Where Have I Been?

I’ve been right here freaking out over this election. But I’ve decided to go ahead, cast my vote and just trust that God’s will be done.

I’ve also been busy writing my novel for the NaNoWriMo Challenge. Tonight I finished my daily quota and it was more fun than I thought it would be.

As promised I created a blog for it so that you all can watch my progress in my attempt to write a complete fiction novel this month. It took me so long to write the first two sentences, but once I got rolling it was on!

As a little disclaimer, it’s NOTHING like you would expect, but trust me it may be worth your while to keep reading. I have no idea where this story will end up, I am just gonna take it one day at a time and let my heart lead me where it needs to go.

So here it is for all the world to see. Ms. Tee’s first attempt at serious fiction writing, First Bite Of The Apple. Come back everyday to see what happens to a girl named Shanna. I am just as curious as you are to see where this leads.

Thanks for all the love!

Knuck If You Buck

So I decided to tell this story anyway, even though there is absolutely no literary or moralistic(made that word up) value.

This past weekend I made the trip up to Gainesville to go to Mimi’s wedding.

My boy Reggie picked me up around 4pm and we drove through crazy weekend traffic up to Orlando to pick up his boy Steve.

Reggie had spoken often about Steve. He was his bestfriend from undergrad and they were so in tune, la, la, la. For some reason I thought Steve was going to be Asian. I guess it’s because Reggie has no boundaries when it comes to friends. He can party with any race.

So we pull up to Steve’s apartment complex and my eyes bug out cuz Steve is not only Black, he’s also kinda cute. My heart starts beating fast. I get so nervous when I’m around men. I immediately clam up and don’t say a word. Steve is still living the college life while he’s completing his last year of pharmacy school. He lives in one of those typical college communities where every apartment looks exactly the same.

He has two roommates, a white guy and a Mexican guy. I am feeling very nostalgic about my college years as I sigh at the sight of a futon and two random couches pushed together in their living room. And you know no college apartment would be complete if it didn’t have a whole row of empty liquor bottles showcased above the cabinets. I smiled to myself and sat down.

While Steve is packing the car up he’s asking me all kinds of questions trying to make me feel comfortable but that doesn’t work. I’m tight lipped the entire time, only nodding and giggling. Damn, I act goofy around men.

We stop to get something to eat and we’re on the road again. Steve passes me a cup and says, “Try this.” I taste it reluctantly, it tasted like chocolate heaven. And before I knew it I was telling all kinds of crazy stories and giggling all the way to Gainesville.

We pull into town and onto Archer Road and the car gets quiet. All three of us are silently reminiscing about our time there. I start to cry. Every corner and every street has a memory for me. I grew up there. I started my family there. I got saved there. I learned how to drive there. I became a woman there.

I call my girls to see where they are. I’m about to cry even harder thanks to that chocolate heaven and the fact that I have to pee so badly when they tell me that they are at Walmart. ~sigh. I loved Gainesville Walmart. It was RIGHT THERE! So close and so familiar. I knew everybody that worked there.

I hop out of Reggie’s truck and into my girl Tammy’s truck and we’re riding through Gainesville back to her apartment. We were supposed to go out, me Tammy and my other girl Tonya but we’re all lazy so we snuggle up and watch some crazy scary movie called Dawn of The Dead.

We wake up the following morning and go out to Denny’s to eat breakfast. Awww. I remember Denny’s. There’s only one in Gainesville and it’s right across the street from campus. It has Gator paraphanelia all around it.

We head back home and get dressed for the wedding. I am a hostess in Mimi’s wedding and she bought me this great suit to wear along with all of the other hostesses.

Mimi’s wedding was great, much better than I expected since she is always saying that she doesn’t worry about money cuz she trusts the Lord. Well the Lord came through for her!

It was so wild seeing all of these people that I knew when I first got saved, a little over four years ago. We all went to church together. In case you didn’t know, Mimi was the woman who led me to Christ and nurtured me until I grew a little. She is still my biggest encourager in Christ and at first I was so sad that she was getting married, but now I see that nothing is going to change between us.

After the wedding and the reception it was already 9pm. Yes, that wedding was looong. As soon as we got back in the car to go to Tammy’s apartment, Reggie calls and says he is ready to pick me up so that we can drive back to Steve’s place in Orlando to spend the night.

I go home, repack my stuff and meet up with him. I’m looking at him sideways cuz there are two girls in the car.

I say hi to them and we introduce ourselves. and I ask them how they know Reggie and Steve.

The girl sitting in the back seat next to me says, “Oh, we met them last night.”

“So, you met them last night and you’re going to Orlando with them to spend the night?” I ask and then laugh.

“Yeah,” the girl replies. “I’m kinda nervous but I thought, oh well, I’m young. You only live once.”

Steve can see the look on my face and he tells Reggie, “Don’t bring her nowhere with us anymore.”

You know me, I like to play the mother role and I find out that these two girls are sophomores and live in the same dorm I lived in when I was a jitterbug.

We stop by the dorm so they can change clothes. It turns out the guys are taking them to some club in Orlando called Icon.

I’m talking to these girls and I find out that they are new to the game and don’t know better. Steve interjects into one of our conversations and says, “Stop trying to play the chaperone, Tee. Here, drink this.”

Man, I’m not drinking until we get closer to Orlando. I got to watch out for these young girls.

I wasn’t going to go out with them but damn, I get lots of pressure from people telling me I need to loosen up and stop acting like such a Mama. But I am a Mama. So I feel like a Mama. And Mama’s shouldn’t be up in the club. At least not THIS Mama.

But I go out with them and I have a good time listening to all these songs I had never heard before. One song called Knuck If You Buck came on and everyone went crazy. I was just standing there like, Ohhhkay.

We leave around 2 am and the streets are packed with young adults dressed in their Halloween costumes. I’m thinking to myself, man white people sholl know how to have fun.

We get back to Steve’s place and just like a typical Staurday night in college land, Steve’s apartment is packed with kids watching this show called Ghetto Brawls.

The young girls immediately go to Steve’s room and began to undress for bed. Steve and Reggie stand there and exchange looks.

He, he. I guess I was messing up their little plans. LOL

Those girls dove into bed and were snoring before we knew it. I just laughed at Reggie and said, “You thought you were getting some tonight didn’t you?”

Yeah, I’m a blocker. I saved those girls from having to give it up. I think I’m a superheroine!

But then I think, maybe they wanted to give it up, after all, what same woman would take a road trip with a practical stranger to spend the night without thinking he was gonna at least try to hit?

They wake up the next morning and Steve cooks breakfast for us, excuse me, for them. He makes eggs and bacon. I don’t eat eggs. Ms. Tee is the square again! LOL

We’re on the road back to Miami when Reggie says to me: Tee, you know what? You’re very fragile and needy. I’m not even your man and you got me walking on egg shells. Any nicca that messes with you will have to worship you and give you all kinds of attention if he wants to make you happy.

Well, that sounds good to me.

Back to Miami. Back to my boys and back to looking for a job.

Life as usual.

Day 5 NaNoWriMo

What have I gotten myself into?

This is more than just a novel, this is representative of my life. Can I make a goal for myself and stick to it, even if involves a little pressure? Yes, I’ve done it before. But this is different.

I mean, it’s easy to write about myself. I can do that all day; What am I doing now, what I would like to be in the future, how much I’d love to meet Nick Cannon. But to actually sit down and make up a story that goes on and on and on and have it make some type of sense is- well, draining.

Every night I sit down in front of my computer and I think to myself, “OK, what’s gonna happen next?” I sip some juice, eat a cookie, make a phone call and stare at the blank screen for at least an hour. Then I realize it’s getting late so I HAVE to at least write a sentence that will lead to my 2,000 word daily goal.

I get encouragement from my girl Anna. She reads everyday and tells me I’m great, but isn’t that what your bestfriend is supposed to say?

Whoa! I have a whole new respect for novelists. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of pressure. And I know I’m wrong for pressuring myself because the NaNoWriMo website says that your story is supposed to be a bunch of crap since there is no editing or revising. You’re just supposed to let your mind flow and focus on actually writing the 50,000 words. But I can’t, cuz I want my characters to have depth and I want to develop their relationships and all these other things that shouldn’t matter right now.

I even considered the fact that my work on the internet is an easy target for plagiarizers. So, I read up on copyrighting and it turns out my work is copyrighted, but that doesn’t mean my ideas are. But hey, I love you all so much, cuz it keeps me accountable that I know you are checking my other site to make sure I keep writing.

A Word For Myself

Come on Ms. Tee, you can do this. You can sit here and write and just have fun doing it. You can let your mind flow and worry about imagery and perfect dialogue and transitions later. This is your FIRST novel girl! Have fun and make a mess. That way your SECOND novel will be GREAT in comparison.

Wow, it’s so great when you can encourage yourself.

A quick break and then back to Day 5 of the CHALLENGE!

Good luck to the other bloggers who are taking the challenge.

Unexplainable Joy

Remember that Simpsons episode where Ned Flanders sons are singing that song:

I got that joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart


Down in my heart

Down in my heart

I got that joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart

Down in my heart

To Stay

And if the devil doesn’t like it

He can sit on a tack


Sit on a tack


Sit on a tack


Ha, ha ha ha…

I don’t know for some reason today I am feeling extremely giddy. You ever have one of those days where you’re just laughing and smiling and everything just looks so pretty to you? You check your cup to make sure no one slipped anything into your kool-aid. You look in the mirror and think, “Damn girl you are so georgeous, with yo bald-headed self!” You think about your friends and you just want to call them all and say, “Aww baby I love you!”

You look at your kids and you just want to take a big ol bite out of them cuz they’re so cute and cuddly and even your annoying lil sista gets a hug.


Today is one of those days.

I should be stressing because I haven’t had a chance to write ANYTHING in my novel all weekend long and I am so far behind in my word count it’s ridiculous.

I should be stressing cuz a sista still ain’t found no job. But on the real, I feel like I’m on vacation and I’m loving it!

Right now it feels like it’s the night before Christmas, the first day of school and my birthday all rolled in one! Wow! I feel like something special is about to happen. Or maybe it already has. Maybe it’s just my choice to stop being so down and accept where I am and rejoice in the decisions that I have made in my life.

The mere fact that I made a choice for myself and stuck to it regardless of popular opinion shows I am offically a grown up and I am the captain of my life.

Look at around at your situation and take inventory. Even if it’s a mess, it’s YOUR mess and it’s YOUR life and YOU made the decisions that got you there. If you followed your heart and did what you thought was best and things don’t seem to be going the way you planned them it’s not completely a loss cuz you did a very grown up thing; you took a risk.

None of the world changers ever made their mark by doing what was expected of them. At some point everyone is going to go against the grain.

I am soo happy right now! What a blessing in itself!

I hope some of my joy rubs off on you…

Laced with oodles of hugs and kisses,

Ms. Tee

Not My Goodies

I was chillin at home on Friday afternoon with my boys. I had let them stay home from school for the day because my 2 year old had a bad cough and I wanted to see if it would get worse.

Their dad had called me and told me that he would be in town and he wanted to take the boys to the movies so have them ready by 3pm. By 2:30 they were ready and I was sitting on the recliner checking my voice mail when my front door opens. Someone must have come home early.

In walks my stepfather and I cringe. I’m sitting up in my underwear and a tiny tee shirt with no bra, just chillin how you chill when no one is at home. He gives me a little wave and turns down the hallway. Two seconds after he turns down the hallway, MY BABY DADDY walks in.

My eyes get wide. My stepfather must have let him in, not knowing I was sitting up here with no clothes on.

My eyes scan the room for something to cover myself with. I had just straightened up so there was nothing lieing around. My baby daddy takes a seat in the recliner next to mine and starts to open up the bags of clothes that he bought for the boys.

I’m sitting there turning red and thinking, “He’s looking at me in my draws, and not the cute lil draws, the baggy draws that feel good on your booty. ANNND, I don’t have on a bra! Aww damnnnnn!”

I muster up the courage to stand up, swish by him as quickly as possible and run into the room to find some shorts and a big t-shirt.

After I am dressed, I’m glaring at my stepfather and he’s laughing at me. “Aww, he done seen that shit before!” he says loudly.

My baby daddy done seen my goodies.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Aw man, this novel writing stuff is more difficult than I thought.

I’ve just finished introducing all of my characters and giving background information on them so now I can really get into the story.

What happens next?

Hell if I know.

I have no idea. LOL!

This is crazy. I’ve tried not to put too much of my friends personalities and lives into my characters but after I’m done writing and I read over it, I can recognize where I got some of their traits from.

Anna called me the other night saying, “Girl, I just watched The Best Man last night and I was thinking, Tee betta not try me like that by putting me in her book!”

I laughed because I’m trying hard not to. I wanted characters who are different in personality, yet similar enough to share a common bond. I wanted characters who weren’t so well off you couldn’t identify with them, but not so much drama that it seemed unrealistic.

My point is to develop real women, who face real everyday issues. Issues with race, gender, single parenthood, self esteem and many more. But I don’t want to make my reader sad (or bored), so hopefully I can bring a life lesson or two along the way and watch as my characters learn more about themselves while confronting their ghosts.

The one thing that I wish I could develop in my writing is more humor. If I could take a little of what Brutha Code has and mix it with the insight that Panama has, I’ll be straight.

I used to read other people’s blogs and think dang, I really love the way they see the world. If only my eyes could see that. Then I realized that’s why writing is so great. My perception is just as important as the next person’s so that we can all have a well rounded view of the world.

Don’t worry if you’re not producing the same type of following that other blogs have. You’re you, they are them and as long as you’re sharing your heart and your point of view about life, love and whatever else, you’re playing your part in this internet world.

Everyone can’t be the superstar. It takes a whole group of stars to light the night sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, twink!

Whoa Is Me

I decided to take my book off-line. It turns out that blogging your novel could be seen as self-publishing and publishing companies won’t touch it if it’s already been out there. Sooo, I’m so sorry to everyone who has gotten wrapped up in my story.

I promise to finish it and do my best to get it published. But honestly, I have no idea how to go about doing that.

In other news, I am LOVING, LOVING, LOVING those lists that everyone is doing about themselves. I love them because:

1. You can learn a lot more about a person than from any random blog entry.

2. It takes some time and persistance to do those 100 lists, so you KNOW they love to write if they complete it.

3. I always find out that I have some things in common with my fellow bloggers.

4. I realize that other bloggers are just as crazy as I am.


My ALL-TIME favorite list comes from none other than eMIA6 with his F-these 15.

My favorite blog design is Mister Chris. Very poetic and engaging.

I also love Luscious and Uppity’s design. Very girly and sweet.

My next favorite blog design is G. Cornelius. Simple and bright and to the point. Love that Ipod fixed image.

I love simple blog designs.

A Little Advice

One way to improve your readability is by making paragraphs when you write your text. I learned in school that reading online is more difficult than reading on paper therefore, big blocks of text will cause the reader to skip over what you wrote because it looks like it is too long.

If you make paragraphs it “seems” like there is less to read.

Boo Hoo

I’m kinda sad about taking my novel offline, but I’ll get over it. ~crying~ It really inspired me to know that my girls were reading it everyday. I hope I stay pumped up to complete it now. Man, who wants a book deal anyway?

~Raising eyebrow~

I do.

Have a good weekend kiddies.

Any Questions?

Ok, so you’ve all been reading all about the stuff I choose to tell you, now it’s your turn to find out what you really want to know about me.

As you know, I’m always completely honest, but don’t make me blush okay.

The challenge: Anyone can leave 3 questions that they want to know about me in my comment box and I will repost them and answer them truthfully in my next post.

For those of you who lurk and don’t want me to know that you read this, (yeah right, ~wink~ I have blogpatrol, I see ya comin through) you can ask your questions anonymously to keep your cover.

It’s weird cuz I’m thinking, “Hmm, is there anything that I HAVEN’T written about yet?” I tell it all, so that’s your challenge, to see if you can come up with a question that I haven’t already answered.

I’ll be back with my responses.

Much Love,

Ms. Tee

And The Answer Is…

My responses to your 3 questions.

What is your biggest regret? (if any)

Hmm. I think I regret not keeping my job until I found another one. But hey, it was a tough lesson learned. My advice to everyone- DON’T quit your job, it’s rough out here.

Who do you look up to and why?

I look up to my all of my friends. Each one of them possesses qualities that I don’t have and I would love for them to rub off on me. In particular, my friend Mimi, she’s so patient and giving and a true example of unconditional love.

If your life could be any way you wanted it to be right now, what would it be like?

Ahhh. I can see it now, me sitting at home much like I am now, writing novels and calling my agent to see what speaking engagements she has lined up for me. My boys and I would be living in a nice house and I’d be able to travel and inspire others to keep on keeping on through life’s ups and downs. I’d really love to host my own talk show. That’s my biggest dream.

If you had a choice between love, fame and fortune, which would you choose?

Love wins out because without love I’d be miserably rich and wouldn’t enjoy it.

How did you know that you wanted to write?

I never WANTED to write. I just write. I even think about writing when I’m not writing. It’s not a choice for me. It’s as natural as breathing.

How does it feel to be responsible for the shaping of 2 young people’s lives? Isn’t it so scary?

Yes, it is a little unnerving. Especially because I have two boys and I don’t want them to be feminine like me. I wish they could be around their dad more, cuz even though he’s a jerk to me, he is extremely ambitious and he knows he’s very intelligent. I just pray daily that I will be enough for them until God sends a righteous man my way. Until then I lean on my family for support and love my sons HARD everyday, trying to be an example of God’s love.

I’ve learned that it takes at least TWO to raise children. Each parent has a role to play. I’ve stopped beating myself up for not being able to play both roles. It’s the price that I have to pay for not doing things the right way (waiting until I was in a God given relationship before I had children).

And the bonus question: Do you think I write well enough to be publishable? The opinion of an unbiased stranger would be nice to hear.

You write well, yes it’s a fact. I love your blog. You express yourself well.

Can I hold a few dollas?

Damn, niccas always begging.

Do I have to pay you back?

If you don’t I’ll take your first born child.

If so nevermind!

Crack addict.

Do you like peanut butter?

Not without jelly.

What 5 cds are in your car right now?

Only one, the first Mary Mary CD. It got stuck in the CD player, my CD player hasn’t worked in about a year. I listen to the radio.

If the pool table is green, like the earth. how come the game is over when the white ball knocks all the colored balls into their holes. and the game finishes when the white ball gets rid of the black ball? (hidden racism?)-boomerang

D- you’re too deep for me. LOL

Gulity pleasures?

Black and milds. I have too much time on my hands.

Favorite book?

The Grapes of Wrath. I couldn’t put it down.

Favorite vacation spots?

Vacation? Who me? I guess since I’m not working right now,I’m kinda on a vacation.

Favorite chill spots?

I usually chill at home. My favorite times are when I’m with Anna and we’re just talking about life. When I want to get away I head straight to the book store. The ones here aren’t as nice as the ones in Gainesville though. Someone needs to sweep once in a while cuz I like to sit on the floor and read for free.

What is your favorite scripture?

Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

I have a PURPOSE and it will be fulfilled.

What motivates you?

The fact that I KNOW what I am placed on earth to do. I’m just trying to find my way to an established end.

Do you have a 5 or 10 year plan? if so what is it?

I HAD a five year plan, but it didn’t go accordingly. Now, I just take things one day at a time, recognizing my goals and not being upset that they aren’t happening RIGHT NOW. I’ve learned that God’s timing is not always MY timing. The biggest thing is to not allow my expectations for my life to move me to forget God’s promise for my life which is that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He’s got my back.

Salt or Sugar on your rice?

Too much rice as a kid has caused me to cut back as an adult. I rarely eat it. Sugar on rice? I’ve honestly never tried that.

How is it really living in the MIA? (I’ve been there but how is it on the real)

It’s discouraging at times. The Hispanic population is overwhelming and my lack of bilingual skills puts me at a loss in the job market. Besides that, it’s magnificient. The scenery, the billion places to go and hang out. The way the city is always vibing and changing. I love it here.

My only concern is the lack of positive male role models for my sons. I don’t want them to grow up idolizing the boys on the corners.

When are you running for president?

LOL! Never considered it.

When is the best time for you to get some writing done?

I write best around 11pm. It’s that old college school work schedule that’s still with me. Plus, my sons have to be in the bed before I can really concentrate.

What is your favorite fiction genre?

Umm… I like Black authors. I don’t read science fiction or mysteries or crime novels.

Who are your favorite authors?

I can’t really say I have a favorite. If someone recommends a book to me, I’ll read it. When I go to the bookstore, I pick up any book that looks enticing. No sex books though. I’m so over that romance mess.


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