The major influences in my life would have to be growing up poor in the South during the 1950's; a time when it was neither popular nor politically correct to be a poor, uneducated, black girl.
There were so many things that happened to me that I internalized as being my fault, and I carried these feelings of inadequacy with me for years. I was twenty one years old when I met a dynamic lady who took me under her wings, nurtured me, and encouraged me to go to college. This was the start of my life in a total different direction; however, it would still take a few more years to realize the power that I had built inside of me.
There were different periods in my life when I thought I knew the answer, and would go off seeking my destiny with enthusiasm and gusto; armed with limited information about the world, the social milieu that nurtured me as I grew into maturity, I was shut down many times by the men in my life, my own family and the people that I encountered. When this happened, I would withdraw and walk around thinking how foolish I must have been to think that I could be any different from my family and my friends, at that time. But there was always something within me silently pushing me back into life, ready to try it again.
I look back over my life now and each time, I send a silent prayer to God thanking him for watching over me throughout my life. Having limited information and a lack of exposure to others who broke out of rural poverty, I just did not believe that life could be any different. In fact, I didn't know how different even looked. Education and my love of reading opened up a new reality for me, and slowly I gained the poise and self confidence fitting for a powerful spirit as I was back then and as I am now. When life threw challenges in my path, I did research about the issue; wrote poems and short stories about them . To seek support, I would develop and facilitate workshops, and it was then when I was encouraged to write a book. My first book was written in 1992 and it became a best seller in a local market in Dallas, Texas.
In the late 1990's I decided that I wanted to get a Ph.D. in Women's Studies to add credibility to my writings, and to learn more about what it meant to be a woman. I earned this terminal degree in November 1999. Of course when I finished this program, I was broke! I decided to seek employment with the Federal Government and was hired as a Social Counselor working with victims of domestic violence. I did this for nine years. During this time, I did not work on my writing because of the exhaustive nature of my work.
I decided to retire December 2007 to pursue my creative abilities. I just completed a Personal and Spiritual Development Book entitled, Overcoming the Storms of Life. This book echoes many of my challenges as well as the challenges of the women that I worked with in the domestic violence program. I found that our issues weren't that divergent; and because of my own journey, I was able to identify with their challenges.
I now work as an adjunct Professor of Sociology with a local College in North Carolina, and devote the rest of my time to writing and marketing my works.