s more amazing? I thought, well, maybe I would have a little respect in the industry. I earned it, didn’t I? WRONG. Maybe if I wrote nonfiction. But now that I know what I do about the perception of folks with lots of qualifications (and potential, I’ve been told) deciding to do something as “meaningless” as write books instead of becoming a notable attorney at a notable law firm–I’m doubting that too. The only way you can be a respected writer is if you become Stephen King, J.K. Rowlings, Nicholas Sparks, or the like. Maybe not quite that large, but I’m exaggerating it a bit by listing names I know you know to make the point that only a handful care…until you’ve already made a name for yourself. Not many will help you get there in the meantime. They’ll just sit back and wonder what’s wrong with you for choosing this path when you could be doing something else.

My own mother, bless her soul, was so proud of me when I got sworn in as an attorney. I’m the only one in the family. Well, I was, until I married my husband, who became an intellectual property attorney. Then there was my sister-in-law, who became one as well. Should we count them? Okay. Fine. Let’s do…but they weren’t attorneys then, dammit. It was just moi.

My dad was proud too, I suppose, though you never can tell with that one. He didn’t even come to my graduation. I mean, how often does one graduate from LAW SCHOOL? Whatever. Let’s stick with my mom, because I’m positive she has always been supportive of my endeavors…until it comes to throwing away a legal career on writing filthy books she can’t even make it through. Ah, the shame. My point is–my mom doesn’t understand that I die a little inside every time she asks me about my legal case load, but not about my recent author event.

I’ve been reducing the number of legal cases I work ever since I released my first book in 2011. Guess what–I have SEVEN books now, four of which are full-length novels. That’s something I tolled over for months or years. Something where I created an imaginary world with characters I made come alive. Something that a handful of people actually enjoy. Isn’t that impressive? Guess not. My mother never asks me about my next book release or current book sales. Instead, she tells me, “Oh, you can still become a judge one day.” A JUDGE??? Darling, I was just letting you know that my friends are running for judicial seats, or So-and-So just won an election. I’m proud of them. I didn’t bring that up to say my ambition is to BE them. My mother’s comments let me know she’s hoping writing is a hobby. She was okay when it was a book or two. Hey, good job…but it’s time to get back to serious work, isn’t it? I’ve told her it isn’t a hobby. It’s my passion. She said I should keep my bar card active. Oh, I am, Mom. I am. I still pay my bar dues, occupational tax, and licensing fees, and I keep current with my CLEs, if I do nothing else. I wouldn’t want this author thing to collapse and I have nothing to fall back on, right? Heaven forbid.

She’s not the only one. Happens all the time. I can see the judgment on other professionals’ faces when I mention being an author before I say anything about being an attorney. “What kind of law do you practice?” But, but…I want to talk about my books. Ha! They don’t care about that. An older female attorney that I respect a great deal, told me she needed to get me back in the practice. She said I needed to stop that fiction nonsense and make a difference in the world. She meant no harm. Honestly. Her heart was in the right place. She’s used to mentoring young black female attorneys. There aren’t that many of us as it is. And she may be right. Believe me, I have my moments of self-doubt. Every other hour, in fact. How would I feel if my children went the exact route I did? Wouldn’t I think–what a waste. Maybe. So, I’m doing my best to listen to them now and foster their natural talents and abilities. Hopefully, they’ll get it right the first time, without mortgage-size student loan debt by the time they settle into their dreams.

Which brings me to those moments when I need to prove to myself and everyone else that I can do this. I’m good at this. Writing books, I mean. Being a parent? Not so much, but I get by. Being a wife is sketchy every now and then too, but I work at it. I also want to continue working at being a better writer. Everyone who became a successful author had to start somewhere. And I’m getting better at this.

Am I a dummy for going all around my thumb to get to my pinky? Yes. But I can’t undo the past. What’s done is done. I can only hope I’ve accumulated some good material and transferable skills along the way that will help me develop interesting stories. If I’m lucky–I can also shape my future by doing what I love now. It’s best for me to follow my passion, right? Better late than never, right? I should keep at it until Dicey Grenor is a household name, right?

Ha! Yeah, we’ll see.

By the way, those times when friends and family ask me about my books or what it’s like being an author–GOLDEN.

Update.

Yeah. About that health scare I had back in December–I’m all better now. Nothing like being on a death bed to cause one to make some lifestyle changes. So now I don’t drink. No, I wasn’t an alcoholic, but I’ve had my share of “drank”. I stopped doing that. Something about my kidneys not performing as they should. Nothing to be alarmed about, but something for me to keep in mind, my doctors said.

Anywho…I mention that lifestyle change first because it’s seemed to have the most impact thus far. Socially, that is. I’ve been to several events lately with an open bar. Temptation everywhere. But I’ve maintained. Pat on the back for me. I will admit–the events have felt a little duller than usual. Okay, so maybe I was/am? an alcoholic. Whatever. An alcoholic who no longer drinks alcohol, thank you very much.

In addition to this, I’m back to exercising regularly, cutting red meat and pork from my diet, eating more veggies and fruits and less of everything else, drinking lots of water, and most importantly…SLEEPING. No more energy drinks for me. I’ve finally realized I’m not Super Woman. Or perhaps I’m just the thirty-nine year old version of her–someone who needs more sleep in order to save the world. When my body says it’s time to rest, I rest. I don’t keep pushing it to get one last chapter written or to fold one more load of laundry or to respond back to each email I received that day. I go to sleep. And if I’m tired the next day, I will lie down and nap. No more trying to squeeze another work hour in a jam-packed day. I’ll get to it when I get to it.

Of course, this means I don’t get every single sticking thing done I want to do, but I wasn’t able to accomplish that anyway. There was always something else that needed to be done. Only now, I’ll live to see the next day. Theoretically. So there. As this rate, I may be able to slow down all the damage I’ve done to my heart and kidneys. I haven’t had any blood pressure issues or heart palpitations lately, which means I’m on the right track.

In other words, please be patient with me as I take my time responding back to your Twitter message or when I delay making a blog post that only two people read anyway…if I’m lucky. Be patient with me as I slack off updating my Facebook page, especially since they have tinkered with the algorithms and allowed only a small percentage of folks to see my posts, in an effort to get me to buy promotions…that only a handful more people will see and respond to. Allow me more time to provide the most current info on my website. Likewise, I’ll need more time to write my next few books…that I’ll mostly have to make available for free downloads just to garner a respectable amount of visibility and interest.

Since publishing my first book in 2011, I have been doing an awful job of balancing being a wife, mother, attorney, and author. Why? Well, those are oversimplified titles, for one. Wife also means business partner. Mother also means educator and disciplinarian. Attorney is synonymous with adviser and counselor. And author…hahaha. If only it meant writing and publishing books. Noooo. That includes marketing and promoting my books in a world where they are one in ten million, no one respects self-promotion, and indie authors catch the brunt of all literary stigma. In another post, I will tell you what being an author of color and writing multicultural books mean. That opens up a whole new world of angst that you’re not ready to know about yet. *sigh* Long story short–I’m tired.

My most recent self-assessment confirmed I was doing too much with minimal return. Things had to change. In doing the cost/benefit analysis of my goals, duties and responsibilities, I had to re-prioritize, and some things are just going to have to take a backseat to others. I’m sure the world won’t notice the difference. But hopefully, my overall health will maintain some vitality and my family will appreciate my efforts in sticking around to be with them.

Thank you for your understanding. ❤

#TalkAboutItTuesday BDSM Role Player or Life-Styler?

“I’ll gladly answer any questions burning on your brain on ANY topic. Nothing is off limits. Just be prepared for my honest answer.”–I posted that on my FB page a few weeks ago and got some interesting questions…one that still sort of makes me laugh.

Clare D.: I love the book and the way you write your shapeshifters it really paints a picture. I feel like I’m a apart of the transformation. Do you see yourself writing spin offs say characters who frequented the club but say moved away and did there own thing sort of a Cheers and Frasier sort of thing? Have you ever considered writing outside the paranormal genre? And here’s the doozy I thought too personal to ask— I saw some pics posted of you and your family beautiful…. but am….I’m wondering… is your husband wearing a collar? ::hides face and winces:: I mean you don’t have to answer obviously but is he your ::wincing again:: sub? If he is I think it is frickin’ awesome and if he’s not and you guys are the awesome types straight laced lawyers by day comic con, leather wearing, fandom afficionados by night– please put in a good word to the Lord for me cause I’m lovin’ either way. I’m a wanna be. K….

Dicey: Clare, I’m glad you’re enjoying my writing style! As far as spin-offs go, depending on reader reception of my next book from Punch’s POV, I may do a werewolf spin-off to the vampire series. I have also considered a spin-off for another paranormal creature that frequents Hades (that I won’t name to prevent giving a spoiler away) and hasn’t been introduced yet. It all depends on how my muses continue to act.

Though my paranormal series is more popular than my other books, I have already written in other genres and will continue to do so. SHAMEFUL is a naughty taboo tale about a married mother of 3 who has an affair with a 16 y/o. Her 14 y/o daughter being interested in the same stud presents all sorts of unpredictable drama. I’ve also published HOW TO HAVE A PERFECT MARRIAGE, which is about a couple who follows 20 rules to ensure the perfect marriage…and fail miserably. It’s a dark comedy novelette (10k words).

Regarding your last question–How dare you ask me that!–JUST KIDDING!!! Girrrrrl! That question made me laugh out loud. Surprisingly, you’re the only one who has mentioned the spiked collar around his neck. Maybe others are scared to ask…because of the answer they might get. LOL I must say…your question shows that you, my dear, must be familiar with the BDSM lifestyle in order to have recognized that collar. We’ve probably been reading some of the same books. That’s also what was so funny about your question. Others may not have even recognized the symbolism. Haha. I’m stalling… Where was I?

Oh, yes. Is Danny my sub? The short answer is no. The longer answer is no, not in the literal sense; we’re players when the mood strikes. I know you know what that means. I’d hate to seem less cool by admitting the collar was part of a costume only, but we just have fun dressing up and “playing”. It’s not our lifestyle…but I’d definitely be the FEMDOMME if it were. You can call me Mistress Dicey if you like. Kidding again. I love the way you worded this: “…you guys are the awesome types straight laced lawyers by day comic con, leather wearing, fandom afficionados by night…” That pretty much sums it up. GRRRRREAT QUESTIONS!!!

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Dressing up and playing characters is pretty much how I enjoy Comic Cons, Halloween, Vampire Balls, 70’s & 80’s parties… anything outside my daily routine.

I read a book (Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas) earlier this summer about a woman (Grace) who was fed up with role playing as a submissive and wanted something real. She willfully moved to an island and became a slave. Initially, she got more than she bargained for from a cruel Dom, but at least it worked out for her in the end. She ended up getting the master of her dreams (Asher), who had learned how to dole out tender mercies after an unfortunate punishment of his former slave turned fatal. I couldn’t help but think–Damn. Hardcore Grace would look at me as an imposter. 😀 But really, I just like to have fun…and keep things interesting for my hubby.

What about YOU? How important is role playing for fun or actually living the lifestyle?

On another note, since I do a lot of research for certain characters that are “in the life”, I’ve come across some good nonfiction material. Check out Tymber Dalton’s The Real Rules For BDSM, if you think you may be more of a life-styler, and her book, Whip Me, Beat Me, Make Me Write Hot Sex, if you’re inclined to write in the genre.

No matter whether you’re serious about BDSM or playing around–enjoy!

#TalkAboutItTuesday The Working Mother Balancing Act.

On #TalkAboutItTuesday, I post topics of interest to me for discussion and answer ANY questions you have on ANY topic. This was a question I received a few Tuesdays ago, along with my answer.

Catherine: Where do you find the time to write, work and have a life too?

Dicey: Hiya, Catherine! I do what I have to when I must, and carve out time to do what I really like to do when I can. That’s Greek for–I don’t have a life.

More specifically, my husband and I have a legal practice, so my work time is more flexible than it would be if I worked at a legal firm for someone else. I work as many cases or as few as I can stand each month. That involves more paperwork and computer time than most would desire and a few court appearances. During this summer, both of my children (3 y/o and 5 y/o) have been home with me. With them as my priority, my caseload slackened a bit and my writing time dwindled to nothing at all. I wrote my first few books with one or both of them at home with me, but I prefer to write without constant interruptions. When they go to bed during the school year, that’s when I normally write. However, I’ve been so worn out this summer, I usually find more relaxing things to do in the late night hours.

It’s like that sometimes. Sometimes I can balance my responsibilities better than at other times. Since writing isn’t just something I enjoy doing but also something that helps to maintain my sanity, I have to be more strategic about when I get it done. The way I make sure I write and finish my books is by setting deadlines. Though I haven’t written much this summer, I know that I plan to have the next book published by Oct. 31st. That means, come hell or high water, it will be done. As the days of no writing tick away, I have that deadline at the forefront of my brain, which means the moment my children go back to school, and my days are my own again, I will be hitting the manuscript hard. Working late into the night. Around the clock. Drinking energy drinks to maintain the energy necessary to get it all done. But it works. I have yet to miss a self-imposed deadline.

My life? Other than spending time with my family, watching TV shows/movies, working out, and reading books, I don’t do much else. Every blue moon, I’ll hang out with my girls. Sometimes I go to a social event or even host one. That’s it. I’m happy with it…just wished I was able to travel internationally.

Maybe one day.

So I squeeze it all in by prioritizing. The things I MUST get done, I schedule. The things I want to get done, I make time for, usually late at night, burning the midnight oil. Sometimes, I multitask (reading while on the treadmill, cooking dinner while watching The Vampire Diaries, typing this FB response while my children brush my hair and scream in my ears). I imagine this is the same type of balancing act all working mothers have to do.

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The question is now directed to other working mothers. How do you balance your many roles and tasks?

On another note, my children went back to school yesterday. YAY! Now, I’ve got to get back on my work and writing grind with more intensity.

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Too Busy To Think Straight.

photo (2)When someone mentions I have too much on my plate, I think yeah, I do, but no more than any other working mom. I have a two-year-old, a five-year-old, a law practice, and books to write. So what. No biggie. Except on those days when I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Oh, yeah. They happen. Those days when I’m too damn busy to even think straight. Here’s the most ridiculous example I can think of:

Hubby and I had been talking about getting a crock pot. I’d love to make soup with it. He’d love to warm cheese dip for nachos. We just kept talking about it, so we finally went to the store and bought one. Wonderful. I was having the time of my life. Within a few days, I made vegetable beef soup, vegetable chicken soup, and chicken and sausage gumbo. Good times. I didn’t want to overdo it though. That was enough crock pot food for the week. I decided to wash it and put it away until the next time I was in the mood to go on a slow-cooking binge.

I proceeded to wash it. Then I proceeded to put it away. Then I saw–in my very own cabinet–an identical crock pot.

WTF!

You mean to tell me I had a crock pot all along? For how long? For the life of me, I couldn’t remember buying it.

I waited until hubby came home to mention it to him. I wanted to see the look on his face when he saw both crock pots. He didn’t disappoint. He looked as bewildered as I did. Neither of us had remembered buying the thing. He thought about it…and thought about it–and this is why I blame him for this mess (Ha Ha! I MUST blame somebody else for this)–he remembered buying the crock pot last year (2012) after we’d talked about it so much, for his Super Bowl nachos. He used it the one time and put it up.

Ohhhh. Yeah. Now, I remember. Those were good nachos, hon. So good that we BOTH forgot about buying and using a crock pot to eat them. *sighs*

So, am I doing too much?

You bet.

But I’m not the only one. Hubby’s doing too much too. We need a vacation.

OBVIOUSLY.

My 2013 Resolution: Get a Mammogram.

This holiday season, I’ve been hanging out with family, watching movies, eating waaay too much, and working out waaay too little. I’ve also been thinking, talking, and planning. That’s what led to this post. Though I don’t usually have a New Year’s Resolution, I’ve made a promise to myself and family that I’ll share with you: I’ve decided to get a mammogram in 2013.

Getting a mammogram has been recommended to me since I turned thirty-three because of my family history. My grandmother was diagnosed in her forties with stage four breast cancer, had a mastectomy, and lived another twenty years. Over twenty years ago, my mother was diagnosed at forty with stage three breast cancer. After radiation, chemo, and a lymphadenectomy, she is a breast cancer survivor. With my mother and grandmother having breast cancer, I have an increased risk of having breast cancer.

I’ve been putting it off for the following reasons (a.k.a. excuses): 1) I had hoped a good diet and regular exercise would be enough to keep me healthy, 2) I wanted to breastfeed my kids first, 3) I wasn’t yet forty, and therefore, had plenty of time, 4) Even if I found out I had cancer, I wouldn’t want to go through radiation and chemo, so finding out would just be a waste of time, money, and positive energy, and 5) Getting my size 36J breasts smashed and examined would hurt. Matter of fact, the treatments, if necessary, would hurt. Everything would hurt, and I like to avoid pain.

I could go on, but you know what my real problem is? I’m scared. That’s the truth. I even had a mammogram scheduled one year and called to cancel my appointment a few hours beforehand. Why am I scared? I know my family history. I know cancer kills. I know the odds. They aren’t necessarily in my favor. I also know avoiding the issue won’t change any of this, so I have to meet it head-on.

For years, my mother has given me the scoop from her personal experiences, challenges and triumphs. She’s also been encouraging me to take care of myself, which includes getting a mammogram. My husband has been doing the same, so that I would be around for years to come. Can you believe he actually wants to keep me around? 🙂 Anyway–it just so happens that my whole family used this holiday to team up and express their concern. Even my younger brother got involved.

I’m thirty-eight now, and they reminded me early detection is best. Then they made me promise to get a mammogram in 2013. I promised. So that’s my New Year’s Resolution.

I have donated to several breast cancer programs annually for the past twenty years and walked in several awareness events, but 2013 will finally be the year that I take a proactive step towards making my own breast health a priority. DIGITAL CAMERAI know this isn’t the designated month for breast cancer awareness, but it’s the end of one year and the beginning of another. And while everyone is reflecting on 2012 and planning for 2013, so am I.

In 2012, I joined a gym, got a personal trainer, lost thirty pounds and lowered my blood pressure. In 2013, I’ll continue to workout…and I’ll get a mammogram. As much as I hate going to see a doc, I’m going to put my fear aside and put my big girl panties on. Now that I’ve made this public declaration, I’m more likely to stick to it. You’ll hold me accountable, won’t you?

I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, the pictures in this post were taken in April 2011 after the Sister’s Network Inc. breast cancer awareness 5K run. I was tired. Don’t hold that against me. 😀

Davida and Omarosa DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy New Year! Make YOUR health a priority in 2013.