A 360 On Madea

madea2I’ve always been a huge Tyler Perry fan.

However, I was not a “Madea” fan. I know, I know. I must have been crazy, but please hear a late bloomer out.

I absolutely loved the movies, “The Family that Preys,” (perhaps, my favorite), “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Daddy’s Little Girls.” Yet, when it came to Madea, I just wasn’t feeling her. The key words here are WAS NOT.

Now?

Now, I LOVE Madea! Don’t ask me what happened, it just did!

I recently went to see “Madea Goes to Jail” and I thought I was going to fall out of my seat laughing. (I’m also happy to see Tyler raking in the moolah, 41 million and counting since opening, with the number one spot!)

Madea reminds me of quite a few women, I’ve had the pleasure or sometimes, displeasure of knowing and I guess I have to add–loving. She is a no nonsense kind of woman, who speaks her mind and keeps life from getting twisted. Except for the gun (insert machete, instead)–she reminds me of someone close to me—no one immediate –but definitely a few generations apart!

Tyler brings diversity, an inspirational message and fabulous talent to his movies and I so admire his work. His characters range from sweet to crazy, and from sexy to the type of person that deserves a good round with Mike Tyson. I love the strong (and yes, crazy) women and the strong (and yes, even the players) men in his stories. The actors Tyler employs bring his characters to life and they are phenomenal. (I believe every writer hopes for an actor who can breathe life into his or her fictional baby.)

Okay, I am getting to the point of this blog–inspiration. As you probably know, Tyler’s movies may differ from his play in characters and situations. After my daughter tied me down to the chair, I watched “Madea Goes to Jail” the play–the night before I saw the movie.

Oh, and I must say, there was inspiration everywhere! Two actors, Christian Keyes and Ryan Gentles, “Sonny” and “Nate,” respectively, were wonderful and have been added to my list of “yummy pops” (please refer to my Sumthin’ Sumthin’ page for a definition).

By the way, I enjoyed the play. However, the yummy pops made it so much more interesting. There were a few times, when I actually had to put my finger on my lip and close my mouth. (I’m happy to report, I wasn’t drooling–not then anyway.) After the play, with the likes of “Sonny” and “Nate” fresh in my mind, I jumped back on the computer and started hashing out a scene that had been giving me trouble.

I am officially a full-fledged Tyler Perry fan and I must thank him, for not only his work, but also his casting choices. Inspiration has never looked so good. 🙂

Advertisements

When it Hit Me …

understandingI remember sitting on a white, sandy beach in El Condado, Puerto Rico thinking my life had hit rock bottom. I thought I was destined for unhappiness because I was leaving another “going nowhere” relationship. While watching the massive ocean stretched before me, thinking how insignificant I was, it happened—my “scare the crap outta me” epiphany. It was a wakeup call, a call to slap myself in the face and say, “Hey, girl you don’t need the aggravation or the drama of a relationship that’s not working.”

It seems as though most crossroads in my life occur that way. (I’m sure many of you can relate.) Whenever there’s an important, life-altering decision or choice I have to make, I’m thankful that common sense and gumption step in.

My journey as a writer has been the same way. Almost 25 years ago, I applied for a job working in communications and on a newspaper. I was young, ambitious and knew I had some talent. I also knew I had to learn the ropes and pay dues. And I was okay with that. When the hiring communications director complimented my writing samples, I was thankful. Yet when he told me I wasn’t qualified because I didn’t have a degree, I was heartbroken. My disappointment, and to some degree anger–perhaps unwarranted–stemmed from knowing another person had a similar job and no degree.

Yet the experience was an epiphany of sorts. It was constructive because it propelled me into action. (I had already been attending college at night, in addition to raising a family (three daughters) single handedly and working full-time.) My disappointment pushed me to take additional courses, so I could graduate earlier. Guess what? I’m now in the department doing the job that I was turned down for 20 years ago. I’d gone full circle. Yeah, it hit me.

I said all that to say this:

When I attended Romance Slam Jam (RSJ), it changed my life. I had another epiphany. I knew I wanted to spread my creative wings, but for whatever reason hadn’t. As I mentioned, I’ve always love romance novels, and have a voracious appetite for reading. Meeting some of my favorite authors at RSJ was exciting, uplifting and a huge part of my epiphany. They encouraged me to start writing my books. They counseled me on how to carve out time from my day-to-day writing to create my stories. I’ve haven’t slowed down yet. I’m usually huddled over my computer until the wee hours of the morning, before I go off to write for my day job.

Epiphanies are wonderful things. They’re motivating and often followed by courses of action. However, epiphanies with support and encouragement are blessings. I’ve had a few in my lifetime and it’s a great feeling to comprehend when it finally “hits” you. Oh, and that relationship I thought I needed so badly? Done, dead, not even a distant memory and definitely not happiness. One source of my happiness takes place in my mind and on the keyboard of my computer.

May all your epiphanies be as productive.

I’m a PRO …

Last year when I joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) I was unable to attend the national conference. However, this year I’m so siked! Not only am I attending, I’m going as a PRO member. Before I whoop and holler too much, let me explain why I’m thrilled. PRO is a section for RWA members who are pursuing publication and who have submitted at least one completed manuscript.

rwa_banner_logoI’m honored to have joined the ranks of thousands. Yes, I said thousands! It’s a huge number of publication hopefuls, but I’m in good company.

Personally, it’s a sign that I’m a tad closer to my goal. It’s a testament of progress, hard work and my determination. A former manager of mine told me I was like a dog with a bone. She said once I latched on to something, I never let it go until it’s done. I didn’t take offense. Why take offense with the truth? That said, I’m going back to writing. Woof.

Dayum.

shocked1Did you ever see somebody that you didn’t know, that just took your breath away? Did you shake your head and think “what if” with a complete stranger?

I was on my way to work one day and stopped dead in traffic. All of a sudden this FINE brother eases out the local Dunkin Donuts and hops in his truck. I wasn’t sure if he was an undercover officer or what. He had an ID badge hanging from his well-developed chest. I’m a sucker for a pair of well-defined arms and let me say, the man wasn’t lacking in that department.

He was milk chocolate, creamy skin and short, well-groomed hair. His walk rivaled Denzel’s and he smoothly sipped on his coffee while getting into his vehicle. The funny thing is this man probably knew he was fine as all hell, but he had a humbleness about him that made me sit there and stare like a fool.

The next thing I knew horns were blowing from every direction, because I was holding up traffic. As I drove away, I took one last peek at him through my sideview mirror. Then I called my critiquing partner to report my find. Knowing her, my description of the man was so sexy, she was probably fanning herself from a thousand miles away.

I’m sorry to say I haven’t seen that brother since, but I will admit I look for him every time I ride past that particular Dunkin’ Donuts. Hey, it IS on my way to work! Oh and by the way, I went home that night and completed one of the sexiest love scenes ever. Now, that’s what I call inspiration!

Tell me, ever have one of those “lose your mind” moments?