The Last Word on The Last Day
This has been a bittersweet year. Many of us have lost loved ones. For me it was my last surviving uncle, who passed away last August at the age of 88, suddenly and quickly (the way he always said he wanted to go), after a long and full life. Saying goodbye was hard. But on the other hand, my mother is still with us, recently celebrated her 91st birthday (and she's got an older sister who's still kicking at 93, so watch out for the new Delany sisters).
The rest of my family is well. I thank God for reasonably good health. I transcribe medical reports for a living, and it's shocking how many people my age have been stricken with heart disease, MS, cancer. I will never, ever take health for granted, and this is mentioned in my prayers every night. This is a comfortable time in my life, with my stepchildren grown and a rapidly growing grandchild. My husband and I are blessed to both have jobs in these uncertain economic times, our rental property is occupied after being vacant for a year (a very long year of paying two mortgages), and I have been presented with a wonderful professional opportunity that I plan to do everything in my power to make happen.
I'm at a good point in my writing (note I didn't say writing career, just writing). I turned in Trouble Down The Road, and my editor was very pleased with both the content and the condition of the manuscript. I've put down nearly 50,000 words on paper since November 1st for my next independent project, which I have named The Heat of Heat and which I plan to bring out in the spring. The hook for a story I started outlining two years ago has finally formed in my head. Other new ideas are flowing, and I plan to continue to tell my stories, if not through a mainstream publisher, then through my own Bunderful Books. I've been working the last few days on edits for my first independently published project, Save The Best For Last, correcting a few typos I've noticed, before I make it available for bookstores to order for consumers (I don't expect them to actually stock it, but this does make for improved distribution for readers who don't like to order online). I'm going to continue to make strides to write faster so that I can maybe keep up with some of these ideas I've got, some of which fall into the strike-while-the-iron-is-hot category.
Another feather in my cap is that I've gotten a lot more organized this year, as I hoped to do. I can get my hands on just about everything in the house, now that I've assigned a place for it all!
One of the two areas where I came up short is keeping in touch with my friends. But we're all busy, and with me being home in the mornings (while they're at work) and working into the evenings, after which it's too late to call anyone, especially in the East, it makes it difficult. And we all have things to do on the weekends. But I'm going to try to get hold of some of them before this long weekend is over.
My other shortcoming was my weight, which is pretty much where it was at this time last year.
But this new year...well, maybe I shouldn't make any promises I'm not sure I can keep.
But there's no beating myself up. I've done well this year, and I plan to do even better in 2010.
What about you?
I'll close by wishing everyone all good things in 2010! Be blessed, and stay blessed!
Christmas Carols for the Psychologically Challenged
Okay, it's not politically correct, but it's all in good fun.
1. SCHIZOPHRENIA: Do You Hear What We Hear?
NARCISSIST: Hark the Herald Angels Sing - All About Me.
MANIC: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants, and...
MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER: We Three Queens Disoriented Are
PARANOID: Santa Claus Is Coming To Get Me.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells.
SENILE DEMENTIA: Walking in a Winter Wonderland...Miles from My House in My Slippers and Pajamas.
OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus...so I Burned Down the House.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER: We Wish You - Hey Look!!! It's Snowing!!!
It's almost Christmas Eve. It's snowing outside, so Christmas will be white up in these parts. Everything's done, I've got a few days off, and I feel greeeeeaaaaaaat!
I'd like to take this time to wish all of you, plus all your families and loved ones, all the blessings of the season. May you continue to be blessed.
More About Me
If you can stand reading another interview about me, my friend Shelia Goss, who is a newspaper columnist as well as a novelist, has a feature on me in the Dallas Examiner.
Introducing Secrets and Lies
by Rhonda McKnight
About the Book
Faith Morgan is struggling with her faith. Years of neglect leave her doubting that God will ever fix her marriage. When a coworker accuses her husband, Jonah, of the unthinkable, Faith begins to wonder if she really knows him at all, and if it’s truly in God’s will for them to stay married.
Pediatric cardiologist Jonah Morgan is obsessed with one thing: his work. A childhood incident cemented his desire to heal children at any cost, even his family, but now he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Will he continue to allow the past to haunt him, or find healing and peace in a God he shut out long ago?
About the Author
Rhonda McKnight owns Legacy Editing, a free-lance editing service for fiction writers and Urban Christian Fiction Today (www.urbanchristianfictiontoday.com ), a popular Internet site that highlights African-American Christian fiction. She’s also the vice president of the Faith Based Fiction Writers of Atlanta. Originally from a small coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia, home for almost twelve years.
Rhonda, tell us how you came up with the idea for this story?
I woke up one morning and these people were talking in my head, or rather arguing. (LOL). I thought this could be interesting, turned on the creativity, and came up with the “issues” in their marriage. I also did a lot of research about heart disease. Jonah is a pediatric cardiologist and that’s central to the story. I knew absolutely nothing about heart disease before I wrote this novel.
Who is your ideal reader?
I think most people will think my ideal reader is women who are married. While I think the book will definitely appeal to married women, I’d love for single woman who are thinking about marriage or waiting on Mr. Right to read the book. There is a valuable lesson for single women in the story. Faith chose to overlook a very important issue prior to her marriage to Jonah. This issue becomes a huge source of pain for her. Ten years later her ideal black man has her pulling her hair out.
Name something about the book that will appeal to readers?
I think readers will find it appealing, because more than half of it is written from Jonah’s point of view. My informal research amongst readers has taught me that women readers love stories that are written from a man’s perspective. Like most men, Jonah is complex. He’s a love to hate kind of guy. People will love him because he’s dedicated his life to physically healing children, but he’s emotionally and spiritually sick himself. What a burden for Faith. Faith’s pain will have some folks shaking their heads at Jonah.
When’s your next book being released?
My second novel, An Inconvenient Friend, comes out August 1, 2010. I have a nasty little character in Secrets and Lies who gets her own story, and what a story it is. She’s up to no good. Can she be redeemed?
How can readers find out more about you?
Readers may contact me at my website at http://www.rhondamcknight.net/. I love for people to sign my guestbook and share their thoughts about the story. I’m also a complete Facebook addict. You’ll definitely find me there more than you should at www.facebook.com/rhondamcknight .
The Week in Review
I personally was glad that Desireé Rogers did not give testimony at this week's investigation into Crashergate. Protecting the President is ultimately the responsibility of the Secret Service, not the White House Social Secretary. I suspect the questions would have strayed far off course into matters like magazine articles that have been written on Ms. Rogers and her wardrobe choices. So what if she gets a little publicity? She's in a high-profile, prominent position in an exciting adminstration (which explains why the only other White House Social Secretary I can name is Leticia Baldridge, who served during the JFK years). So what if Ms. Rogers likes to be well dressed...what woman doesn't?
That said, I must say that she didn't come out of this looking all that great (actually, she looked great personally, but I'm talking professionally here). The accepted role of the Social Secretary is to oversee all White House events, the way any event planner would, and this includes screening at exclusive events like this one. There were spelling errors in the menu, and that couple did manage to get in...and there she was, posing like she was on the red carpet at the Oscars. Did any of her predecessors ever attend White House functions they organized as guests?
Her staff, presuming they were entrusted to fill in, might not have been up to the task either, but clearly they'll have to do a better job next time. And if she decides she's really not the person for the position (her background is in business management, not entertaining, having served as president of the utility company in Chicago), I nominate B. Smith to take over.
Gotta mention the Tiger situation. The press conference scheduled by Gloria Allred (who's built a nice career from women involved in sex scandals) was mysteriously canceled with a terse statement that there'd be no further comments on the matter. Smells like a payoff to me. But there really are more important matters for the media to be following...like an investigation into why the man who shot four police officers dead as they sat and had coffee was given early release (by a prominent former governor who's already run for president once and is considering doing it again). Sometimes the love Americans have for scandal makes me want to puke. Remember how more people were interested in the O.J. Simpson case than in the simultaneous trial of the Oklahoma City bombers?
Moving across the Atlantic, the verdict is in on the Amanda Knox trial. Maybe it's wrong for me to say this, but I never got a feeling of innocence from her. I can only pray that she wasn't wrongly convicted. But I am sick, sick, sick of hearing her described as "not looking like a murderer." Every black person in America can hear between those lines. We will ever hear that said about one of our children?
We should live so long.
Do you have any thoughts on either of these situations? What's your opinion? I'd love to know!