Stay

This is one of my favoritist songs ever! Yes, I know it’s not a word. If you’ve seen Dirty Dancing, then you’ve heard this song. Remember when Baby first goes to where all the staff parties at the resort? And everyone is dirty dancing and she’s walking around dumfounded and intrigued at the same time? Well, this is that song.

The vocals are provided by the wonderful Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. I just about fell out my chair when I found out the biggest guy was the tenor. Watch this. Does he look like he would be the one to hit that falsetto?

stay

For the record Etta and Emmylou do not dirty dance at any point in their story. I just thought it worked well, what with all that was going on in chapter three. Besides the fact that it’s on the car radio, Etta is praying for a miracle. She’s hoping her father will over look the fact that they’ve gotten a ride from two strangers, one who happens to be white and asks them to stay for supper. If he invites them to stay, then maybe he’ll hear them out about letting she and Emmylou sing at their show.

I’ve said it already, but I looooooove this song. Emmylou would totally be Baby.

I’ll try to be back soon. I promise.

Pinky promise,

Cherish

Nominated!

Apparently I’ve been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award. I’m thinking the award is pretty self-explanatory, hence my uh…confusion as to why I’ve been nominated. I guess my buddy/critique buddy Lauren (visit her blog here) thinks I have a lovely blog, horrible grammar, punctuation and typos aside. 🙂 Thanks Lauren! She’s also on the twitter.

Here goes seven things about me that are not in my bio:

  1. I flunked out of college my first semester. Sorry, did I make it uncomfortable? Even now, knowing that I’m graduating in May I think back to that first semester and get so…ashamed. I know I shouldn’t be, but it happens. Less often now that things are going my way.
  2. I don’t know how to drive. I’m from NYC. Technically I don’t need to know how to drive, but my mother, who had a car on and off while I was younger thinks it’s time I get my life together and get my license. I agree with her there. Mom if you’re reading this, I got you this summer. Then I can move the car for you in the wee hours of the morning so you won’t get a ticket and/or towed.
  3. I’ve never been out of the United States of America. This one really bothers me. I even took a cruise once, but get this, it was a cruise to nowhere. We just sailed up and down the east coast for about 5 days. Luckily my mother has a trip planned for when I graduate. Where to?  It’s a secret apparently, but I’m brushing up on my Spanish just in case it’s Spain.
  4. I really, really, really, really, really want to go to Spain. Ever since the Cheetah Girls went, it’s been on my bucket list. I even have a pen pal from Spain. We’ve been pen pals for about 7ish years. I’d love to meet up with him one day.
  5. I don’t have a gallbladder. For years I was having gallstone attacks and had no idea. One morning I was in so much pain I spent the rest of the day popping advil. Finally sometime around 8pm I asked a friend to drive me to the emergency room down the street from our school. Turns out I had gallstones and like the nurse told me, “You really shouldn’t have taken so many pills. You can’t do that.” In hindsight nearly the whole bottle was a bit much. But I had a really cool test done and we found out my gallbladder wasn’t even working. It was functioning at like 9%.
  6. I hate ankle socks. I don’t know who in the world thought those were a good idea, but I can’t do it. They’re not okay! *shudders* I mean why even wear socks at all? What’s the purpose?
  7. I think Judy Garland and I would have been really good friends.

So that’s me. Kind of. I wish I had some cool pictures, but I’d have to do some serious searching and I got labs that I need to finish up. But here’s who I’m nominating!

joywriting

sonorahills

THE RULES FOR NOMINEES

  • When you get his award, thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post.
  • Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio.
  • Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15).
  • Include this set of rules.
  • Inform your nominees.

Apologies & Playing Catch-up

Dare I say I’m on a roll this year? I’ve read a book. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson. It’s set in my stomping ground of Brooklyn and some of the characters really conjured up some of my old classmates. It’s non stop twist and turns. Consider yourself warned about the whiplash. I’ve also written a piece of flash fiction for a contest. It’s a first for me, but I can see myself tackling some more. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the lovebirds in my story and I’ve already started dreaming up more for them. My next novel maybe?

I’m really here to issue an official apology for my horrendous typos. I swear I use spell and grammar check, but some things just keep slipping by. Then I notice it after it’s been published for days and hours! Truth is I have issues with punctuation, and I tend to type how I talk, which isn’t always grammatically correct. My critique buddies have been great for this. They are nice enough to point out the errors to me. No joke, I can only discern where to put commas maybe 60% of the time. I don’t know why I don’t grasp the rules at this point. It’s very embarrassing as a writer. So again, I apologize if you read my post and wonder if I’ve been typing with my feet.

How about a WIP update?

Well, I finished my 19th chapter in about 3 days! Anyone who is familiar with my writing schedule knows it takes about 2-3 weeks for me to crank out a chapter. The sad part is I got some feedback on it and scrapped it. And by scrapped I mean it’s in a word document, I just likely won’t use it. I was creating hysteria that I thought I was doing a good job of leaving eggs to hint at. Turns out I wasn’t. So, it prompted me to go back and edit some of my beginning chapters. Which let me tell you was not as hard as I thought it’d be. The hardest part was getting rid of all the lyrics. Yes, I am omitting all lyrics from my WIP except for the ones that Etta writes/I write for Etta…and Jake…and Emmylou. No worries, I’ll still share the booktrack. Long live Doo-wop!

I’m starting to see the light. The end is near. I’m so excited and pumped and overall proud at where I am at the point in the story. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not perfect, but I’m close to finishing a novel! If I had to put a number to it, I’d say I was about 80% done. Do you know how many people have that on their bucket list?

See you all in February!

Cherish

Someday, Someway

Music day! I’m back to share more of the tunes that guide me in writing this WIP. Today it’s The Marvelettes, “Someday, Someway.”

 

somedaysomeway

The marvelous, The Marvelettes. They look so much like The Shirelles here, don’t they?

 

Etta and Emmylou are in an emergency room, Emmylou’s anxiety is at level 100 and Etta just can’t pass up an opportunity to perform. Typical Etta. Now I have to admit I don’t really know this song, but something about the lyrics seemed just right.

Exhibit A:

I’m a-gonna’ tell you

How much you mean to me

Not now

Not for a little while

I’ve got to be make sure that your love is pure

So you won’t take advantage of me

Capture my heart, and set me free

Some day (some day, ooh)

Some way (some way, ooh)

Exhibit B(spoiler alert):

We’ll wait for Jake, he said he’ll be back. Etta’s using her Diahann Carroll voice again. I think she thinks it makes me listen to her more. It only makes me mad.

I don’t trust him.

You don’t trust anyone. Calm down.

I’m starting to hear my own breathing. So I can imagine what I look like. Flushed and sweating, face red as a beet. Etta’s headaches get brought on by stress, so I like to worry for the both of us. I wish Etta worried a little bit more so I don’t have to as much. I might actually need a doctor if I spend another minute on this bed.

“You girls ready?” It’s Jake. He’s standing there rocking back and forth on his heels. I guess I ain’t notice before, but he can’t be much older than us. Barely out of high school. I ain’t never seen a boy so handsome. PJ been trying to get me to press his hair so he can wear it in a Conk—fried straight, slicked with grease and parted on one side, with the rest of it swooped to the other ever since he saw Chubby Checker wear one. Mama said no, but Jake wears it so well I kind of forget what has me all bothered.

See? It worked too well to pass up! Etta knows her sister is feeling something for Jake and she sings it right on out the door, much to Emmylou’s horror. It’s a nice little head bobber if I do say so myself. Great harmonies and instrumentals. Hey…you know what? I just realized I haven’t properly introduced you all to Jake! He’s still very much a WIP inside of this WIP so I need to work on him a little more though. I’m right at the part where the girls should start learning about how he came to be with this not-a-freak-show. But I may have an official apology to issue first. I’m sure you guys have noticed my horrible punctuation and grammar.

Yeesh!

Cherish

I Won A Writing Contest!

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*Composes self.* *Clears throat.*

This girl won a writing contest! I don’t think I’ve ever won a contest in my life, but I won one for writing! How awesome is that? Talk about confidence booster. I’ve been on a high ever since.

I entered the contest via my favorite way to procrastinate, Scribophile. It’s a critiquing website full of a bunch of smarties and wonderful people who share a love for writing. There’s some intense talent floating around the site, so I’m shocked to have even placed. I won cash and karma. Karma is what the site thrives on. It’s how I’m able to post chapters of my WIP and get feedback.

My poem Freedom Be Like A Mother placed second! It’s an epilogue of sorts for another poem I wrote and will be published come February in the Quarterday Review called Tabitha’s Babies. Both poems are a little dark. They center on the life of a young slave, Rowena, who tries her best to keep she and her children safe. I have a friend who has decided that it will be a movie and cast herself in a role already. Who knows, maybe she’s onto something.

I can’t wait to share Tabitha’s Babies. I’m working on finding a place that will publish Freedom Be Like A Mother so that I can share that soon as well. Post a snippet? No I can’t… Well if you insist.

From Freedom Be Like A Mother :

They be big now,

‘bout as high as my waist

with hair that chases itself ‘round and ‘round

skin yellow like the moon, sun-kissed cheeks

and Big Massa Adam’s eyes.

From Tabitha’s Babies:

Yesterday at the river I seen my mama.

Skin like the crust of a fresh-baked pecan pie.

Hair hidin’ under a rag.

Death in her eyes.

Or maybe that be me?

Too sad? I’ll be back with more music ASAP! Thanks for letting me brag!

Cherish

I Joined Twitter

I don’t know what possessed me to, but I did it. Actually, I know exactly why I did it. Remember back in my first post when I said that my PEN-ultimate goal was to be traditionally published? That’s why.

Although I don’t even have a finished first draft I’ve been lurking around literary agency sites and their agent pages. There are multiple sources that say some sort of online presence is a good thing. That’s why I started this blog, but then I kept hearing about these pitch wars or something like that. Some agents find their talent through such things. And I thought, one day when I have a finished and polished manuscript, I’d like to give it a go. Can’t hurt right?

Figuring out how to maneuver through this blog is sometimes overwhelming for me, but I’m slowly getting the hand of twitter. I even managed to add a twitter widget on the home page of this blog…I think. I sure hope so. Someday, someway I’ll tap into my millennial skills and actually learn how to use technology.

Tweet tweet,

Cherish

Mama Said

I can’t believe we’re already 10 days into January. Did I mention that I had a birthday? I did. I turned 24. I’m 24 years, 10 days and 25 minutes old(at the time of writing this.) But that’s not the purpose of the post. No, brothers and sisters we are here tonight to fight the devil! Not really, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sing some Patti LuPone. I’m really here today to share some of the music Etta, Emmylou and Pearl( can’t forget Pearl) are tappin’ their toes to.

Remember when I told you guys at first I wrote down a list of my favorite doo wop songs and planned to craft a story around it? Well it didn’t work out that way. The more I wrote the more I realized not all the songs work that well. Plus, the girl’s story takes place in 1962. For the sake of semi accuracy I didn’t want to have a song that didn’t come out until 1964, 1966 and so on. I also didn’t want to mention people who didn’t “exist” yet. So I had the added challenge of finding songs that fit the mood of the chapter and the appropriate time. As it’s summer and I don’t mention what month it is, I gave myself leeway with the months the songs first aired. I had thoughts to change the year the story is set to allow me to use more of my favorite songs, but If I pushed it back to let in more songs then I’d be approaching the Civil Rights movement at it’s peak. And with the girls location… well I don’t really want to get too into it. Perhaps I’ll get the chance to use those songs in another story.

The first song I used is “Mama Said” by the Shirelles. It’s the first chapter, Etta and Emmylou somehow end up in two strangers car and when the radio clicks on and those opening harmonies fill the red and white ford… Etta can’t stifle her headliner vocals!

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What I like most about this song, besides the fact that it’s impossible to sing along with, is that it really sets the tone for the rest of the story. Meeting boys and chapel bells. That’s Emmylou’s head in a nutshell. If you were a conjoined twin, having a rough and happened to be African American in 1962 Georgia, wouldn’t your mama tell you you’d have days like that also?

I love the music I’ve incorporated into my WIP. I love how the lyrics blend in with dialog and prose. What I don’t like is the hives I break out in knowing I most likely won’t be able to quote lyrics like I have been. Not unless I want to fork over the serious bucks. But that’s another post for another day.

‘Til we meet again! *In my  Daveed Diggs as Lafayette in Hamilton voice.*

Cherish

Character Interview: Pearl

Happy 2017!

I have big goals for this year. There’s so much that I want to tackle. Like finishing up my first draft of Etta & Emmylou, editing it into something agents will want to take a look at and possibly getting a writing contract. I’d love to announce my first ever poetry publication when the time comes. More on that another time. And then there’s graduating college. One more semester. One more that’s all!

I’m back in the new year with Miss Pearl Jackson, best friend extraordinaire to my novel’s main duo, Etta and Emmylou. I didn’t have to use any special bribe tactics to get Pearl to let me interview her.

Me: Hi, Pearl!

Pearl: Hey Miss, Cherish.

Me: Thanks for letting me introduce you.

Pearl: Thank you. I didn’t think I was important enough for an interview.

Me: Of course you are! The story wouldn’t be the same without you.

Pearl: Well thank you.

Me: First, introduce yourself.

Pearl: I’m Pearl Ada Jackson.

Me: Now tell me how you met the twins.

Pearl: I can’t remember back that far. Our daddies been good friends for a long time. They always lived down the road and we always been friends.

Me: What do you think about them being conjoined?

Pearl: I don’t think much ‘bout it really. I can’t imagine them not stuck. They do the same things I do mostly.

Me: Like what?

Pearl: Like singing and taking walks and eating and talking.

Me: And crushing on boys?

Pearl: That one I really ain’t think ‘bout at all, but I guess so.

Me: Why’s that?

Pearl: Well, what’s the use in crushing if they stuck?

Me: So the three of you never talked about boys you thought were cute?

Pearl: Not exactly. They was always famous. Boys we probably would never lay our eyes on for real. Like Frankie Lymon or Chubby Checker or Nat King Cole. Even Thurston Harris. I think Jake looks a bit like Thurston Harris, but Emmylou don’t think so and Etta always disagrees with me. Plus,  it’s not like boys ever really looked our way either.

Me: Are there no boys in school you have your eye on?

Pearl: No ma’am. Truth is they not that kind to us, with Etta and Emmylou being stuck and me having my arm.

Me: I see. Can you tell us a little bit about your arm, though? Why is it such a big deal?

Pearl: It’s not too much of a deal for me. I’m used to it by now. When we was ‘bout six or so me  and the twins was playing in the woods and I climbed a tree too high and fell out. Broke my arm bad. My daddy said we ain’t have the money to go to a doctor, so he fixed it his self. He tried his best, but it ain’t heal right and now I can’t bend it or nothing like that.

Me: That sounds horrible.

Pearl: Wasn’t that bad. Was more upset ‘bout how the kids at school teased me after that. Calling me all sorts of mean names. Talkin’ bout how I was eating too much of my mama’s cornbread and that’s why the branch snapped and knocked me out of the tree.

Me: Awww, well I wouldn’t pay attention to all of that. But I do hear your mother makes the best cornbread. Is that true?

Pearl: That’s what everyone say. Folks like to tease and say it got special powers. It just taste really good to me. Besides, if it had special powers maybe our family wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in now.

Me: I don’t want you to start tearing up. We don’t have to go there. Somethings the readers can find out once they read the book. One last question if I can?.

Pearl: Go on.

Me: Why should people read this book?

Pearl: ‘Cause half the trouble the twins get into is ‘cause of me somehow. And it only seem fair after all they went through for me, y’all read about it all.

Me: Thank you, Pearl. Remember, you’re just as important as Etta and Emmylou.

Pearl: Thank you. I ought to bring you some of my mama’s cornbread!

*laughs nervously*

No thanks! Legend says the cornbread is why Mrs. Jackson has twelve children.

Miss Pearl Jackson everyone! Honestly, I had no plans to write Pearl into the story. She literally appeared out of nowhere in the first chapter. And Etta merely mentions her and her arm. Pearl doesn’t even show up until the fourth chapter. She’s been a great foil though. I put her through the ringer, poor girl. I got to find a way to make it up to her some how.

Wow, my first post of 2017! Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon and I’m thinking with some music!

Cherish

 

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Here’s an amateur drawing of Pearl that I drew. Her skirt is way too small, so is her head, and her shirt is too tight! Poor Pearl.

 

Character Interview: Emmylou

I can’t believe there’s five days left until Christmas. There’s snow on the ground, but it doesn’t feel very Christmas-y. I think it’s because I’m still at school. Nonetheless, I’m here with Emmylou, ⅓ member of Etta and Her Fine Girls and the other star of my WIP!

Me: I’m excited that you decided to let me interview you! People will love you, I promise. .

Emmylou: I don’t care ‘bout all of that.

Me: I know you don’t, but it’s nice anyway. Tell the world who you are.

EL: I thought you said it’d be read by just a few people.

Me: It is, it was just an expression Emmylou. Don’t worry.

EL: …I’m Emmylou Sanford.

Me: Come on, Emmylou, don’t be shy.

EL: I live in Georgia with my family.

Me: Family’s really important to you isn’t it?

EL: Yes, ma’am. If you don’t got family, then you don’t got nothing really. I think that’s why the Jacksons are so happy. There’s family everywhere in that house. Used to be like that in our house, but Annie and Billie Mae and Sarah all left home. Now it’s just us me, Etta and PJ. Annie’s got her own family now though. Her new little one should be here soon, too.

Me: Your face lit up so much talking about your sister and her family. Why’s that?

EL: Oh…well, new babies is always nice.

Me: True. Tell me though, you think it’s nice being a part of Etta and Her Fine Girls?

EL: Mostly, when Etta’s not being so bull-headed and using that Diahann Carroll voice on me.

Me: Diahann Carroll voice, what’s that?

EL: The actress. When Etta starts thinking she someone important she starts talking like her. She tries real hard to get rid of her accent to sound like them movie stars. But, yeah I guess it’s okay being part of the group. I don’t want to make no living of it like Etta do though.

*I interrupt this interview to share with you this fabulous picture of Ms. Carroll*

 

diahanncarrol

The lovely Diahann Carroll

 

Me: Oh, no? What do you want to do?

EL: You’ll think I’m simple.

Me: Never.

EL: A wife and mother.

Me: That sounds perfectly fine.

EL: Etta don’t think so.

Me: Speaking of Etta, she mentioned in her interview that you were in love. Are you?

EL: You would know.

Me: I do know, but the readers don’t. Come on, don’t leave them hanging.

EL: I got eyes for someone, yes.

Me: What’s he like?

EL: He’s got a nice smile. Works real hard too. And he can play almost every instrument you stick in front of him.

Me: Sounds like a regular Prince Charming.

EL: Sometimes when I look at him I think I be in a dream.

Me: Awww, dreams are good.

EL: Not all the time…

Me: We don’t have to talk about that. Tell the folks reading this why they should read about you and Etta?

EL: ‘Cause we do things I ain’t never dream we’d do ever.

Me: Like fall in love?

EL: Like fall in love.

Isn’t she just the sweetest?! A writing friend of mine called her a “tragic cutie.” Don’t let her fool you too much though. She does have a bit of a mean streak, and she can be just as stubborn as her sister. How’d you like meeting Etta’s other half? Let me know what you think about Emmylou!

Any ideas about who you want to hear from next? Maybe Miss Pearl Jackson?

Stay tuned!

 

The Blog and I

I don’t think I mentioned having a twin sister before on my blog, but I do. Her name’s Joy and she has a blog too! I’m not sure why that rhymes, but her blog is brand spanking new. Although she’s already light years ahead of me. She’s already done with her first draft! Check her out if you’re so inclined.

Cherish

Joy Writing

When I make this blog post.

Once I post this work.

Then I make this blog post.

What I’ve waited for since…since…

Okay! I’ll stop there. Points if you got my drift with that above. So here’s the thing. I’m new to this whole blogging thing. Made one because my sister did, and well…she can’t have all the fun/attention. Go follow  Cherish .

So thanks for wanting to follow along on my publishing dream. I hope I can drop some knowledge and inspiration throughout too.

*clears throat*

The blog and IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII !!!!!!!!!

I’m out,

Joy 🙂

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