Lady Rougepen Says: Of Biblical Proportions

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We get many sayings from The Good Book. Here are some of the most common:

  • See the writing on the wall. (Daniel 5:5-6; to be warned of something detrimental)
  • Forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:16-17; something that’s more appealing because you can’t have it.)
  • Land of milk and honey (Exodus 3:8; paradise)
  • Apple of my eye (Deuteronomy 32:10; adored one)
  • Bite the dust. (Psalms 72:9; death, as in we return to the dust, upon death)
  • For everything, there is a season. (Eccelesiates 3:1; you can’t force something to happen if it’s not time.)
  • Cross to bear (Matthew 16:24; personal hardship)
  • The eleventh hour (Matthew 20:6; the moment before it’s too late, just in time)
  • The powers that be (Romans 13:11; authority figures)

Flash Fiction: Sorceress Yamiti

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Sorceress Yamiti

By Sean C. Wright-Neeley

Gnat Bridge, Texas; summer 1956

“Come on, Angeline, baby. Just a little bit more,” traveling salesman Eric King muttered, patting the dashboard of his sputtering and whining 1949 Buick. Please. Angeline. Just make it there, and daddy will take care of you.

Angeline struggled up the hill, and descended it, like it was more in control than its driver. It putted into the Zoomie gas station lot, like a quivering old lady. Eric killed the motor, and said a silent thank you to the boxy hunk of metal. He wiped his forehead with his red paisley handkerchief, put his fedora back on his head. Eric then rolled down his window, and waited.

A colored gas station attendant made his way to Angeline’s flank with a casual stroll.

“Hey there, mister. Fill ‘er up today?” He was tall, the color of maple syrup, and kept his wooly curls sheared close. He looked well-built in his gray jumpsuit that had a patch with the name Earnest, embroidered on the breast. He wore a pleasant expression, but wasn’t overly solicitous. Eric disliked Earnest immediately.

“No,” Eric answered flatly, “Got plenty of gas, but have car trouble. Think it’s the fuel pump.”

“All righty then. Let’s have a look. Please pop the hood.” Eric complied, frowning. Why hasn’t this boy called me “sir”?

“Hmph,” Earnest grunted after he came from behind the hood, “You’re right. Well, there’s good news and bad news here: the good news is that we have a shop in back. The bad news is that we don’t have a fuel pump in stock. It might take a day or so to get here. Will cost you twenty-five dollars with parts and labor. No worries though. This is a friendly town,” Earnest punctuated his last word with a quick grin. “You on vacation, or something?” Earnest asked, pulling out a cigarette pack and lighter from his jumpsuit pocket. He then held out the pack to Eric. Eric plucked one out with a mildly slacked jaw, and swallowed before he answered, “Naw. I’m a traveling salesman for Pimco.”

“No fooling?” Earnest said, lighting Eric’s cigarette, “The one that sells everything from shampoo to dog biscuits? We like to keep things like that in our gas station for folks, passing through. I’d like to look at your catalogs when you come back to pick up your car, so we can get a few things for the store. I’m Earnest, by the way.”

“Eric. Eric King. Shouldn’t you ask your boss first?” Eric asked, trying to sound casual, as he drew on his cigarette.

Earnest laughed, and blew out a puff of smoke. “I amthe boss.”

Eric bristled at that, shuffled his feet then pulled his red hankie out of his pocket to dab at his forehead. “Well, uh. You say it’s gonna be about a day until my car is ready? Any motels in this town?”

“You bet,” Earnest said, using his sans cigarette hand to point west, “Further into town – less than a mile, called The Bluebonnet Inn. They can recommend some good eating places there, too. I’ll have my cousin drive you— “

“All right. Thanks. B-but I think I’ll walk,” Eric mumbled, and stamped out his cigarette.

“In his heat?” Earnest’s eyebrows rose.

“Yeah. I could use the exercise. I’ll get my suitcase out of my car, and be on my way. You can find me at that motel,” Eric said, quickly, fishing his keys out of his pocket, and retrieving his suitcase out of his trunk. He handed the car keys to Earnest, spun on his heel, and was gone.

*****

Eric arrived at The Bluebonnet Inn, a thirsty, sweaty mess. He took off his fedora, and fanned himself with it, as soon as he entered. Set down his suitcase. The desk clerk was an old woman who looked like a white prune with rouge on its cheeks. “Hi there. Room for one?”

“Yeah,” Eric panted. Just then a colored maid breezed through the lobby with a stack of folded towels in her outstretched arms. “Hey, gal. How about some water.” She turned and looked at him with a pinched smile and steely gaze. “The name is Minnie, and there’s a water cooler, over there,” she said with a jerk of her head to the lobby’s corner. She was mobile again before Eric could say anything else. He slowly made his way to the water cooler, gulped down two cups, crushed the cup, and chucked it in the small waste bin.

“How many nights you staying, sir?” said the desk clerk, after he returned to the desk.

“One for sure,” Eric said, pulling out his wallet. He sure hoped the fuel pump for his car would be in tomorrow, so he could get the hell out of there. What a weird town! He wanted to say something to the desk clerk about Minnie’s behavior, but thought better of it. It was almost as if the old woman was, well, afraid of Minnie.

“All right. Giving you room number seven. Lucky number seven. Call up here if you need anything. There’s a café across the street that serves the best chicken fried steak in town.”

“All right. Thank you.”

*****

Eric showered, and lay across the bed in his undershirt and boxers, Jesus-style, in his lucky-number-seven room. After he was good and rested, he picked up the phone, and dialed his wife.

“Hello, Dee. It’s Eric. No, I won’t be home for dinner. Car trouble. I’m in a little town, east of Dallas, called Gnat Bridge. Staying at The Bluebonnet Inn Motel. The car should be fixed by tomorrow.

“What? Yeah. Everyone’s friendly enough, but it’s a strange place. Strange how? I don’t know. The colored. They don’t know their places. Not sure what’s going on. Anyway, here’s the motel number, should you need to reach me…”

Gnat Bridge, Texas; 1 year ago

Minnie stood on The Harris’s porch with her weeping eleven-year-old daughter, Seneca. The girl was cut and bruised. Minnie rang the doorbell. Ms. Harris answered the door, took in the scene, and frowned.

“Yes?”

“Hello, Ms. Harris. Sorry to say this, but I’m afraid your son has done something to my Seneca. Go on, child. Tell her.”

“I was riding my bike on the road, and your son and his friend rode by in a truck. They ran me off the road. I rolled and flipped into a ditch,” she sniffled.

“She’s mostly okay, but the front wheel of her bike is bent up,” Minnie said, putting her arm around her cowering daughter.

Ms. Harris narrowed her eyes. “You sure it was my Nicholas? I mean how could you get a good look at them if you were both moving?”

“I could see into the truck because the windows were rolled down. Your son was driving. The O’Duke boy was in the passenger seat. They were both laughing. I swear it.”

Ms. Harris sneered. “Couldn’t have been him. Nicholas has been home with meall day.”

“Ms. Harris, would you at least ask him — “

“No,” the woman said coolly.

“May I talk to your husband?” Minnie asked.

“No.”

“We have a matter of a broken bike here — “

“I said no! Now get off my porch before I call the police!”

The girl sobbed anew. Minnie pulled her close, and cooed, “It’s gonna be okay.”

Then Minnie looked up at a flushed Ms. Harris, and stiffened her spine. “I curse you through Sorceress Yamiti. She’ll pain you until you do right by us,” she hissed.

“What are you talking about?”

“The spirit of an African queen and sorceress who exacts justice. You’ll know when she comes. And you know where to find us, should you decide to pay for the damage your boy did to Seneca’s bike.”

“Come on, baby,” Minnie said to Seneca. The woman and girl left the porch with Ms. Harris standing in the doorway, mouth agape.

Soon after that visit, Nicholas had explosive diarrhea in his pants, playing football with his cousins and friends, during a picnic. The seventeen-year-old boy was in tears, as Ms. Harris washed out his shitty drawers because it happened in front of a girl he had a crush on. “It must have been something you ate, son,” Ms. Harris said, shaking her head. She chalked it up to coincidence until everyone else in the Harris family started having loose bowels on and off. The doctor found nothing wrong.

Then all the Harris’s hair began to fall out. They threw away shampoo bottles, and bought new ones in vain. The hair loss continued. Again, the doctor found nothing wrong.

And still Ms. Harris had the Minnie-Seneca-porch-incident tucked way in the back of her mind. It didn’t crawl to the front until they found their tabby cat, dead, in the backyard. There was a necklace of feathers and teeth near the cat’s body, and a big Y scrawled in blood on their shed. It was only then that Ms. Harris made a secret trip to the colored side of town to visit Minnie one Saturday. Minnie opened her door, and cackled when she saw Ms. Harris’s cheap wig. “Nice hair.” Normally, Ms. Harris would have been incensed, but she didn’t reply. She held out an envelope with a crisp twenty-dollar bill inside. “This should cover Seneca’s bike repairs,” she said quietly. Minnie took the envelope, and opened it. She nodded after she checked it, and said with unwavering confidence, “Tell your son, and other white folks in this town to stop bothering innocent colored people, lest they want a visit from Sorceress Yamiti.” Minnie didn’t wait for a reply. She let the screen door slam in Ms. Harris’s face. Ms. Harris went home, and just like magic, all the troubles in her household ceased.

There were similar incidents between white and colored in Gnat Bridge when the colored were mistreated, and Sorceress Yamiti made a prompt appearance. Little by little, colored people etched out equality in the small Texas town. They weren’t made to walk in through back doors; and even allowed to own businesses. White men stopped harassing their black maids, nannies, and cooks. Best of all, black children were afforded the luxury of playing outside without ugly incident.

When new white families moved to Gnat Bridge, and attempted to enforce white supremacy, the colored folks had a meeting. Everyone was given an action item. The maids added laxatives to the family’s food, and put hair remover in their conditioner on occasion. If the family was especially stubborn to coming around, she would smuggle a dead rat or two into the home to place in their shoes. The gardener poisoned the family pet under the cover of darkness, and wrote a big Y in pig’s blood on the property. If they had no pets, he withered every last flower in their yard by pouring vegetable oil on them in the wee hours. Minnie collected colored children’s baby teeth and chicken feathers to make necklaces to drop on the property to tie it all together. Easy peasy.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

Goodbye, Prince

This year marks the 6-year anniversary of Prince’s death. This post was originally posted in 2016. He is someone who well-deserves to be recognized for Black History Month.

Dear Prince,

My first memories of you were in the 1970s when I was a girl. Patchwork denim was everywhere. I had a head full of plaits, and remember enjoying your songs when they came on in the car. “Do Me, Baby” was choice, even though I had no idea you were singing about grown folks’ business; VERY grown folks’ business. I became further entranced with you with “1999” in elementary school. That album was visionary, energetic, and just well…fun.

Prince Yearbook

Prince Afro

Puberty loomed with your release of Purple Rain. I was 12, and began to notice your beauty, as well as your talents. You were a compact dynamo of genetic artistry:  slim, creamy-skinned with good bone structure and hazel doe eyes. And boy, was I ever mad jealous of Vanity and Appolonia! I nourished my crush the best way a teenage girl does, with posters, albums, and buttons on jackets. I had my parents get me a cake with your likeness on it for my 13th birthday. I often went to sleep, dreaming of you and your compelling world of colored lights, lace, glitter, purple everything, and doves.

Prince purple rain

1988. I was 16, and my parents gave me your Sign o’ the Times cassette tape for Christmas. I was instantly struck by the single “Starfish & Coffee.” It was melodious and whimsical; simply poetic. It made that frigid winter downright warm and Zen.

I continued eating up your genius with LoveSexy and Diamonds & Pearls. “Gett Off” was the jam. In college, a girlfriend introduced me to your more obscure stuff, like The Black Album. It was then that I realized your penchant for humor with the satirical “Bob George.”

Prince raspberry beret

The whole time, I was entranced with your breathtaking chameleon style. Your hairstyles changed as often as the weather, and were always flawlessly coiffed. I SO dug your colorful, well-tailored suits, tunics, hoop earrings, and unique props. Your gun microphone was just so…Prince. I loved it!

And your dichotomy was amazing. You were playfully raunchy one moment, a coy gentleman the next.

I saw you in concert in 2004. You, of course, didn’t disappoint. The pinnacle of that magical evening was a hail of confetti and streamers falling from the ceiling.

Your passing was like a gaping gash to the Purple Heart. It was a Thursday. When I found out, all of the above memories rushed back to me in a fond, warm gush. They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. My life with you in a small suburb of Dallas, Texas, flashed before my eyes, too. Then the sadness took hold as I realized all that would cease:

Poetic verses with infectious melodies.

Outrageous outfits that only you could slay with your beauty and confidence.

Purple magic, period.

The world became lackluster and flat in a matter of minutes. I couldn’t concentrate for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson, for entertaining me and countless others with your beautiful abilities. Thank you for sharing your unforgettable third eye visions with us. You penned deep, ethereal lyrics, and kept us partying like it was 1999 for about 40 years.

Goodbye, Sweet Prince. Until the end of time, I’ll truly adore you.

Prince headshot

Sean C. Wright is the author of the short story collection A Gathering of Butterflies and the novella Honey Riley.

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Send me your typo images! Snap pictures and email them to msseanc@aol.com. They must be real pictures and not images in online links, as those might be doctored. I’m looking for The Real McCoy. Conceal the company’s identity if possible. No sweat if you can’t. I’ll hide the name before I post it. We’re not looking to embarrass, but to educate.

Happy Black History Month/Inventors of Excellence

Happy Black History Month! This month, we pay tribute to firsts & some historical moments that are absent from history books.

Here are African American inventions that we use, daily. Some on the list are not inventions from scratch, but are improvements on an existing product:

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision. The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

3 Probable Reasons You Aren’t Mr. Right

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Are you or someone you know often sans female company, even though you’re the nicest of guys?  Maybe, just maybe, you or your friends are one of these guys at one time or another. . .

Mr. Unrequited Love.  It’s clearly obvious to everyone else that the objects of Mr. UL’s affections are uninterested.  Nonsense, Mr. UL rationalizes; women’s rejections are simply code for men to try harder.  Thus he spends crazy, uncalled for amounts of time brainstorming ideas to win over elusive women.  Even his cronies’ wise and direct counsel, “Dude, she’s just not in to you!” doesn’t faze him.  In more extreme cases, Mr. UL isn’t sobered to the fact his crush doesn’t have mutual feelings until she marries another man, or has slapped him with a restraining order.  (Whoa!)  In turn, he ignores attention other women give him; they neverseem to be his type.

Mr. Unicorn Chaser. Mr. UC is Mr. Unrequited Love’s cousin, as he too is chasing a fantasy.  He searches in vain for that woman who will live up to the airbrushed images of actresses or models.  Mr. UC’s dating history is littered with women he broke up with when he discovered they had cellulite, a pimple, or some other imperfection.   It’s too painful and way too boring to believe that celebrity women have ginormous help in the looks department with a team of hair and makeup artists, filtered lights and personal trainers.  So he chooses not to; so he keeps searching. . .and searching.

Mr. Spread Too Thin.  Mr. STT gets major brownie points for his full life and heart of gold.  He works late when asked to, may be a Cub Scout troop leader, volunteers at soup kitchens, helps his friends move, and house sits for his cousin.  But for the woman he tries to date, it can mean his being habitually late, or cancelling altogether because “something came up.”  Sadly, Mr. STT is often left shaking his head after he’s been dumped for the fifty-eleventh time, puzzled as to why he keeps meeting women who aren’t more flexible.  And why, he also wonders, do women get so annoyed when you tell them you’ll pencil them in on your calendar?

No worries if you recognized yourself or friends in the descriptions above.  Taking the first step to improvement starts with admitting to past mistakes.  After you figure out howyou keep screwing up with women, figure out why.   Take a break from the dating game until then.  And one thing – the most important thing — the three aforementioned types have in common is they’ve taken all the fun out of dating.  Don’t forget to have fun out there.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

IMG_4170

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

3 Gripes From a Frustrated Indie Author

Speedwriting

I signed up for the good, the bad, and the ugly in becoming an indie author. The good? Absolute creative control. The bad? As with any writer: writer’s block, nasty reviews, and disappointing book sales always hover, like bloodthirsty mosquitoes. The ugly? I’m about to get into that. There are some annoyances that are unique to indie authors. I have since learned not to take any of these things personally, and to push back, if I even get a whiff of disdain. So, here are the not-so-nice things I hear while on my independent writing journey, and my brilliant rebuttals.

Indie authors are lower-quality writers because they don’t have agents. Some readers assume that you’re an indie author because no agent would take you. That might be true to some extent, but as I stated before, you possess absolute control over your writing projects when you’re an indie author. Go with an agent, or publishing house, and they will often ask you to change certain lines in your books, or decide which covers the books will have. They sometimes even change book titles. I once had a short story, changed so much by a publisher, that hardly any of my original words remained. Yikes. As anyone in the creative field knows, your projects are your babies. And we indie authors can dress our babies however we like. If you want publishers to publish your book, you have to submit to their soul-killing demands. I love that I can release my own words, well, in my own words, design the cover artwork, set my own deadlines, and choose how the book will be marketed.

If people don’t want to read something you wrote because it’s not in a genre they like, fine. But to put a cigarette out on an author’s head because he or she is sans a literary agent is book snobbery. And frankly, it really frosts my cookie. Some superb classics were self-published books: Eragon, The Joy of Cooking, Peter Rabbit, What Color is Your Parachute?, and many more. And some books published by big publishing houses (sorry, not sorry) are garbage.

How about a freebie? Anyone who knows me knows that I’m generous, but this is business. You wouldn’t ask a clothing designer for a free evening gown. And in the writing community, you wouldn’t dare ask Terry McMillan for one of her books for free, so why do people feel it’s fine to ask self-publishers for free copies of their books? It’s very baffling. Sometimes, it’s overt. “I don’t have a Kindle, could you send me a paperback?” Sometimes, it’s covert. “I would love to be a beta reader for that book. Let me know if you need one.” Please stop asking indie authors to gift you with free copies of their books. They usually do giveaways, anyhow, so there are plenty of chances to win one. Or we like to give them as gifts. Either way, wait until we offer a free copy for your enjoyment, or for feedback. Please don’t ask.

Hold my hand. This builds on my preceding gripe. It’s okay to ask fellow indie authors for advice, if you’re attempting your own writing journey, too, but compensate them for their time if it’s a huge favor. I once had a fellow self-publisher message me, asking if I would be his tech support, while he set up his book on the publishing website. I was at work at the time, so I was annoyed. I politely replied that he needed to contact the site’s help line to walk him through each screen. They get paid for that service; not me. Then there are the fellow writers who ask you to edit or beta-read their manuscripts for free. I totally understand that writers are starving people, but at least offer to barter; a free, signed copy of your book, buying dinner, a gift card, posting about their books on your blog, etc. We all win in the indie writing community when we support each other –  and feed each other.

So fellow self-publishers, what challenges have you noticed or faced in your lone wolf writing journey? I open the floor to you.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

Lady Rougepen Says: You Speak German

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English , as you know, is a mosaic of other different languages. Let’s look at some words that originate from our brothers and sisters who brought us Volkswagen and streusel pastries. The following words are German:

  • Poltergeist
  • Wunderkind
  • Kindergarten
  • Frankfurter
  • Zeitgeist
  • Bratwurst
  • Hamburger

What are some other German words you can think of that crept into English?

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

IMG_4170

 

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy