Sunday, May 21, 2006

Submit to the "How I Met My Sweetheart" Anthology

Here's an opportunity for authors and aspiring authors to receive a FREE publishing credit...

Amani Publishing is sponsoring an essay contest for the "How I Met My Sweetheart Anthology." Nine writers will be selected to have their stories included in the book to be published in February 2007. If you're interested, please submit your essay via e-mail by Tuesday, June 27th (my 25th wedding anniversary) in accordance with the following guidelines:

1. Set top margin at 1.85; bottom margin at 1.65, left margin at .1.75; right margin at 1.75 and gutter at .5 (use Word or WordPerfect)
2. Type 8-10 single space pages
3. Tell how you met your sweetheart, something about the first date, how long you've been together, and anything else that you'd like to include (but keep it clean)
4. And submit a one page biography.

In return,

1. Winners will be given one complimentary copy of the published book
2. Winners will be able to order additional copies at a 50% discount for their personal use or resell for a profit
3. Winners will not be paid for their submissions or receive royalties
4. However, all winners will retain the copyright to their original stories.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at I'm hoping that this will be a fun project for everyone involved! Happy writing...

Barbara Joe Williams, Author/Publisher
Falling for Lies, coming October 2006
Dancing with Temptation, November 2005
One Sister's Guide to Self-Publishing, July 2005
Forgive Us This Day, November 2004

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Essay: Good-bye Heartache and Drama

Good-bye Heartache and Drama

By Vanessa Clark,

Billie Holiday sang “Good Morning Heartache.” I thank The Lord for giving me the courage, boldness, and strength to say good-bye to my heartache and drama.

In the 70’s they had a saying, “A piece of man is better than no man.” I have a saying too, “If you have a piece of man, then you have no peace of mind.” I will take a peace of mind over a piece of man any day. One of my weaknesses is attractive men. My ex-husband is attractive; he has hazel eyes, brown skin, and he’s tall and slender. There’s a price you sometimes pay for an attractive brother; mine was high maintenance. I finally used the good sense that The Lord gave me and sent the brother packing. I can do bad all by myself.

January 4, 2006, my ex-husband divorced me because I had refused to allow him to come back home when he wanted to return. At first I was hurt and felt rejected. When my sanity returned, I stopped crying and realized the brother had actually done me a favor. I did not have to spend a dime for my divorce, and peace was restored to my home. Believe it or not, my ex-husband asked me to remarry him one week after our divorce. He told me that he had been a stupid fool to divorce me. I of course, being the person that I am, agreed with him. However, I was not about to be stupid and foolish enough to make the same mistake twice. Yes, I did say twice. What can I say? I thought I loved him, and I wanted to build a life with him. To my dismay, I had competition that I was no match for, crack cocaine.

Being married to an addict was my worst nightmare. I discovered that nightmares also occur in the daylight hours. I was on a neverending roller coaster ride. There were times when I was also on a merry go round; one day merry got up and left and I realized that all I was doing was going in circles; six years of dealing with him going in and out of rehab centers. It became a revolving door for him. He would return home from rehab and sometimes relapse on his first day home. I continued to tell him that he could not have me and the drugs; he had to choose one or the other. When he chose the drugs, I insisted that he leave after going through this more than a dozen times.

Common sense finally kicked in and I decided I was tired of being sick and tired. No more drama or heartaches. Life is a challenge, but you can pick your battles. Some battles are not for you to fight; they belong to The Lord.

His drug addiction was not my battle. As much as I wanted to help him, all I was doing was enabling him and being his crutch. Enough was enough; he took my kindness for weakness and thought that I would always be there no matter what he did to me. What I did not realize was I had allowed him to control and manipulate me into doing whatever he wanted.

March 7, 2003, his birthday, he went out and used drugs. When he came home, we got into an argument. The Lord told me to stop arguing and listen to him. He told me that he had the power to control me and could do it for as long as he lived if he chose to. Over the next three years, we lived together for a total of three months spread out over the three years. The turning point was in July 2005; he returned home for what would be the last time. He relapsed after being home five days. This was the last straw; I put a fork in the steak and called it done. I told him that I was tired of making up just to break up. He was totally on his own. If somewhere down the road, he became drug free, responsible, and working, then we could possibly start over. To make a long story short, he went into rehab in November 2005. Ninety days later he wanted to return home. I stuck to my decision and said, “No.” I was no longer listening to what he told me, but I was looking for evidence that he had changed. He decided that he did not have to prove anything to me and divorced me.

I’m eternally grateful to have moved on with my life, and I love the peace and quiet. I’m drama and heartache free thanks to my Lord and Savior who took me out of the madness.