Saturday, December 17, 2011

Market Research

It can be a pain, if you let it. I have to keep reminding myself that it is oh-so necessary :-) One more hour!! Love, Sam

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Today is a great day to embrace your life and just be happy. Why? 'Cause it's all you got- the present :-) I'm feeling great in my present, my now. I wrote four more pages of book number 2 yesterday and wrote six more this morning, bringing me to 58 pages!!! That's a quarter of the way done, as far as the creative process is concerned. This is where discipline is paramount. I've set a goal that I must reach 120 pages by December 31st. I'll make it happen. Sending goal-setting, super-happy, progressive vibes your way! Have a great day :-) Love, Sam

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rise and Shine

It seemed like I did have writer's block for many months. That was rough and truth be told my focus was way off. That's kind of expected with a new job, new man, and new responsibilities. Welp, something in me shifted and I just didn't feel right. Me without writing is a painful existence.

I missed my first love and as much as I journaled, it didn't take the place of writing novels- getting into really interesting story lines and falling in love with characters.

I was also in a rocky relationship with a literary agent. Let's just say, for the sake of grace and professionalism, that it didn't work out between us. We are over and I'm back with this novel in my hands so close to being ready for the world- on my own and without the backing of a major publishing company. I think that's exactly how I want it though. For authors today, this self-publishing/e-book revolution is lucrative, liberating, empowering, and it just makes sense with all the resources available at our finger tips.
My baby (Organic Leaves) is not perfect. It needs a good editor- found one two days ago!!- and it needs to be formatted for ebook publising- Been doing that for days!!! I might as well be an expert... lol

So things are looking up and moving right along. The new job is funding my dreams, the new man is supportive to the point of selflessly making me focus on myself, and my new responsibilities are keeping me on task. There's always going to be something I have to do, something I have to take care of- publishing my own book was always on the list, but it's become more of a priority as my three years to 30 is starting to turn into one year to 30. Where'd the time go??? Geez...

All that to say, I going to meet the goal of publishing before 30. This is a process and it does take time, but it does not have to take forever.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Writer's Block

There is a bit of blockage right now. Not sure what to do. I can pray, change locations, "sit my butt down and write," the list goes on. Working on the second book has been a little straining. It's in the first few pages and I can already tell that it is an intense story. My imagination has reached a new level with this one. But that amount of energy exuded can be taxing...comes with the territory though.

Currently, I'm in contract negotiations with a literary agent with the first book. I'm hopeful about that. That was one of my initial goals remember?? Snag an agent!! But I had changed my mind and considered e-publishing after being rejected by so many. I had my mind set on doing it all myself. Welp, things have changed and I am not complaining. I have high hopes for Organic Leaves and in the meantime, I'm going to do all of the above (pray, change locations, "sit my butt down and write,") and finish this second project.

Keep ya posted!!



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No She Didn't!!!

Dear All,

I was talking to a close friend of mine, explaining how a 26-year-old admitted that I looked younger than her. I took that as a compliment because I could've sworn she was well over 30! So my close friend rattles off boastfully about looking "younger" though we "are on the 30 side of 20."

Wait! What??!! Who says that?! The "30 side of 20?" I never knew such a saying existed. My ears, oh gah!! No way...since when? LOL!

I'm being ultra dramatic today. There's nothing wrong with being...I hesitate...on the 30 side of 20. I think 30s are great, but it felt like I was put there before my time. Even two years- no longer three-to 30 sounds better...I think (as I nod to myself reassuringly).

Welp, this conversation that I had with my close friend was right on time...a couple days before I touch down in glorious Miami! The beautiful #305!! The main escape for me as a college kid during my matriculation at Florida A&M.

It's time to rewind the clock and be on the 20 side of 20 again!! Wet Willies, for starters (hee hee) and who knows what, to follow. I need fun in the sun and the freedom to be free! And while I write all of this, I'm starting to see a more realistic picture of me: On the beach, laptop up, writing, working on website, working on book launching plans (I'll keep you posted) and working on finances, with the ocean waves crashing as my background music...Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to do it all!

Let's go, GIRLS!!!!

P.S. Everyone needs a break every now and again...and again ;-)



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

High School Reunion Ticket for One, Please?

I can honestly say that I remember thinking about my 10-year reunion my senior year in high school. I remember I was sitting at my desk in newspaper class thinking, “Okay, so I’ll be 28. Hmmmm, I suppose I’ll be married with a baby or a baby on the way. Also I should be an award-winning journalist by then. Yep!” That was the plan.

Marriage: Yeah, not even close. Married? Me? What’s that? No, I’m kidding. If you consider a re-occurring conversation, which I did NOT initiate, where “we” discussed eloping in undergrad…I guess you could consider that that’s the closest I’ve gotten. Oh, and the trying on of the rings. I can’t believe we used to do that- and were SERIOUS!! LOL!! But anywhoo, rings are fun...and pretty. I’d do it again- I don’t care.

Besides that, I’m pretty much swimming in this dating pool. I think for once in my life I’m doing the backstroke- easy, breezy, FUN, relaxing, going with the flow. Before that was easier said than done; now it is actually what I do and I’m really happy. But with that being said, there’s no ONE (not because they’re not great) I would consider asking to escort me to my reunion. From my perspective, I’d rather enjoy the “catching up” with my classmates by myself, after all, I’d know everyone there and he wouldn’t…wait, before I go further, I’d just feel more comfortable at this stage in my dating to go to my reunion alone. I’m really starting to recognize and embrace my comfort levels rather than overanalyzing why I feel or think a certain way. This how I feel and what I think…today :-)

A baby or preggers? Uhhh, no. That’s just not a want right now anyway. It was then, but when I look at my life now, one- I haven’t settled on my partner (that’s major), and two- it just doesn’t fit with my current plan. So that’s out and that’s totally okay by me.

Award-winning journalist: Journalist- yes, but not full time like I had originally planned. Award-winning- yeah, in college! LOL!! With this one though, I gave myself permission to change my mind. I’m good at what I do. I’m a writer. But my focus has changed. Funny enough, it’s changed back to what it was my freshman year of college. I remember walking on the set of FAMU at 18 thinking, “I don’t need a damn degree to write books.” Anddddd then I continued to pursue a degree in newspaper journalism, changed to elementary education, changed again to magazine production, graduated, and then went to grad school for business. What am I doing now? Working in publishing (totally my choice after NOT enjoying being a newspaper reporter in Tallahassee), freelancing as an entertainment journalist, and publishing my NOVEL #Organic Leaves this summer. I went back to my first love, and that’s all I want to do- write more books.

The Wrap Up

I surely had this picture-perfect image of myself at 28, and honestly, I’m not that woman. That is a most wonderful thing though, because I’m happy and secure when it comes to my life and the choices that I’ve made. I think a high school reunion is the perfect time to celebrate who you really are and not wallow in or dwell on who you’re not.



Monday, May 2, 2011

This Goes Out to My Ladiessssssss!!

I’ve never been the type to dislike girls just because they’re girls. And actually it would make my skin crawl to hear another woman say she couldn’t stand women and would rather hang out with men. I love hanging out with the guys, but I need a healthy balance and will run to get my estrogen fix at some point. That’s just how I’m wired- Female Power to the Fullest!! I need my solitude and lots of it, I need my guys so I can laugh, take notes, and laugh some more, and then I need my girls because they can understand me, give me good or not so great advice, and challenge me to be my best and have the best.

I remember one of my girls said in front of everyone, “I think you should be with [this guy] because he’ll treat you like a queen and you deserve that…He’s like the William to your Joan.*” And while she had a point and I believed it, I just wasn’t interested in him and wasn’t gonna fake it for excellent treatment. But in that statement of hers, I felt her love. I knew that she had felt a recent struggle of mine and wanted the absolute best for me. That’s why I love my girlfriends. While you think you’re just telling them a story, the happenings, they are walking with you, arguing with you, albeit being disrespected, neglected, and mistreated right along with you.

One night I shared a friendly letter with one of my girlfriends that I had written to a close guy friend of mine. It was a heartfelt two-pager (this is how I am, rarely) chronicling our time knowing each other, the ups, the downs, and how we’re totally winning because we’re still friends. After reading the P.S., I look up to see my good girlfriend wiping her tears. I burst into laughter! “Are you crying??” I asked. She nodded yes. I “teared” up a little bit myself, because at this point I knew it was okay to let out the tears I had been holding back but also because I felt not only her love, but her understanding. She had rode with me through that whole rocky roller coaster of lust, love, 2 days of hate, a long period of extreme dislike, amazing forgiveness (ooooh Jesus), and then genuine friendship. She felt my closure in that letter and I more than appreciated that.

Another one of my girls I can call, give her my dilemma, and she 99.9% of the time says the right things. It usually goes like this, “Did you hear yourself? You just worked out your own problem,” or “What does Samantha want to do? Why do you care what anybody thinks about it? Girl, bye!”  She’s the friend that always indirectly reminds me that the answer lies within. I sooooo appreciate that and need that reminder.

I have a million more stories and not enough space. But I just wanted to share how much my girls mean to me. Women supporting women is a beautiful thing. Even if there’s occasional beef, and it happens, and I hold grudges for a length of time, at the end of it all and what keeps me happy in these relationships is the constant realization that we’re human, we make mistakes, and friendship and communication are two-way streets. God blessed me with very human and yet extremely wonderful, fun, crazy, beautiful, loving GIRLFRIENDS!!!!!! I need them as much as they need me.



*Reference to the "Girlfriends" sitcom. How appropriate... ;-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't Push Me...Just Stop.

#sigh That's exactly what I just did. Why? Because there is a proverbial thorn in my side; guaranteed, though, that after I write this, I will feel a lot better and relieved. The thorn in my side is a person's persistence to get my attention. I am not willing to give it, so if said person is reading this, take this as an open letter (sort of) and just let it go. I really do mean no harm...but I would like you to leave me alone.

Not every situation between a man and a woman will work out to become a full-fledged commitment, a loving relationship, a deep or close friendship to last through the ages. Some people just get together because an initial attraction is there, and over time and for various reasons it fades. That's life.

If there is ever a question of why it didn't work, why don't people ask immediately rather than letting years go by and then bringing it up in the present? While I didn't mind explaining my perspective after a lot of time passed, I did mind being argued with about my perspective. Don't ask, if you can't handle it.

Now, I am a person who has a habit of leaving a situation and not turning back. What that means most of the time is that I don't need to keep in touch with past guys. Rarely do I keep the connection and there have only been two (my BFF and I went through the list) that I will call friends- they remind me of each other. It's funny to me. But I love them both dearly. Anywho, for everyone else, most of whom are not my enemies, we just don't need to keep in touch. Let me reiterate, it's NO BEEF...but it becomes beef when I'm bombarded with questions and then rebuttals for my own personal reasons for exiting, and thennnnn I'm chastised for being honest and straight to the point. Would you really rather me sugar coat this? If that's the case, no wonder nothing became of us. If I can take it- honesty, bluntness, then I feel like my kind of guy should be able to as well. My opinion.

Anywho, once I say I'm no longer discussing the issue, that's exactly what I mean. I'm no longer answering the whys. What is the point when you don't hear me in the first place? I feel like people quick to argue are hardly empathetic. They don't see it from your perspective, they can only view the situation from their's. Well if that's the case, don't ask me another thing.

So I said my peace, was argued "at," and I left it alone, not responding to anything else, that's my queue to ignore...Okay, that right there, is not an invitation to "knock on my door" a.k.a. reach out through digital technology after some days have passed. Stoppppppp....puhlease. No beef, just let it be. Seriously. Let it go. Not every person you date is gonna want to be your friend after or entertain your 20 questions plus unnecessary arguments. There's a lot of life to live; go live it.
God Bless You and Good Night...


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Other News...

Yeah, so I was trying to figure what to write and did not have a good feeling about what was on my mind. I didn't want to post this but you know what, this blog is about the ups and the downs, so here goes.

I'm frustrated...looking for an editor for my novel and 1. the cost is averaging $1,000 a pop (doable but I feel like I'm being robbed) and 2. honestly, I know there's more a million more editors that I haven't explored (which actually overwhelms me).

I've written to local authors (some bestselling) and asked for advice. Why local? It's just a feeling of comfort reaching out to people who live near me...I have no idea when I'll get out of that, maybe soon. I've gotten no responses...sigh... And then one response came in informing me that their choice is not accepting manuscripts right now. Even in writing this, I'm thinking to myself, "there are wayyyyy more authors to ask and sooooo much more research to do."

So I'm back to square one. I will be scouring the acknowledgments sections of novels similar to mine in Borders or Barnes and Noble this weekend, compiling another list and sending out emails. I'll be calling my newspaper editor friends to see who they know. I'm going to work this out- promise.

Second book underway, Website underway...

Oh highlight: My interview with Ryan Leslie!!! Ahhhhh yes, it was great and fun and seriously, I wish I could've talked to him all day. He's so interesting and talented. Also posted on Body of Work page :-D

Alright, got some writing to do. Good nite!



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Into Action

It's Spring outside and surely, (no one in a two mile radius of me can deny) it is in my SOUL! I'm full of renewed energy and ready to roll!!

At this point, and after many rejection letters from publishers, I'm considering the most modern way to publish a novel. There are a few choices. Looking at them with a magnifying glass and one hand on the Bible. While my thinking and praying cap is charging up, take a gander at a story that I will be releasing very soon. :-)



Organic Leaves 2009©

When Melanie Bridges, a beautiful, single, successful D.C., journalist, decided to attend her first love's wedding to her college enemy, she thought she was closing a chapter for good, but instead she unknowingly opened up a world of deceit, betrayal, and more heartache than she had bargained for.

Melanie is forced to face the man who broke her heart and the woman who stole his. She heads back to Atlanta with her girls, two years after graduating from Atlanta A&M University, where it all began, where she met her college sweetheart Derrick Mason and the only real friends she’s ever known—wild Nikki Blanchard, sweet Shelly McCrary, and focused Toni Davis-Solomon. While preparing to bury, for good, the idea that she and her ex will ever marry, Melanie takes advantage of this midyear vacation with her best friends of six years. But in the midst of her Atlanta stay, secrets are discovered, lies are uncovered, horrid memories resurface, and friends become enemies. Facing her fears leads to a shock of a lifetime and more pain than she could have ever imagined. The most disturbing discovery is the realization that through life’s trials, she’s lost the essence of who she really is; as if what was organically and authentically Melanie had just upped and walked away. It takes prayer, strength, and love like she's never known to bring her back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reset Button

Vacation. Just what the soon-to-be Dr. Ash prescribed for me. She's my bestie and currently a counselor. Not only does she give me friendly advice but she can't help but throw in some mental health points. Due to the stress that I've currently been under, a little ego bruising, and pressure in different aspects of my life, my bestie said leaving D.C. and partying it up with her would make me feel better. Annnnnnnd boy was she right!

Mardi Gras was amazing! I love New Orleans. I loved the daily dose of relaxing agents...The men (and I'm totally generalizing) are very handsome ;-) The people, okay most of the ones I met, are really nice. The dancing, the food, music, the JAZZ!!! I was happy for days. I lost all track of time for 6 days. Woke up when I wanted, watched the parades, partied, slept when I felt the need, and did it all over again. It felt good not to juggle a job, the hustle, the commute, the other hustle, and everything else. New Orleans, like much of the South, was just chill, slower, smoother. Granted, this was Mardi Gras, but after living in Florida, I know the pace, it is familiar and it is so much more relaxed. It made me question the culture in D.C. and why I'm even still apart of it. Honestly, still thinking on it.

I honestly got sad at thought of coming back home. My bestie said I could stay and though she was playing, I sensed seriousness. I asked her to find me a job. She said with her connects that it's possible. I know it is. But I came home anyway, back to the grind, with no intention to really move to New Orleans. Why? I don't fully know. I know that I've settled a bit in this area now. My personal roots (family, friends, colleagues, associates), though not too too deep, are here. I'm by no means stuck, but I don't necessarily want to start all over some place else. On the flip side, I can though. Either way, now, in this moment I'm here. My bestie told me to carry the feeling I had in New Orleans with me to D.C. because stress can do major harm. That's exactly what I did. I'm interestingly enough more focused (work, hustles), but also a lot more relaxed.

I need more vacations like that. I came back forever changed and I'm thankful :-)



Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time Out

The other day, I wrote on my BBM status "Quiet Time." I seriously meant that I had to put myself on a time-out. Didn't feel like talking, texting, tweeting, listening, hanging, nothing. I just wanted to be quiet and listen to the Divine. Lately it seems that life has been one big worldwind. There's the success of the interviews I've been doing with well-known artists; I was "recognized" in the street as Samantha Luck who does video interviews for; the publishing process; being solicited to freelance; 9-5 really becoming demanding; and then throw dating, being there for friends and family, making sure I feed my face (when I stress, I don't eat), and maintaining some type of stability and peace in the mix, and it's quite the juggling act, especially when I feel like I'm in a transitional phase- having not really made a home for myself like I had planned to by now...See, that's a lot, right? Anywho, quiet time, time-out, meditation, all that has been appropriate. I just want to hear what I'm supposed to hear, go where I'm supposed to go, and do what I am supposed to do.

Sometimes you also need a minute to reevaluate, analyze moves, strategize and plan. How am I supposed to do that if I never take a time-out to just be quiet and reflect?

Plus, OMG! I'm 28- 2 years to 30 now...Geez Luise, where did time go? Gotta reassess, gotta reflect, gotta be silent.

I have to remind myself that I don't have to be "on" all the time. It's okay to take a chill pill every once in a while.



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Big Wheel Keep On Turning...

How the novel process and my dating life continue to parallel is beyond me. As a matter of fact, it could very well be a blessing because I'm totally into both. They are both leading to a desired goal, it's fun even with its many ups and downs, and there are plenty lessons to learn.

Lesson 1:

Ahhhhh yes!! How many times have you been told "Stop putting all your eggs in one basket" if it is not official. With dating, sure you're not committed, but he's talking that good stuff, giving you the sweetest taboo. Saying all the things your poor heart wants to hear even though you never asked for that crap. You start raising him up above the others. Why? Because you already have a scewed view of him, a high regard for him that's not deserved and there could be various reasons why you'd do that. Everyone has their own preferences, reasons, logic, excuses...

But nooooo, stop, don't do it!!! You want action, remember??? Not typical smooth operator mumbo jumbo.

Similar to lit agents and publlishers. I've gotten quite a bit of interest in the book, which has excited me greatly. The use of big words like "love," "interested," and "we'll be in contact" has triggered feelings of want and a "knowing" that the dream is coming true and fast. So what did I do? I paused on exploring other options because of the sweet talk. Well, I'm not signed to any of my sweet talkers, so guess what? It's time to keep on moving. Opening that door right back up and see what else is out there that'll not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

When you know you have a good product that will not only sell but touch lives, why would want to bury that and have the publishing process delayed by others that only see a fraction of what you see? Why would you want someone or a company to keep holding off when you know it's awesome?

Same with dating. When you know you're great and can run down the list of why and how, why let the sweet talker, smooth operator put "baby in the corner?" Just doesn't seem right at all. Too awesome for that. Take ALL EGGS OUT OF BASKET and divy them up amongst those who know the corner is not a place for you.

So yes, the big wheels have been turning. Dating with more of an open mind and heart has begun and it's been a blast. I've even learned to appreciate characteristics I would've never thought to (whole other blog). LOL!!

And my book! Yes!! It's time to get those emails, queries, letters rollin'!!

Let's work on getting something real :-)

P.S. Can you tell I've been listening to Sade a lot? lol :-) and Tina Turner...
I'll be writing another BIG LESSON I've learned for ya next week :-)

For you viewing and listening pleasure ;-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gotta Learn to Live with "Rejects"

The more I seek an agent or publishing company, the more I relate the process to dating. It really is an attraction/dating/mating process.

Hear me out:

I find that I groom the product, the novel, like I groom myself. Edits after edits after edits. Smoothing the kinks out. Building character, improving depth. Making the presentation better all around. Then it's time to present to a few good suitors. I know who I have my eye on, let's see if I catch theirs.

After the presentation is just right, I make the novel available (the whole package is ready to go), but I won't flat out hand over the goods, not in the beginning. The publishing company/agent doesn't get the whole thing *snaps finger* just like that. Some are even turned off by the audacity and aggressiveness.

And in relation to dating, a Lady doesn’t just jump out there with a guy she's interested in and says "Ding, I'm ready. Take all of me even though we just met two seconds ago." I just don't think that's a Lady move, although a Lady doesn't have to be a Lady all the time (leaving it alone). BUT in Lady mode, she may walk past her object of desire, gain eye contact and smile or walk past him and compliment him on an item of clothing. He smiles and says, "thank you." She responds and walks away. Once his interest is piqued, score for her! She’s opened a door!

Well, the door opener for publishing is the query letter, which basically says, "I'm interested in you. Here's why, AND here's why I think you should be interested in me." It may also include the summary of the story. That’s that something extra that you hope will hook them even more.

But know this, there is no guarantee the agent or company is gonna bite. Just like complimenting that very handsome guy doesn't guarantee a date. As honest as you were and as cute as he became when he blushed and thanked you, he might have a girl or many girls on his team; he might not have time for you; he might not like your style or your face or your hair or your perfume. It just might not be a fit.

Publishing companies and agents do the same thing. I've been told they have no time for my story. I've been told there’s too much on their plate. I’ve been ignored… No one has said that the story wouldn't be a good fit- there's a ray of light. That means good research has paid off. I'm in the right area, I just haven’t struck gold (meaning signed on the dotted lines)…yet.

It's funny because a friend asked me last night about dealing with rejection and things not going my way, but she was referring to men. Basically how do I deal with it? I thought back, a ways back, and told her that I used to get mad…then it became disappointment and frustration but it has come down like 20 notches. Over time I naturally developed a "Shit Happens," "Such is Life," "What God Has For Me is For Me" type of attitude. Life goes on.

1. I'm not meant to be with everybody…Ewww that's just gross. And as long as I've been dating, Jeez, I can't imagine following through with every guy who winked at me.
2. Being let down is not a bad thing if it reveals to you that it's not a good match anyway.
3. If you know that the best is yet to come…in whatever form- could be a more mature version of who you're with now, or a totally different person (IDK), then take the negatives with a grain of salt.

In dating and in publishing, why get mad when someone's says, “It ain't gon' work.” Keep going AND look to the positive.

The positive things that I can say about this process:

1. I've gotten amazingly far from the first scene I wrote years ago.
2. I've connected with a lot of writers, publishers, supporters and will continue to do so.
3. My quality of life has improved because I’m passionate about what I do.
4. My manuscript has NOT been rejected by all ;-) (under wraps for now).
5. This is pretty damn fun, actually.

My friend called me optimistic and I agree with her. There are far more positives than negatives. And the negatives, really, I mean really, aren't that bad :-)



Summary Below:

Organic Leaves 2009©

When Melanie Bridges, a beautiful, single, successful D.C., journalist, decided to attend her first love's wedding to her college enemy, she thought she was closing a chapter for good, but instead she unknowingly opened up a world of deceit, betrayal, and more heartache than she had bargained for.

Melanie is forced to face the man who broke her heart and the woman who stole his. She heads back to Atlanta with her girls, two years after graduating from Atlanta A&M University, where it all began, where she met her college sweetheart Derrick Mason and the only real friends she’s ever known—wild Nikki Blanchard, sweet Shelly McCrary, and focused Toni Davis-Solomon. While preparing to bury, for good, the idea that she and her ex will ever marry, Melanie takes advantage of this midyear vacation with her best friends of six years. But in the midst of her Atlanta stay, secrets are discovered, lies are uncovered, horrid memories resurface, and friends become enemies. Facing her fears leads to a shock of a lifetime and more pain than she could have ever imagined. The most disturbing discovery is the realization that through life’s trials, she’s lost the essence of who she really is; as if what was organically and authentically Melanie had just upped and walked away. It takes prayer, strength, and love like she's never known to bring her back.