Here's an unedited snippet of dialogue from something I've been working on:
“You think you’ll ever get married?” I asked while we were working in his home office.
He turned around in his chair and stared at me. His expression was blank but his eyes expressed shock and a little fear.
“Um, that was out of left field.” He laughed nervously.
“I’m working on an article. I had a conversation with a few female entrepreneurs and many of them are wondering if when they are ready- if they are ever ready- for marriage and children if they will find someone. Given that they’ve achieved some level of success. You know will they be able to find someone in their lane or someone who’s not intimidated by their success.”
“Okay?” he asked still seemingly confused.
"I’m wondering is this just something females are worried about or do men wonder about the future as well? Do you see yourself married with children? And if so, are you looking for a particular female to fill that position? Like does she have to be as successful as you or would you prefer someone who isn’t as ambitious?”
“So are you interviewing me?” he smiled.
I shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Is this just for the article?” he asked softly.
I shrugged again. “Maybe.”
He rolled his chair next to me and sighed. He was quiet for a minute and I was actually afraid of his answer.
“To be honest with you, I never thought about getting married because I never figured it was an option. You know I didn’t grow up with my parents and none of my friends had parents that were married so that wasn’t something I ever even thought of.” He paused and shook his head. “And the kind of girls I used to date. . .” he laughed darkly. “I sure as hell would never wife any of them. So my plan was to just keep trying to build a business, stay out of trouble and just enjoy my life.”
He leaned closer to me and bumped my shoulder.
“And then I met you and for the first time in my life I wanted more.”
I smiled at him. “More what?” I asked wanting him to elaborate.
“More from life. You inspire me. I wanted my business to bigger and better, I wanted to live intentionally and help my community and for the first time- it wasn’t just about sex- I wanted to be with you just to kick it or talk or just sit down and stare up at the sky.” He laughed.
“You sound so whipped.” I teased.
He kissed my lips. “You know I am.”
I kissed him back. “I know. But uh- you still haven’t answered the question.”
He rolled back to his side of the room.
“I’ve thought about it. A woman who has her own thing would be cool and I’d support her in any way that I could as long as I had her support and attention as well. And it would be really cool to one day teach my son or daughter what I know and pass my company to them. I think one of the main issues in our community is the lack of legacy building.”
My heart swelled at his words.
He started typing on his computer before he asked over his shoulder. “What about you? Have you thought about it?”
“I’m not the one being interviewed.” I laughed nervously.
“I’m interviewing you.” He said.
“I don’t know- like you said- I didn’t have an example of what marriage looked like either and over the years I’ve dated some men whose last names I definitely wouldn’t want attached to mine. But I have also been thinking differently since we’ve met.” I said softly.
He turned to look at me.
“I’m just afraid- I’ve heard so many horror stories about expectations and people changing after marriage. I couldn’t be with someone who is going to stifle me and what if you got bored with having sex with one woman for the rest of your life and went out and cheated and-,”
“Whoa- so this is no longer hypothetical?”
“What do you mean?” I frowned.
“You said what if you-,” he said pointing at himself.
“I didn’t mean you- it's hypothetical this entire conversation is hypothetical Michael.” I sighed and went back to work.
He rolled his chair next to me again but this time he turned me around to face him.
“Well let’s get specific for a minute. First of all, I would never cheat on you. And second let’s drop the bullshit. Do you want to get married one day?”
I shrugged. “I want a family. I want stability. I want love. Everything I never had growing up.” I started tearfully.
“I want that too.” He assured me. “Is that something you can see yourself having with me?” he asked.
I shrugged playfully. “I guess you’ll do.” I laughed.
“Okay, you got jokes.” He laughed.
“I’d consider myself extremely lucky to have that with you.” I said sincerely.
“I feel the same. I mean I know it’s only been a year and a half but I’m not going anywhere, I’m here unless you send me away. So let’s just keep learning and growing together and know that we’re on the same page. Okay?”
He kissed me again and turned away before quickly turning back to me.
“Wait- how many kids?”
“No more than two.”
“Good. I thought you’d want a bunch of kids since you were an only child. I draw the line at three.”
I don't know if this will be a part of my next novel or not. . .but it will definitely make an appearance in a future book!
One of the challenging things about having the kids home for summer is making sure they still stay engaged with the world around them. As opposed to sleeping all day and playing video games.
I always plan art days on our summer calendar because my kids and I love to draw and color. But this time I bought canvases and acrylic paint. I never imagined it would turn out to be their most favorite activity. They loved it so much we did it three days in a row!
The kids are super talented and creative. They decided to do art walls in their rooms. Here are the masterpieces they painted:
I purchased a combo pack of canvases that included brushes and five small tubes of acrylic paint from Michael's but ended up going to Walmart for more canvases and paint after we decided to paint for two more days.
My eight year old daughter actually Googled some ideas on her own and followed step by step instructions from artists on YouTube. I was so impressed at how her canvases turned out without any help! My son loves drawing pop art characters and images; he did a great job of painting his images on canvas!
My advice is to make sure you have enough brushes, paint and canvases for everyone. Find a big work space like a big dining table and cover it with a tarp or old bed sheet in case there are spills. We used empty water bottles to clean brushes when we changed paint colors. Also make sure everyone has fun and encourage your kids to be creative!
I purchased the book, In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, it is a “coffee table” style book that includes inspiration and advice from over 100 female makers, artists and entrepreneurs. The book is amazing and offers priceless advice from some badass girl bosses.
I love how each woman was asked a series of questions to give the reader insight about them, their craft and their path to success. The questions also make you think about your own journey and what legacy you want to leave. I decided to pretend I was one of the women in the book (maybe one day!) and provide answers to some of the questions that were asked:
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I loved school and I wanted to be in charge, so I thought it would be the perfect fit. But the reality of teaching “Internet Kids” who were smarter and sassier than I was at eight years old made me rethink things!
What does success mean to you? Success to me is peace of mind, good health, financial freedom and the love of family and friends.
How do you find motivation? My mortality gives me motivation. We are only here on Earth for a limited time, so I try to do the things I want to do while I still can.
What is your favorite quote? Currently it’s “Every day is a new opportunity to change your life and be who you want to be.” - Demi Lovato
Biggest lesson you’ve learned on your journey? That nothing lasts forever. Whether good or bad; things (and sometimes people) are only temporary so we shouldn’t allow stuff to affect us in such a profound or negative way. Live, learn and move on!
Name a woman you look up to? Michelle Obama is a goddess. Period. The way she handled herself during her time as First Lady was stellar and she set an example on how to just be authentically yourself regardless to what other people say or think.
How do you overcome personal adversity? I’m human so my first inclination when I’m faced with personal adversity is to shut down or feel sorry for myself. But I can’t allow myself the luxury of wallowing too long. I have two young children and a husband who rely on me and not to mention I know wallowing in misery has never solved any of my problems. So I beat myself up a little, then apologize and promise to be better and try harder and work smarter next time. Every day is a new opportunity!
I'm not a big TV watcher. Only because I can't really keep up with the dates and times various shows come on. I am totally out of the loop with current television programming but when I do have some down time I prefer to binge watch shows on Netflix. I want to get in and get out without months of commitment to a particular show.
If you are like me and looking for some fun and gripping shows to watch this summer here are five that I recommend:
1. Black Mirror- A dark, satirical series that explores how far technology could go in the near future. It also examines our dependency on technology especially the impact of social media. Very well written British series that reminds me of the Twilight Zone. Currently three seasons available on Netflix. I'm anxiously awaiting a Season 4!
2. Leverage- A series that follows a five-person team: a thief, a grifter, a hacker, and a retrieval specialist aka hitter, led by former insurance investigator Nathan Ford, who use their skills to get justice for ordinary citizens who have been wronged by big corporations. The show has some comedic and dramatic moments and I love all of the characters. The chemistry between the team is what makes the show. This was previously a series on TNT and all five seasons are available in Netflix
3. Breakout Kings- An original A&E series about a task force put together by the United States Marshals. The twist is that the team is comprised of current prisoners serving time for various crimes. They use their criminal genius and insider knowledge to help the Marshals find convicts who've escaped from prison. The tradeoff is that the task force of cons get to do their time in a minimum security prison and get time off their sentences for every escapee they help capture. I love the concept of this show as well as the writing and acting but unfortunately it was cancelled after only two seasons. However the final episode doesn't leave too much hanging, I like to think of it as a "what if" scenario that let's the viewer imagine how it all ended. You can breeze through both seasons on Netflix in a weekend.
4. White Collar- I think I'm seeing a pattern to the shows I like watching (LOL!). This previous USA network series is about FBI agent, Peter Burke who works in the white collar crime division (usually non-violent financial related crimes) specifically with the theft of art, jewels and things of that nature. His biggest arrest was career white collar criminal and genius, Neal Caffrey. He uses Neal to help him catch another high profile thief and it leads to a work release job for Neal helping Agent Burke find and recover stolen art. Again great chemistry between the two lead actors and Neal has a friend named Mozzie (Standford Blatch from the Sex and the City series) who steals every scene he's in as a paranoid anti-government grifter and thief. I have one season left of this show and I'm going to hate for it to end. All 6 seasons are currently available on Netflix.
5. Jessica Jones- If you are a superhero fan then you need to add this Netflix original to your list! I must warn you that the show is much darker and follows a different path than the original comic book version of Jewel/Jessica Jones. In this series, Jessica is a functioning alcoholic using her powers working as a private investigator. Through some flashbacks we learn how she not only got her powers but why she self medicates with alcohol. The villain Kilgrave (Purple Man) chases and is chased by Jessica throughout the season until a showdown at the end. If you're fan of David Tennant (from Dr. Who) you will love him as Kilgrave, he's magnetic! We're also introduced to Luke Cage in the Jessica Jones series they do hook up a few times but their relationship isn't as deep or developed as it is in the comics. I'm wondering if that will change with the new Defenders show debuting on Netflix bringing Cage , Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist together in one show. There is is only one season of Jessica Jones (13 episodes) but again her story will pick up with the Defenders. Definitely worth the watch.
BONUS: Chewing Gum- This Netflix original is my guilty pleasure. It's quirky, awkward and hilarious. It is a British comedy (READ: you've got to have a warped sense of humor, lol!) that follows Tracey Gordon a worker at a local convenience store. She's a 24 year old sheltered, religious virgin who desperately wants to have sex and learn more about the world. Her escapades on the show will either have you laughing out loud or cringing. Maybe both. But I personally think Michaela Coel is brilliant in this series. There are only two seasons available but Season 3 is on the way! Again, watch at your own risk especially if you're easily offended and it takes a lot to get your sense of humor going.
What are some of your favorite bingeworthy shows on Netflix?
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”