Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sound Check

The last few weeks have been wild. It appears that many things that have been trying to come together for some time finally are. I've got a new freelance relationship with a magazine that should offer many new challenges and a host of possible rewards. It is a young magazine, but it already has a circulation of over 1,000,000, and I'm quite excited about any role I get to play in making those numbers grow.

Adding to that is new representation in the works with a top-tier New York literary agency and a remarkable agent. We're nailing down the particulars on that, but it is making the New Year look promising.

There has been some movement recently too. Cyber movement. A poetry group I am honored to be a part of moved its cyber location to Facebook, which I'm finding to be quite intriguing. Other writing friends are making changes to their web sites, their blogs, and a few are exiting the internet all together for a while in an effort to regain their writing momentum, having found that they are too sidetracked when online. I admire their discipline.

Change is good. I'll do some revamping of my own here and there so that I can maintain a fresh sense of direction. Actually, I have already begun as I have consolidated some sites and activities under a single umbrella. That was long overdue!

And then there was the big surprise! Discovery of some forgotten monies that made us feel both stupid and incredibly blessed! What can I say? Testing, testing, 1-2-3!

The last few weeks have been wild!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Spirit

I've been consumed with the true spirit of Christmas and the absence of it in the eyes of people I see, on the landscape as I ride, and even my own numbness that ought never be.

The passion of Christmas, the passion of the spirit of holiness, of love, of peace, of joy, of hope, and of mercy is what I long for once again. I pray that it begins to smolder in us all as we travel through these next few days, regardless of our faith or religion, but because of our commonality; our oneness as humans sharing this earth. May we all be consumed by a burning spirit of love one for another.
Photo 123rf

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


First Edition 1901 - Candle-Lightin' Time - Paul Laurence Dunbar

The telephone rang in another room and I flew past one of my bookcases that's stationed in the hallway to try to answer the phone before the call went to voicemail. On my way back (I did get the call, it was a lost fax machine trying to connect) my eyes fell on a book in that case - a poetry book - and it caused me to pause. I bought that book because I heard the poet performing his works a few years ago. Both the poet and the book are exceptional, but, unlike an excellent novel, his book didn't skyrocket up the list of best sellers and I have no idea what the status of his poetic career is presently.

Being a poet myself, this shouldn't have given me such pause. We know the score. A book seller at a major bookstore chain congratulated me not long ago because a hundred copies of my poetry book sold. That, I was told in excitement, made it a "best seller". I thought he was joking. He wasn't. He was quite serious. Contemporary poetry, he continued to enlighten me, is a very slow mover and not something either book sellers or distributors really like to handle much.

But poetry is critical to a society. It is the blood rushing through the society's heart, its truth and its timber. Odd that it should be viewed with such commercial disdain. I know I have been influenced by poets in my own life. I know I continue to be influenced by them. Some are unsung, some brand new, some a bit more familiar, but each a force and an energy I've been fortunate to encounter. I guess it is only right that I name a few, huh?

Gino L. Morrow - Spitfire (Poetry and Prose)
Jackie Young - Love's Reparations: The Learning Curve between Heartache and Healing
Linda Dominique Grosvenor - Love Lingers
Paul Laurence Dunbar - "Candle-Lightin' Time",
Merrit Malloy - "My Song for Him Who Never Sang to Me",
Stanley E. Banks - Rhythm and Guts
G. Highsmith-Hooks - The Soul of a Black Woman: From a Whisper to a Shout
Sonia Sanchez - Homegirls and Handgrenades
and Rita Dove - Thomas and Beulah

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shaking Off the Writing Shakes

Occasionally, when where to turn and what to do next seem impossible to comprehend, and the light bulb that has been lighting your way through the book you're laboring over suddenly burns out, you feel the shakes start. Going somewhere, curling up in a fetal position, tempts, as does ripping off your clothes racing down the street screaming at the top of your lungs. Looking at the options, some of them as drastic as radical surgery on parts of your anatomy you can't imagine life without, will take a far braver person than you - at least at the moment.

Hitting that snag brings up that age old philosophical question. Why? Why torment yourself like this? Why continue to subject yourself to the terror that awaits in the dark crevices and alleys when you make a wrong turn and end up boxed into a dead end and all paths of graceful or safe retreat appear to be blocked off as well? Then comes the age old philosophical answer. Why not?

One way or another you will solve this dilemma, and it will be what lies in the solution you chose or that is chosen for you (by your characters or your muse) that the real story will come forth. It might not be the one you were laboring over. Hard as it might be to accept, that labor of love might only have been the back story for the one that is to emerge. Regardless, when you unfurl your body, put your clothes back on, and return to your pen, shake though you may, the light will have returned. Only this time it might be natural, not artificial light, and the chances of it burning out will be almost nil.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My own "MySpace"

For the last several months I have been receiving a great deal of communication from authors who now have a MySpace presence. A few months ago I took a look at MySpace and "reserved" my own space, but then forgot about it. Over the holiday I decided kick my little MySpace off. Take a peek!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nudged Off the Back Burner!

This entire week has been devoted to marketing and promotion. Small things in most cases, but very necessary. For an example; a flame has been lit under my greeting card line, (Nudgies®) and I wasn't really paying attention and it has almost burned me! They have been a back burner item for a while, but a specific rep loves them and is on a marketing crusade on their behalf. Next thing I know the phone is ringing and the buzz about the cards is on!

I will of course take advantage of this steam while it lasts. I created a few campaigns of my own, but sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. As much as I want to be, I am not really a jack-of-all-trades. Some of my attempts are pretty juvenile, but that doesn't stop me from trying! But, hooray for Nudgies®!They were my first love anyway!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Doing it right just because!

It is a powerful experience when you encounter someone or something that is doing it right. The W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center falls into that category. I visited with the executive director, William Grace, this morning because they are adding my book of poetry, YOU BECKON, to their bookstore, but what I learned in the few minutes we spent chatting about both Mr. Grace and the center was quite humbling.

The W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center has been in the Greater Kansas City community for thirty-three years and its single focus has been tutoring and mentoring children educationally in reading, math, science and computer technology. This is a non-profit learning center! The tutors and mentors here are all volunteers, and their assistance to the children in this community is virtually free.

Long before it was in vogue to talk about leaving no child behind, and long after it became clear that there was both the need and the market to make tutoring and educational assistance a very, very profitable enterprise, the DuBois Learning Center kept its focus and its commitment to its young constituents. Whether you could afford to or not, if learning was your goal, the DuBois Learning Center and its volunteers were committed to help you reach that mark.

The spirit of voluntarism, of community, of cultural development, of local pride, and of that ultra special spirit of being accountable is what I met today in Mr. Grace and his little-sung organization. Thirty-three years is a long time to struggle against all the inherent obstacles a small non-profit organization like this one has had to overcome while continuing in its unwavering commitment. As I left I found myself thinking that YOU BECKON has found itself a most honorable and prestigeous new home.

Monday, November 13, 2006

An eBook Odyssey

I did it! This weekend I created an eBook from start to finish. I decided to embark upon the fine art of eBook creation because it is the current industry trend and common sense suggests it behooves me, an author, to understand this contemporary means of delivering long labored over content conveniently to those who may be interested in acquiring it. As with most things, it isn't enough for me to know that any traditional publisher who might be handling any of my work will already have all their mechanisms in place to meet this market need. Nope, I wanted to know how it works hands on!

What I learned in the process was how much I didn't know! One of the major learning curves came with the acquisition of images. This particular little project required a number of images of food and food preparation (hint!), so off I went in search of the most appealing, appetizing pictures of the foods I had in mind. I purchased for what seemed like extraordinarily moderate prices the images I liked and after hours of calling on recall and childhood memories I had recorded the information I needed to set my e-book in motion. I had already set-up the mechanisms to be able to publish eBooks a while back, including contractual agreements with an eBook publishing site, so I was indeed ready to test the marketplace.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that this could not be that simple, that I probably had not thought something through clearly. I decided to go back and check the licensing for the images to make sure they covered the project I had in mind. Thank God for common sense! While the license I had for use of the images I acquired covered a host of uses, a more expensive license was needed for those images I originally planned to use to be able to use them in an eBook. Oops!

So, it was back to the drawing board. I removed all of the images I had thought to use, and dug through my own little cache of personal images, until I found some that at least captured the spirit of the project and inserted them. You see, I was still determined I was going to complete this project because I started it. That's a part of my new commitment to myself - finish everything I start from now on. Period!

So, out there somewhere in lonely eBook cyberland is my first eBook creation. It is on its own though. I'm not going to lay claim to it unless and until it becomes a best seller -- in the world of down home recipes!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My friend, Shelia M. Goss!

Shelia Goss is a good friend of mine. She is also a most prolific writer. I asked her if she would share a secret, if she had one, to finishing a manuscript since she has a host of new books coming out over the next several months. Here's what Shelia shared. Enjoy!

The Art of Finishing A Book
Guest Blogger Shelia M Goss

I wish there was a magic formula to tell you so that your unfinished or in some cases unstarted manuscript would magically complete itself, but there isn't. I wish I could privately email you a secret code that only other authors know that mysteriously writes your novel but it doesn't exist.

I could recommend one of many books that teach you how to flush out characters, develop plots and create better settings for your story; but unless you use the information and apply it to your work in progress and desire to complete your story, it won't do you any good.

I may not have the secret to the art of finishing a book, but hopefully something I say below helps.

I want to address writer's block or what I like to call procrastination. The first thing I would suggest in order to finish your book is to stop procrastinating. Whatever it is you're putting ahead of writing your manuscript, stop. Now you're probably like, I can't stop the baby from crying or my spouse from wanting some quality time. You're right. Family is important and you must spend quality time with your family. What about all of the projects I have at work? Work is important. Where does that leave me? This is where you will have to make a sacrifice. Instead of taking a full hour for lunch, why not use half of the time to write. Instead of getting up at 6 am, why not get up 30 minutes prior or stay up 30 minutes later. Before you know it, you've written another chapter and another chapter and if you keep it up, you will have a completed book.

Another thing that sometimes stops people from completing their manuscript is doubt. I doubt if anyone will read this. I doubt if it'll be any good. Well get rid of the doubt. How? If writing is your passion, then stop allowing doubt to stand in the way. Surround yourself with positive people. Don't let doubt stop you from finishing your book.

Procrastinating isn't your problem and you don't doubt yourself, but you can't get past the first few chapters. The hardest part is to get the first draft done. Once you get the first draft written, then you can revise it. But if you don't get the first draft of a completed manuscript done, what do you have to work with? Nothing. So to resolve that issue, I would suggest that you write, write and write until you get the first draft and then go back and revise.

This last thing I'm about to mention may be a given, but I'll mention it anyway. Know what you want to write about. If you don't know what the premises is for your story then you will not be able to complete it. Before you type that first word, know what the central theme of your story will be. Know your characters inside and out. You may not know the ending, but everything you write, should live up to the theme. Each scene should add up and take the reader on a journey into your make believe world.

To sum it all up, don't let anything stand in your way. The art to finishing your book can be summed up in three words that Nike uses in their ads and that's JUST DO IT.

Shelia M Goss is an entertainment writer and the National Bestselling Author of My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. She was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader's Choice Multi-cultural Awards and the 2004 Oneswan Productions Female Author of the Year. Her website is or visit her on myspace at My Invisible Husband is published by Urban Soul, an imprint of Urban Books/Kensington and will be in stores in December and available from

Monday, November 06, 2006

No Romeo and Juliet

Are they really in love or what? That is the question. I have labored over these two characters for a long time and the thrust of the story hinges on their deep, unwavering love, but, I'm just not feeling the love from these two. Maybe it is layered so deep beneath all the muck and mire of their lives that it still has not sufficiently surfaced, but, by now, (chapter 15) there should not be a question!

You know what that means. Back to character development. Obviously I have missed something very important. Maybe...naw! Surely not! Dang!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Just Say the Word"

Josh Kelley

I was supposed to do a telephone interview with singer/songwriter Josh Kelley last week and a number of things occurred on my end that made me need to postpone it. I felt badly about it, planned to make that connection this week and hookup on the phone as planned, when instead I got a note saying Josh was going to be in Kansas City this weekend for a performance and would I like to do a live interview and review his show? Most certainly, I responded. Boy, did I luck out! I am just walking in my door from that live performance and I'm going to be honest - Josh Kelley is deeper than deep! His voice - with all its soulful calisthenics - will take you on a magic carpet ride you will not soon forget.

I fell in love with the title song of his new CD, "Just Say the Word", so I had glimpsed a little bit of his depth and range before tonight. But the true measure of an artist isn't what he sounds like recorded, but what he sounds like when he walks up to a mic before a live audience. In my experience, live performances most often leave a great deal to be desired, even with some of the most gifted entertainers. Tonight though, when Josh Kelley, accompanied by bassist Darwin Johnson, took the stage, the world rocked.

I'll post both the interview and the review on Emerging Music at in a day or two, but I just want to make sure that if you are anywhere near where Josh Kelley is going to be performing, I urge you to run -- that's right, run, don't walk to get your tickets. It will be a performance you will never forget.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Back to Living on the Tip of My Pen

I have some nice things lining up for this weekend. I have a live one-on-one interview for my Emerging Music site lined up with Josh Radin when he comes through on The Hotel Cafe tour. Josh is awesome! Songs of his appear on the movie soundtrack for Last Kiss and have also been featured on Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs. He's a Columbia Records artist.

I'm back to writing and my entertainment promotional efforts full time, and could not be happier. One record company executive committed to review his company portfolio in early November and, based on some smaller projects I've already successfully completed for them, target a number of more in-depth projects my way. I will definitely become more aggressive with my interviewing and reviewing, particularly of emerging music artist, but will focus on emerging literary artist also. There is little more exciting than having a role, regardless of how small, in helping someone make their dreams come true. I think that is the passion that drives me towards this.

So, I'm drowning in deadlines and love it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Bane of Mediocracy

Talk about waiting to x-hell...

Last night I slept with a peace I cannot begin to describe. Throughout this day the rhythm of my life has returned and I can hear the comforting sounds of self humming softly in the background. I have been fond of saying I am a catalyst of change and not its victim yet I had been a victim of change and not its catalyst for an extended period of time. Last night, though, I x-helled.

How easily the role from catalyst to victim had reversed itself, and how smoothly oiled with fear that wheel was that spun me around and left me dizzy and uncertain of my direction. But there was something that terrified me enough that it never allowed me to allow myself to become entirely entrenched, to become what I hated most. It was the aversion, the absolute, unequivocal revulsion to mediocracy that kept me fighting, kept me warm when my hope felt like ice in my veins, and kept me swimming towards that shore that sometimes seemed like a mirage. I cannot abide in mediocracy, nor can mediocracy abide in me.

So, I lift my glass to yesterday, and thank it for peeling away layers and forcing me to peer deep within to places I often didn't really want to go. I toast the knowledge and the understanding that my mother would now label as "bought sense" because of the price I paid to gain it. I toast Webster and those early teachers who taught me how to look up the meaning of words for myself. But above all, I toast the fodder I now have from which to draw what will ultimately be a masterpiece. Promise.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Shopping Season

Something new is about to be shopped. Keep your fingers, and all other digits, crossed. It's a joint project, but one that I loved creating, and I totally enjoyed taking the journey I have with the other writers involved. I'll let you know as soon as we find our new home! We've got some very impressive deal makers at the helm of this one, so ... here we go!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So, that's it!

There are times when you forget why you are doing something in a specific way. It might be something that feels awkard, or seems excessive, or just simply doesn't flow naturally, yet you continue to execute it in the odd manner that now and then makes you stop and wonder. Then, BOOM! That brick wall that nearly knocked the who-knows-what out of you when you hit it straight on before suddenly pops back up in your face and you stop just short of crashing into it again, and you say to yourself, "ah ha! so that's it!" You realize that's what has had you ducking and dodging, twisting and turning, in an effort to avoid another such collision.

I need to start hanging out with elephants. They never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Recalling A Feeling - September 2001

I remember so well the feeling of angst, the distraction and feeling of dread that I simply could not shake the evening of September 10, 2001. It should have been a time of excitement and exhilaration because I was just getting word that evening that I'd been selected to develop a play with the full support of a major community playhouse and its artistic creative director, but for some reason I found myself trembling, my stomach churning, and I couldn't account for the feelings. It was so prevasive that I made mention of it to family and recorded it in my journal.

The next morning, while sipping my coffee with my husband, we were doing as we did most mornings; watching the morning news when the network host broke in to say a commuter plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. My goodness, I thought immediately, because something in the play I'd just had accepted for development had a pivotal scene that I'd loosely created from events from the first World Trade Center attack. That's not good, I remember thinking, and then ... well then as the tv screen shifted to the scene of the first tower crash, and as we watched still sipping our morning coffee, another plane appeared and -- the rest is the history we have all lived everyday since.

It took a day or two in the midst of all that followed the horrible events of that day - 9/11 - before I remembered that all encompassing sense of dread that have enveloped me the evening before. But, once I remembered it, I have never since forgotten it. I am keenly aware of my feelings as never before, and I've admittedly had knee-jerk reactions when I've thought I was feeling that same sense of foreboding, only to realize that I wasn't. As time had gone on, I'm less afraid of its imminent return, but I will never be less afraid of what I'll do if I ever really feel that feeling again. May I never!

No Thought of Surrender
(Written September 11, 2001)

Anguish spreads blood red
across heart and mind
numb with inability to
comprehend the unrightable
written eternally
on our national psyche.
Never began today with
blue sky and warm
smiles and no thought
of nightmares raining
ash and cinder,
no thought of surrender
of all we once knew
as norm.
Our knees bend with
involuntary motion, while
our souls roil in
and blood red images
of all we hold sacred, dear,
safe, secure
spreads across our broken hearts
and minds and the cry rises
in unity:
dear God help us.

©2001 Peggy Eldridge-Love

Friday, September 01, 2006

Not All Traffic Jams are Bad

I am curious by nature, sometimes to a fault. I've tried to keep my curiosity in check of late because of some of the misadventures it has taken me on that I could well have done without. You probably know the kind. Misadventures that became quite costly, either in time, money, or loss of direction. But, I'll admit, I'm having a hard time doing that at the moment. For some reason the hits to my Emerging Music Site at have spiked. They are going through the roof. This started about a week and a half ago, but the real kicker is which of the categories is triggering those hits. It's my own Bio. For some unknown reason it is being accessed thousands and thousands of times right now. Duh?

I've been trying to find a connection that would account for that kind of traffic. I can't. I've Googled and Dogpiled, searched Mamma and a host of other search engines. I've surfed MSN,Yahoo,and AOL for a hint, but things seem quite ordinary. So, as of yet, I have no clue, but I would surely love to know so that I could harness that source and use it to drive traffic to other areas that concern me as well! I'll let you know if I ever find out. Promise.

Speaking of emerging artist, I did recently review the CD of a rising young artist that I think has star quality beyond belief! She has a new single that is just now hitting the air waves entitled "Sunshine and Lemonade" from her CD entitled "Overtones and Innuendos". It plays in my head constantly and leaves me smiling every time. Her name is Trizonna McClendon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I think I'm trying to sidestep something. It is playing in the back of my mind and I haven't yet allowed it to come to the forefront, but I won't be able to suppress it for long. It's becoming too strong. I have the feeling it's going to be one of those all encompassing projects with all manner of underpinning that will give voice to something I have avoided giving voice to that I probably should have.

Apparently this is that birthing I was alluding to earlier. I wasn't just being melodramatic after all.

Darn it! Just when I thought I had breathing room!

Friday, August 11, 2006


I think life gets pregnant. I think that at a given time a seed of higher being is fertilized and begins to grow within and early on you have no idea what has taken place. You start to feel a little queasy, lightheaded, and, frankly, uneasy. Things just don't seem quite right, and you can't put your finger on why. Then, as time moves forward, your life body starts to stretch and churn, and you are in constant states of adjustment -- sometimes physical, other times emotional, and still other times spiritual -- as you seek to accommodate what's developing within.

Midway you start to accept that this change is occurring deep inside of you and you realize there isn't much, outside of some very drastic measure, you can do to alter the change-in-progress and you begin to think that you're accepting the inevitable, but then, as time nears for you to deliver whatever is being birthed in your life, you start to be filled with anguish and anxiety, fear and more.

The you you thought you knew is now clumsy and awkward and you question if you'll ever return to who you were, but, above all, you worry if you are equipped to care for, to nurture and develop this new 'whatever it is' that you are about to expel. That's when the pain kicks in and you feel like profaning everything that might have anything to do with putting you in this laborious state.

I don't know what happens from there yet. I just know that these birth pains I'm in the midst of are absolutely brutal.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Projects "With Benefits"

These are certainly the lazy days of summer, but, taking a clue from the ant rather than the grasshopper, it is definitely time to store up provisions for the season ahead. I've got a few projects working. One just sort of rose up from the ashes and is now becoming a real intriguing journey. Actually, something discovered in the research process became a most valuable piece of information just the other day. It was such serendipity it has a true ring of the divine at play. Had I not been researching for this book there is no way I would have had that knowledge to offer at the exact moment an extra ordinary solution was required. So, yep, I'm hyped about this one.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pulling Hair

Watercolor - ©Peggy Eldridge-Love

Gosh! I haven't been weepy in a really long time, but I'm on the verge of tears tonight. There is just so much that is in flux, so much that is outside of any control I think I might have, and I'm forced to just wait and waiting, although a virtue, isn't one of my best.

I am so ready for the things I want to flow smoothly to just lock into place like a jigsaw puzzle and be done with. Instead, my plight always seems to be a little piece of the puzzle over here, another piece here, and then I'm scurrying around, holding this piece this way and then that, trying to see if it goes here or there! Enough! Enough! Enough!

There, I've had my cyber tantrum. I guess I should be okay now. Guess I really don't have a choice. I have to wait.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Over the last few days I've had the pleasure of seeing the new covers of upcoming books that will be hitting the shelves soon that are being written by fellow authors who are also great friends. I have been left in complete awe! As soon as I get the go ahead I will share images of each of them here. They will literally take breath away.

I'm writing, so I haven't been writing much here recently. Bear with me. I'll come up for air soon. Thanks!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Old Chum System

Ouch! That was ugly! I saw something last night that jolted me out of my opinion of one TV interview personality's character. Up to that interview I always felt he gave the benefit of the doubt to everyone who took a seat across his table. But he came across like a rabid pitbull as he inteviewed the guest he had on and it was based -- as he consistently expressed -- on his preconversation with an old chum of his whom felt the interviewer's guest had betrayed her. It was terribly uncomfortable to watch.

I know very little of the back story, so I don't know what all transpired between the chum and the guest, but I know I will never again trust the interviewer. Isn't that terrible! Just like that we can lose someone else's trust. Everything we've built, everything we've conveyed, everything we've said can be swept away in one indiscrete, unguarded moment. Talk about a lesson! It's one I'll make sure I keep in mind as I continue my own journey.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


My love of words has much to do with the respect for words we had in our home when I grew up. We chose our words carefully, always. We all understood that words, once set free, could never be recaptured and returned to their source, so we made sure we meant what we said before we said it, and that what we said did not create wounds that were so grave they could not heal.

Today, Father's Day, I think about my father. My beautiful, wonderful, loving, strong, funny, sweet, handsome, intelligent father, and the one thing he did better than anyone else in my life was to shower me with words that reinforce me, reassure me, and rejuvenate me even now, even in the absence and the void that time and death created when he slipped away years ago.

Thank you Daddy, thank you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Influence of Truth

It seems time has been sucked into a vacuum so fast I didn't see it slip by. I have been too busy. It is time to slow down the pace regardless of what doesn't get done. Living this journey, at least seeing more of it than a quick, fuzzy blur, is what I want.

I picked up a couple of books that I read long ago that had life altering impacts on me as a child and very young adult and decided to read them once again. I really thought I'd gleaned all that I needed from them the first time through, and this reading would just be a poignant refresher, but both books opened up brand new areas of my life where the wisdom, energy and strength the writer shared was now needed. I have (of course) changed and so the messages, although the same, have changed as well. They are not contemporary, rather they are almost 'Dick and Jane' elementary, yet they are truths. Truths defy time.

It was how deeply I was impacted anew by reading the first book that caused me to pick up the second. Since I'm experiencing the same types of revelations with the second book, I'm compelled to suggest that someone else might want to take a backwards stroll through their own library and see what new is waiting for them in some bound pearl they have forgotten.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Release Date

The Knoll Frames release date has been pushed up to November 30th, but orders coming in from a major online venue alerted us that they still have it slated for release June 1st. I spent the morning checking to be sure they had the corrected release date since that change information was provided to them several weeks ago, and turned out they did.

They were real nice about it. They apologized, assured us that all the pre-orders were being properly handled, and said they hoped I wasn't too concerned. Not now I'm not! Especially not when emphasis was placed on the words 'all' and 'pre-orders' in the same sentence!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sensible Shoes

I stumbled upon this old picture of myself from many moons ago and thought immediately about my poem Sensible Shoes. I couldn't resist sharing it. How quickly life flies!

Sensible Shoes

I noticed them poking from beneath
the full, brightly colored caftan I’ve grown
fond of wearing. Toes broad, heels low,
width moving deeper into the alphabet,

they are nothing like what I remember
once graced my shapely feet and ankles.

Time was I could spend hours riding thin
spikes, moving like a shadow on stilettos,
working crowds with easy smiles,
oblivious to what carried me.

I don’t remember consciously shedding
the lean black pumps, or the unheralded
move to these sensible shoes
that now caress what’s left of my toes,

anymore than I remember the first day I noticed
hair thins in the oddest of places first.

©2002 Peggy Eldridge-Love from YOU BECKON

Sunday, May 21, 2006

All Together Now...

Okay, it's hold breath time again. This week a long awaited response came back positive! Fingers, toes, and eyes are all crossed in anticipation of something very excellent resulting, but, in the meantime, I'm trying to keep from stressing myself out.

I'll let you know when we can collectively exhale!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 15th Is the Day!

Okay, if you've got your copy of the American Greetings African-American Almanac Desk Top Calendar the 15th of May is dedicated to a poem from my book, YOU BECKON.

I'll admit that I'm somewhat surprised by the poem that was selected for inclusion in the calendar. I gave releases, when asked, for several, but didn't know which (or even if any) had been selected until I actually received my copy of the calendar. I would have thought one of the five or six liners would have been a more likely choice, not only because of length, but because of their themes. But instead, a twenty-three liner was chosen, and it speaks of --

(To be continued!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Poetry on Record Interview - Rebekah Presson Mosby

(As promised, here is the feature and interview from my Emerging Music site with Rebekah Presson Mosby, producer of Poetry on Record!)
P.S. Talk about a Mother's Day gift! This is the bomb!

As you might think, with a title like Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work 1888-2006, (Shout!Factory), my initial anticipation was not a musical one. Particularly not an 'emerging musical' one. But I assure you that nothing has ever been more musical or emerging within my spirit then what flowed from the lips of these 98. I was awakened this morning from a sound sleep with the relentless beat and driving rhythm of one poem in particular. That of Carl Hancock Rux singing, telling, and etching on the innermost walls of my psyche "Eleven More Days."

Another unforgettable offering comes from poet Anne Waldman as she creates a poetic melody with icy irony entitled "Uh Oh Plutonium". As I listened to Anne, and I sought to put what she said and what Carl said in some kind of sync with the enduring messages also included in the work by the likes of Alfred, Lord Tennyson ("The Charge of the Light Brigade"), the haunting words of Sylvia Plath ("Daddy"), the mind-boggling position of Marge Piercy ("Right to Life"), the craft of Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Gertrude Stein, Dyland Thomas, and dozens more, I needed to know what connected them all. What made this project such a resounding success, because it is a success, an experience I cannot urge you enough to embark upon. I needed to know, so I asked.

I interviewed the producer of this project for us, Rebekah Presson Mosby, and I'd like to share that wonderful interview with you now:

Please introduce yourself to our audience.

I am Rebekah Presson Mosby. I was formerly a free-lance cultural reporter for NPR, for which I filed about 140 features and documentaries. I was also producer and host of the syndicated literature program, New Letters on the Air from 1983-1995. Since 1996, I have lived in Hamilton, New York and worked mostly on audio anthologies of poets reading their work. Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006) is the most recent of these projects.

Tell us about the first time you realized poetry was going to be an integral part of your life.

I studied theater as an undergraduate and stumbled into poetry as a graduate student. While taking a fiction writing class with the poet David Ray, I volunteered to help out with the syndicated public radio program David founded, New Letters on the Air. Two weeks later, the producer quit and Judy Ray and I became co-producers and hosts of the ½ hour weekly show (until 1984, when I became sole producer/host).

My first interview was with Denise Levertov. Although I was not knowledgeable about contemporary poetry (I was working largely with questions David and Judy helped me with), Ms. Levertov was very kind. The experience of having a private poetry reading in the studio was quite thrilling, a thrill that was to be duplicated hundreds of times after that.

The audio anthologies I edit and produce are, in some sense, a duplication of that experience—and, I hope, that thrill.

Some people write poetry, others teach, and still others are committed to the tireless promotion of the art form. You do all of this. Why?

I don’t write or teach poetry. I am a primarily a journalist who loves poetry and feels that the best way to experience it is in its most ancient and venerable form: aurally. Starting next year, I will teach radio writing at Colgate University.

What inspired the ‘Poetry on Record’ project? What time frame does it cover?

Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006) spans the entire history of recording technology (1888-2006). Because Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning and Walt Whitman were all old men when they were recorded, the poems themselves date from 1845 (Browning’s “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix”), meaning that the collection spans one and a half centuries!

This collection is an expanded and revised version of a 4 CD box I edited for Rhino Records that was published in 1996 and has since gone out of print. That collection included 80 poets, rather than the current 98. Many, though not all of the changes are in the much-expanded first CD which adds Tennyson, Browning, Edgar Lee Masters, James Weldon Johnson, Carl Sandburg, H.D., T.S. Eliot, Dorothy Parker, Sterling Brown and Elizabeth Bishop to the mix. The fourth CD, which previously ended with Li-Young Lee, now contains ten poets younger than he. There are many other additions and changes in this collection.

The poets represented on the recordings are a very diverse group. Who determined who would be included? Is there one common thread that made each rise to the top of your list? If so, what was it?

I determined who would be included and it was always my intention that poets would be as diverse as America (although many of the poets are not American). My guiding principal was to create as full a picture as possible of what has gone on in poetry in English since Edison’s invention of the phonograph in 1888.

Many of the poems were chosen because they are so beloved, such as Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and Langston Hughes’ “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” However, this is not intended to be a collection of the greatest poems by the greatest poets. Yes, the great poets are here, but the overall effect is to cover the movements and ideas that have taken hold in the poetry world. Thus, there are poems about nearly every war (including one about 9/11), love poems, death poems, family poems, odes, ars poetica (poems about poetry), jazz poems, poems set to music, poems about growing up Black, Latino, Native American and/or Asian in America and lots of funny poems as well. The major poetry movements are also covered: romanticism, modernism, neo-formalism, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts Movement, surrealism, etc.

Did hearing a poet’s own voice reading a poem change your thoughts about that work? About that poet?

Absolutely yes on both counts. A great example of the first is Allen Ginsberg’s recording of “America.” As a student, I read that poem as heavy social commentary. Yet Ginsberg’s performance milks the poem for comic double entendre and brings an entirely new dimension to the work I hadn’t recognized in reading it.

Also, hearing poet’s voice tells us other things about the poet and the poem. First, we hear how the poet thinks the poem should be read. Second, we feel closer to the poet for hearing his or her voice. In some cases, such as hearing Tennyson recite “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” this can be a thrilling encounter with history. Other times, as in Sylvia Plath’s reading of “Daddy,” her pain is so palpable as to make listening almost painful.

What do you want the lasting impact of this project to be on those who hear all, or a part, of this collection? Do you think it will inspire more to read poetry? To write it? To want to listen to poetry being read?

My hope is that Poetry on Record will inspire both profound emotions and great pleasure on the part of the listener. When one connects with the oral roots of poetry (keep in mind that poems were spoken for thousands of years before writing existed) it can trigger something primal and visceral as well provoke thoughts and ideas that might otherwise have remained buried in one’s unconscious mind. Poetry can provide insight and comfort to those of us frightened and/or confused about the state of the world and our lives. I want people to listen for ideas, comfort and music. Poetry on Record is really just a taste of what is out there and yes, I hope that if a particular poet moves a listener, he or she will go out and find more work by the poet.

While I don’t write poetry, I know that doing so can be really helpful also. Making poetry, like all the arts, can serve as therapy and pleasure.

What are some of the other projects you have edited? What books have you written?

In addition to editing Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006), I also co-edited (with Elise Paschen) Poetry Speaks (Sourcebooks, 2001), a book with three audio CDs tucked inside. Poetry Speaks was on The New York Times extended best seller list.

Our Souls Have Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Poets Read Their Work (Rhino Entertainment, 2000) is a two CD collection of just Black poets.

In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry (Rhino Entertainment, 1996), mentioned earlier, is four CDs of 80 poets reading their work.

Will you tell us about your current activities and recent honors?

Currently, I am devising a radio writing course to be offered at Colgate University next year. My awards include an Audie for Our Souls Have Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Poets Read Their Work, four “Earphones” awards from AudioFile magazine, first place from the President’s Council for People With Disabilities for a NPR documentary on Veteran wheelchair athletes and first prize from the Kansas Broadcasters’ Association for a feature on artist Elizabeth Layton.

I am listed in Contemporary Authors and Who’s Who in America.

What are your plans for the near future?

My husband, Dewey F. Mosby, an art historian, and I will spend three months in the fall in Paris, as we did last year.

I’m hoping Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work (1888-2006) will do well because I’d love to edit a sequel and put in about 50 more of the really fine poets I had to leave out of this one!

In closing, do you feel the poetry being created by the urban and grassroots poets of the last decade or two will endure the test of time? What about that of the 21st century poets who are traveling a more traditional road through channels of higher education? Have you seen any particularly radiant new talents?

I can’t possibly know what will endure. In the last CD of Poetry on Record for example, I picked works that I know are good and feel are representative of the world we live in and the world of contemporary poetry. But would I pick the same poets to read alongside W.B. Yeats and Muriel Rukeyser 50 years from now? I don’t know!

There are lots of fine young poets. I think the one who just knocks me out though is Carl Hancock Rux. I strongly recommend his CDs, especially Rux Revue.

How can one learn more about this project, your books or get in contact with you?

I’m easy to find. Everything you might want to know about me is on my Authors Guild website,

Thank you so much for spending this time with us. We wish you the very best!

Thank you! Good questions!!

There's not much more I can possibly add. It is an awesome project!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A True Poetry Feast

This is just a hint of things to come. I'm like someone lost in the desert finally found. Not only found, but given my own gushing fountain of crystal pure cold water and an endless table of the best fruits, meats and vegetables and then left alone to devour them in my own time, at my own pace.

I'm talking about this four-disc poetry series entitled Poetry On Record: 98 Poets Read Their Own Work 1888-2006. I'm going to be talking about it for some time, but for now, I can't be selfish. I've got to share just a little of it with you just in case you need your own tangible literary feast (I'm concluding a wonderful interview with some of the principals of this project and I'll share it with you soon, but until then here's a sample of the poetry):

Audio Stream:

“The Road Not Taken” - Robert Frost

Windows Media

“Résumé” - Dorothy Parker

Windows Media

“The Secret Of My Endurance” - Charles Bukowski

Windows Media

Monday, May 01, 2006

Plus and Minus Equal Life

My day started out very nice, and it is still nice, but for a little while there I was on the edge of going completely off. Fortunately, a skillful young lady kept her cool and helped me manage to regain mine!

The very nice thing is an interview on me that was conducted by entertainment writer Shelia Goss (she's been getting the really big named interviews here lately) that appears in Bahiyah Woman Magazine. Bahiyah is a New York based publication with a focus on spiritually conscious professional black men and women. It is truly an honor to be featured in this exciting magazine.

Oops! I was about to expound on the downside of the day. Had actually let it all rip, then thought better of it! Who cares but me? I got it resolved. I'll just make the necessary changes I need to in order to insure I don't get stung again. So, hopefully you are reading the edited post and not the original one! LOL

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What is this?

There appears to be much churning and confusion going on in the lives of people I'm encountering on a daily basis. In checkout lines, whether I want to or not, I'm overhearing cell phone conversations in agitated voices in which people are trying to reach understandings with creditors, resolve issues with loved ones, or convince someone, somewhere to extend them an additional ounce of mercy or understanding.

Behind the wheel I'm constantly driving with extreme caution as I watch tempers flair and frustration played out in dangerous darts and jerks of 'my SUV is bigger than your SUV' at 80 miles an hour (and $3.99 a gallon).

If you say 'good morning' to just about anyone there's a very strong possibility if the conversation lasts more than a minute it will include tales of woe and incredulous exclamations of how they never expected to see things come to this. Truthfully, neither did I, but truthfully I am not sure just what that 'this' is, and, for me, personally, I plan to find out!

This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! That's the greeting I was accustom to in my youth from so many of the people who surrounded my life. That's the 'this' I want to recapture. That's the 'this' of my quest as I begin this day. Pardon me while I go find it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


During the recent Judah vs Mayweather fight the same conversation surfaced that nearly always does during a major boxing match being watched at my house. "You missed your calling, Peggy." Someone chirps. I smile, nod 'yes', and quickly return my attention to the battle playing out before me.

It's true. I should have been a boxing announcer. I have an eagle's eye when it comes to this sport that is as legendary as some of its greatest heroes. Before it happens I see it coming! Before Leonard, Merchant, or the paid boxing pundit of the night can spit it out I'll tell you what's going on with that left jab, the low right hand, the legs turning to jelly, or exactly who is the consummate fighter who is smart enough to be fighting "this" fight because it's the one he's in, while his opponent is sure to go down in the next round because he thinks he's in the ring with the guy he beat three fights ago.

I'm so deep into boxing that there have even been a few 'close encounters of the third kind.' A full minute before Evander leaped into the air as Mike bite off a piece of his ear I'd startled everyone gathered around our TV with a shout of "He bit him! Tyson just bit him!"" To this day, I don't know what made me say that then, but within moments it was to become boxing history. I think I glimpsed Mike sizing up the ear or something -- as I said, I can't say for sure, but that's an example of the uncanny or ultra insightful commentary I'm known to offer.

Actually, I've been waiting for someone to take it upon themselves to contact someone significant in the boxing game and make them aware of my exceptional talents. If you ask me, it is a doggone shame I'm not able to share my brilliance with the rest of the world. But, I've been waiting since Ali and Frazier had that Thriller in Manila, and though I am definitely an optimist, I'm starting to wonder if anyone ever will. But I can't let myself get discouraged, now can I? Maybe one day soon the phone will ring and it will be my agent asking me to check my schedule to see if I can fill in for George Foreman or Jim Brown, or Roy Jones or Emmanuel Stewart for the next big bout! Ya think?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My African Dreams

"Promise her anything, but give her Arpege." I remembered that advertisement this morning as I picked up the vintage bottle of Arpege on my dressing table. I received it as an unexpected gift from, of all people, a visiting African diplomat two decades ago. That's probably why I almost never used it. It was a special gift from a special time when I thought I could really make a difference in the lives of millions of people.

Thoughts like that occurred a time long ago, and, after all the best efforts kept seeming to come to naught, I let those illusions go. I wasn't equipped to be anyone's savior and my own personal little crusade ultimately felt meaningless. But, recently the bottle began to snag my attention, and, on occasion, I now dab myself with a few drops and find myself smiling within at the host of memories the sweet aroma stirs.

Maybe it's the subliminal promise message associated with this scent that has caused me to begin to reach for it. It's probably serving as the subtle reminder to keep the promises I make to myself. Or, maybe, it's a hint that I might have made more of a difference than I was ever meant to know - somewhere, to someone, a long, long time ago.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I Used To Have ...

I spent the day going over responses to a list of questions I sent to a few acquaintances who sent them to a few other acquaintances. I sat by the computer the better part of the morning opening each email as it appeared in my inbox with new answers. For some reason I'm getting very excited about this query and the project associated with it.

What I am finding most intriguing is how similar our nostalgia is, regardless of the generation or culture we are from. We all long for the same types of comforts that have faded into something else that becomes the comfort someone else will soon long for too.

These are the questions:

What are the names of discontinued or hard-to-find products, foods, toys, clothing or other things from your childhood or young adulthood that you'd most like to find and would probably buy if you could find them? Please send your responses to .

Think hard and have fun!

Hair Products:_________________________________
e.g., Dixie Peach Pomade
Beauty Products:______________________________
School Supplies:______________________________
Recreational Products:_______________________


Monday, March 27, 2006

Getting Closer

Okay! We're one step closer. I got some very positive news on a script over the weekend. That "recommend" status became a reality and bought with it new momentum. There are some important talks scheduled for the week ahead. Wish me well! Please!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Author in the House

Sunday was interesting. Had it been a usual Sunday I would have looked better because I would have gone to church earlier in the day, but no one was feeling that well in my household and we'd skipped church. Late in the afternoon though, I realized that I needed to make a quick run to the bookstore to pick up a copy of a book I contributed to because I'd promised to give away a copy for another writer's project. I was dressed in old sweats, a baseball cap, and no make-up as I hurried out my door.

After spending twice as much time as I intended in the store I headed for the checkout counter. The bookseller at the checkout stand was pleasant. She'd tried to help me find another book I was searching for that wasn't in the store when I first arrived and she asked as she started to ring me up if I'd found everything else okay. I laughed casually and told her I had no problem finding the book I was purchasing because I had contributed to it. The next thing I knew she was loudly telling her co-workers that they had 'an author in the house', then asked if there were other copies of the book on the shelf and if I'd be willing to sign the ones they had, if there were.

I was taken aback. I was a contributor, not the author, and I made that clear. She reassured me that she had fully understood that and asked again if I'd be willing to sign the books they had in stock on the page where my contribution began. It is a major chain store, so it was crowded on a Sunday afternoon and the exchange was drawing attention. I agreed, and then she made a call that everyone could hear to the clerk on the fiction floor announcing that I'd be coming up to sign the books. Even more attention was clearly focusing in our direction. Ugh! Here was an impromtu signing unfolding and I looked awful!

I learned my lesson. I'll keep my mouth shut in the future or the next time I walk into a bookstore I'll be dressed to the nines!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Final Score

Where are all the sharks coming from? Was I bleeding in the water and didn't know it? I know one thing. I apparently am one heck of a swimmer, because I out swam them all and it's from the shore of peace and security that I'm looking back at where I just came from and seeing the carnivorous infestation.

A couple of doors up from where I currently live is the old home of one of baseball's legendary greats who cautioned us 'not to look behind you' because of what might be gaining on you. I am better able to appreciate his sage advice as I now ponder direction. No doubt, had I realized how treacherous the waters were I thought I was just casually bathing in, the scent of my fear would have made me a far more vulnerable target.

Okay, enough with the metaphors! It's one for me, none for defeat! That's all that matters! Next!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Thespian Monte

Thespian Monte
'Beware my pretty' the aging parrot
Not just rhetoric but
genuine fears
of this interloper
who has come
with his game of Thespian Monte;
clever mind, brilliant sleight of hand
and Satan himself
as his right hand man.

'Beware my pretty'
lest you fall asleep.
He's not friend, but foe,
trust the hairs that creep
up and down your
spine. Listen to them well.
He's the lost
and found
come up from hell.

©Peggy Eldridge-Love 2002 - All Rights Reserved
This is one from the Cafe Cafe incubator from a few years ago. Ever now and again I have to revisit where my head was when. It's probably in the same place now.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


What a thrill! I've been getting things done. I'm not normally a list maker, I keep things in my head that need to be taken care of, but as the obligations increase I've become embarrassingly aware that my capacity to stay on top of it all hasn't always kept up. So, I've begun to compromise. I now make a partial written list. The great thing about my quasi-list of things to do is that it triggers the other mental list. Between the two I'm dusting off my hands, folding my arms, and looking like Mr. Clean. The jobs are getting done.

This morning, with a newly clear head, nothing pressing glaring at me, I reached a decision about the direction of a story. It hasn't been lending itself well to becoming a novel, it's much too visual, but the seed of the idea is too strong to abandon. I decided I'm going to approach it as a screenplay. Fortunately, making the switch isn't difficult. Little of it has made its way to paper yet, so I don't have to lament 'all that work' that now needs to be redone. Instead, this switch is potentially exciting. Screenplays unfold themselves much more quickly for me - at least their bare bones do - and I soon have something complete to go back and rework. So, there it is! One more 'to do' for my mental list or ... did I just write it down? Now which list does it belong to? Is it quasi or ...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Professional Readers

feeding frenzy By Michael Studard -

One of my script rewrites is done and I'm shooting it out to the awaiting party. The reader's recommendation notes that prompted the rewrite for this script were:

"Strong Consider" - this screenplay has the potential to be elevated to "Recommend" status contingent on the author making the suggested changes that follow in the "Author's Notes" section.

Have I hit the mark? I'll soon find out, but I know, because of the evaluation that has already taken place by a professional reader, that the script's original premise and setting were excellent, and the story line, character, and dialogue were deemed good. (This reader's possible ratings were excellent, good, average, fair and poor.) I've had an opportunity to revamp this script (using the "author's notes") in such a way it now stands a very good change of surfacing to the top of someone's 'let's do it' pile.

Wish me well!

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Script Query Letter that Worked

This is a query letter that resulted in a couple of dozen requests to review the synopsis or the full script of THE KNOLL FRAMES. One request resulted in a solid relationship that is still moving forward. It also generated a couple of requests to read more scripts. Thought I'd share how brief and to the point it was.


Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Writer: Peggy Eldridge-Love -

Watching the president's motorcade from the
janitor's closet wasn't
exactly what young Myra envisioned.

Neither was spending the next few decades of
her life cowering in fear.

THE KNOLL FRAMES is a suspense-filled thriller
about secrets, pride, deception, greed, and insanity.
It's the story of white lies and small
deceptions becoming national secrets and major
catastrophes. It's what happens when you
underestimate, but what unshakable love can almost
certainly overcome -- almost.

I am a screenwriter who made the semi-finals in
the Chesterfield and the second round of the
Monterey County Screenwriters Competition. This WGA
registered screenplay was a winner of the
CinemaTalk Screenwriters Competition at the Kansas
City Writers Place. I am an award-winning poet
and a produced (staged-reading) playwright.

I can provide the script by either e-mail or
postal mail. If you'd desire
more information, please contact me...

Taking the Hill

Chin in hand, elbows resting on my desk, I realized that I had drifted away for a bit, and, when I returned to the present, it was with a sense of disquiet.

Life has been quite peculiar of late. All manner of difficult to fully comprehend circumstances here and there. Historically, when life begins presenting a host of situations that require more than just passing attention, I'm being prepared for another level of existence - whether I want to be or not. I've certainly hedged before, tried to ignore change, to side-step hard decisions, to sugar coat pain or injustice just so I wouldn't be required to do anything about it. But I try not to stay out there - head buried in the sand - too long now - it's a part of the being authentic thing that I promised myself I always want to be. So, I'm going to just swallow deeply, and listen intently to what my life is telling me. It might be something as simple as lose ten pounds, or it could be something that requires much more disclipine. Regardless, I'm going to be true to myself. Truth and trust go hand in hand,especially when it's with yourself.

Monday, February 20, 2006


You crossed my mind with a wand of color
so rich I spun around in a blur of need
trying to catch a whiff of your
momentary presence.
Thank you.
©2006 Peggy Eldridge-Love - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Watching a Princess Reign

When you encounter someone who just never stops giving you can't help but notice the quality and quantity of their own existence. That's how it is observing Linda Dominique Grosvenor. If she's not creating a venue for aspiring writers to interact and met other writers who are at various stages of their own writing careers (ProlificWriters Yahoo Group), she's teaching new writers the ins and outs of promoting their works (Bestselling Authors Know Promotion aka Guerilla Promote 101), or, most recently, she's giving them a showcase on her newly launched Princess Dominique Show!

The interesting twist to this is that she somehow manages to continue to write and deliver a host of bestselling works of her own. She's the author of The Hamptons, Pretty Boys, Fever, Like Boogie on Tuesday, Sometimes I Cry, and a collection of poetry entitled Love Lingers and a relationship manuscript entitled The Plural Thing. These are some of the works already in print and I know that I've no doubt forgotten something and am aware that there are a few other projects currently in the wings.

She's affectionately referred to as princess by many of us who know her, but I'm compelled to say that this is one selfless lady that long ago graduated to the rank of a Queen.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Java Caper

I just enjoyed an excellent cup of coffee, probably my hundredth since the great java caper that took place a couple of weeks ago. It occurred on a day when I was short of time, short of patience, and, at the moment, short of ready cash. I remembered at a late afternoon moment that I'd ground the last of my Columbian beads that morning and would be out the following morning unless I broke from my writing and went to buy some. That was a frightening thought.

Two immediate issues arose though. I'd put myself on a budget that I'd already exceeded (I'm trying to focus on saving money now rather than spending it) and not every nearby store offered coffee beans rather than ground canned coffee. Another fact was that recently, even when I traveled to my favorite grocery store, the coffee I preferred was often sold out. I needed to come up with a creative solution that would circumvent unnecessary travel, fit within the cash I had in my weekly reserve, and meet my taste bud's demands. It occurred to me that the closest place might be a nearby hotel/shopping complex known for its trendy shops and restaurants. They had to have a Starbucks, I thought.

Turned out they didn't. Still determined to find someone with some beans I stuck my head in several of the coffee shops and bakeries located throughout the complex. Finally, one young employee said, "oh yes, we sell coffee beads, but I need to call my manager because I don't know how to do it."

I didn't want to create a problem for her, she was in the shop alone, so I told her that was okay, and decided that I'd better just go on to my grocery store and forget my not-so-good idea that I'd find coffee beans in the hotel. Before either of us could speak the "manager" walked in, a nice young fellow, all smiles, and he said he'd be happy to help me. I told him a pound of Columbian would be just fine and then both he and the young hostess revealed that there was another employee who normally handled the coffee beans who was out ill and neither of them really knew what they were doing. He did know the price of a pound though. It was $11.28 and while I paid him he instructed the hostess to go get my beans.

As the cash register rang out my sale she asked him what bag she should put the beans in. He told her one of the white ones. In a moment she came to the cash register with my purchase and proceeded to staple the bag closed but it was so full she could barely close it. I laughed and said, "Oh no, there are far too many beans in there! That's a lot of beans!" The manager just smiled and nodded. "Our problem," he quipped. "We don't know what we're doing, so this is what you get for your money today." He wouldn't hear of my continued protests and ushered me kindly out of the shop.

I'm a keeper, so I had a few vacuum coffee bags of my own at home. When I got there I began to fill a few of them from the now bursting at the seams white bag. A few turned out to be six coffee bags -- filled to the brim. I'd been given no less than eight pounds of coffee for the price of one. It wasn't Columbian, by the way, but it is a divine flavor that I assure you is now my favorite. Still, as much as I enjoy and have enjoyed every cup, I do so with a sense of guilt. But ah, the aroma and taste of this guilty pleasure!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Refreshed and Ready!

I'm excited. I've gotten a project completed that I had no idea was taking up so much of my person. When I put the finishing touches on it in the wee hours of Sunday morning and hit the send button I could literally feel my contenance lift! I've spent time since resting in an unusually peaceful way, then rising with great energy and a zest for polishing and dusting, stirring and cooking, and laughter and conversation.

My next project looms, definitely, but I'm really anxious to get back to it. It has new momentum. Someone is waiting on its completion, and, if I'm capable of putting just the right dash of humor into this otherwise very dramatic screenplay, it will probably be a go. That was the recommendation over a year ago after the screenplay received a very good analysis and recommendation by a key producer. I put it on the shelf at the time behind the just completed project which seemingly was then on the verge of taking off. I am very, very fortunate that the interest still prevails. That surely is not always the case. I won't sit on it this time. I'm more than ready to go!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Writing Partners

I did the 'restore' thing with my computer this morning. I took it back to the past to a time when my Internet Explorer didn't crash on me every ten minutes and I didn't have the type of deeply intimate relationship I have recently developed with my virtual memory. It's a little eerie really. All the instructions assured me that anything I've done after the date I took it back to would not be affected by this procedure, but my poor computer is in crisis. It doesn't know which end is up!

I really don't have to go through this trauma. I can go downstairs and use my husband's computer, but I don't want to. I want to use this one. This is my comfort zone. All my junk surrounds it. All my favorites are in it, not to mention my addresses, my research links, and the trillion other little nuances that I've taught it this three or four years we've been together.

I'm hopeful that the restoration will buy us a little more time as a couple. I've got about a dozen projects in various stages of development nestled within it that I'd sure like to see through to completion. But, I guess it's time for me to start hinting that it's time for a
new computer
(I didn't want to say that too loud) to friends and family. Maybe if a new one just shows up I won't feel like I'm a betrayer. So, hint, hint, hint. It's just about that time.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


The real world has encroached and crowded out my worlds of fantasy for now. The unexpected death of a close relative made this a most challenging week. As always with death, I become introspective, and then realize how selfish that response is. I selfishly feel sorry for myself because of how much less of a world mine will be without this loving soul here on earth to love me, I selfishly evaluate the contributions I've made in comparison to the volume of meaningful contributions this loved one made and gave, and I selfishly determine to reach down deeper and come up higher with whatever I think I'm purposed to give and be until my own day arrives. I berate myself for these selfish responses until I remember how often and how intensely Tom and I explored the elements of the lives we were priviledged to live as children of an evolving world, particularly an evolving world of color, and how certain I am the world is a much, much better place because my precious cousin Tom was in it.

Until we meet again...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My One Nerve!

Wow! This has been a rough one. Countless little things nipping at my heels like a rabid Chihuahua! Stuff has nearly driven me to the brink this day. It seems as if I drifted off into the land of pettiness, which has to be close to the village of condesention, which is no doubt surrounded on both sides by the sea of mean-spiritedness. The truth is, folk have really gotten on my nerve today!


For a couple of years I've dealt with a group that consistently implies that you have not done what you say you've done, or have not provided what you say you've provided. They will take you to the mat arguring, signifying, and berating you until you simply provide them with the paper trail that clearly details that every insult they have leveled was unfounded, and that they, not you, are unorganized and inept. This has absolutely nothing to do with money, nothing to do with employment, bills or credit -- this is something voluntary and uncompensated that has other positive ramifications for more than just me -- which is why I continue in it. Today was another bout with the crazymaking nomes. I think I won, but, what an unpleasant battle. Don't know how much longer I'm good for this!

So, having dispensed with them all should flow smoothly, right? Nada! A couple of affiliates apparently decided February 1, 2006 was the date to send out the rah rah letters. Affiliates? I'm not an affiliate savvy type of gal! Heck, these are affiliates that I must have signed up with when I first jumped on the net a dozen or more years ago because I no longer even recognize the email address that they are sending their "you're not making that much money for us" letter to - because it's one that forwarded to a forward to a forward. It has me scratching my head.

When I finally realize I have absolutely no idea who they are or what it was they were selling or even if I'm truly an affiliate, I also realize that I abhor the tone of their letter. Obviously, it's a marriage (if there ever was a marriage) that needs to be immediately dissolved, based on the whinning, and, of course, that is exactly what I do! Now that I think of it, I think these were a couple of people who were around when everything on the net was free, you know, before the net came crashing down around all our feet and a Palo Alto garage that used to rent for $400,000 went back to costing $150 a month.

It's senseless to continue with this complaining, even though these are just a couple of examples of the nonsensical stuff my day contained. I choose instead to salvage some part of this day to tip things back in a positive direction. I'll make myself a late pot of coffee and steep myself in the horrific events of the day on cable news for a few hours. That ought to do it. That ought to make me feel like my problems are few and I have no reason to complain about anything.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mother Wit


Issues? Now she's got issues;
stair steps months, not years apart,
shades from olive
to blue black
evidence of the multiplicity
of advantage taken
of this too ripe child.
Take your pick;
close relations, family friends
irresponsible men
leaving her with issues;
stair steps,
door mats
of society,
lined up obediently
against the backdrop
of her confusion
waiting in the rain
for change to come.

©Peggy Eldridge-Love 2004 - All Rights Reserved

I listened to the story of the woman from Georgia who refused to ignore her gut instinct and persisted until she satisfied that gnaw inside that a child, a baby, was in peril. It was an "Anne Frank" moment for me, a reassurance of our goodness at a time when our hedonistic nature has appeared to be at its all time greatest. This woman crossed all limits and boundaries to rescue this little girl. She didn't care about being a nuisance, she wasn't concerned that some overworked policeman might want to relegate her to the pile of hysterical women he might think he talks to all the time, she didn't accept the first answer that everything was all right! No, no, no! She followed that superior machine within -- her gut -- and she prevailed.

It caused me to think about moments of my own. Times when I've seen things or heard things that wouldn't go away, wouldn't let me go. I wondered if I acted upon them as I ought. Had I left anyone in the lurches that I might have helped? I searched my self and couldn't come up with any situation that I might genuinely have changed, but I did come up with faces, with eyes, that stayed. Like the girl at the bus stop on 31st and Troost a few years ago. I wrote a poem about her the day I saw her, and I have driven by that corner many times since looking for her ... and hers. I've never seen her or them again, at least not in the flesh.

I'll be more attentive in the future. I think the majority of us, at the least the majority of the women, who heard the story of this selfless woman from Georgia will be. I think it was a call to women in a way. A call to the return of that part of us that protected our families because it was continuously tuned in, that part my mother, aunts and the elders called Mother Wit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Winter Has Two Ends

So, this is Winter 2006, isn't it? I was surprised when I happened to take a peek at the overview for the newest issue of Lorraine and James ,(Vol.1, Issue 2), on their site last night and found that my work was included. I knew I was going to be a contributor to the Winter 2006 issue, but - duh - for some reason I thought it would be next winter - December 2006 - not the beginning of the year.

Lead times in publishing are normally very long. I think that was one of the hardest things to come to grips with when I began to get published. First, the wait for a response once a work was submitted, second, the wait for actual publication when something was accepted, and, finally, the wait for the check, if and when there was a check! Finding something is in print much sooner than anticipated is, as you have already no doubt deducted, a very pleasing turn of events.

Monday, January 23, 2006

When Didi Critiques...


St. James Avenue has six corners
and runs down under James Street
for half a mile before it dog-legs
a mile south of the boulevard
where you left me
so long ago;
the trolly no longer
stops at James,
any James,
any where.
©2005 Peggy Eldridge-Love - All Rights Reserved

I contribute to Cafe Cafe and have to admit that some of my very best poetry has been drawn from me whenever I've dared to expose my wares in a venue hosted and critiqued by Didi Menendez and her band(s) of excellent poets. 'Progress' was a piece I wrote while workshopping a couple of poems there in June of 2005.

Didi is many things literary and otherwise creative. MiPOesia is one her flag ship publications and it is truly, in my estimation, a feast. A couple of my poems ('Turquoise Traders' and 'Restitution') appeared in one of her other Avant Garde publications, MiPo~Print, in 2003! I think that she folded MiPo~Print into one of her other endeavors about a year ago, but little has made me prouder than crossing that publishing threshold!

I haven't had much opportunity lately to contribute on Cafe Cafe, but every opportunity I get I creep in to savor some of the magic that's there for the taking. Today I kept thinking about my poem 'Progress' and realized it was time for me to make some poetic progress of my own. So, I'm going to sharpen a few pencils (with soft erasers) and ease myself back into the mix.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Down Time - Ian Britton

I'm not feeling quite so buoyant lately. It's a bit difficult to keep myself aloft, so for the last few days I've been trying to bring me in for a graceful landing by getting some much needed rest. I've had an unfriendly visitor a couple of times already this season, a cold, and that is never fun. The only good part of it is, for some reason, when I get a cold I get very reflective and tend to focus on energy that might have gotten stuck in unproductive places within and I'll probe and prod until I'm able to pry it loose. Hum, I wonder if recycling my own energy for later use makes me an environmentlist?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fade In

I'm wrapping up my novella for the anthology. It has been a true labor of love, not without its upset and pitfalls for sure, but ever moving forward, ever making me and those I'm working with stronger, better and wiser. Go ladies!

Soon as I dot the last "i" and cross the last ... well, you know the adage, so I don't need to go there. When I finalize my novella I'm picking up a script that has been adrift on the high seas for quite a while that now just might be coming into port. For real real. I've had a bit of dialogue with a respected producer familiar with the work and I'm very encouraged to pick it up once more and go for broke. Some recent industry changes -- broadening prespectives actually -- have made a significant and crucial element of my story more plausible. Perhaps its time has come!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thinking Aloud

Last night the strangest thing happened. I went to bed earlier than my husband and was asleep when he finally came upstairs and climbed into the bed. I awoke to the -- I know this sounds some kinda way -- to the sound of his thinking! I'm serious, he was thinking so loud and his thoughts were so heavy they woke me. I surprised him by suddenly asking, "What are you thinking? I hear your thoughts."

We've been married long enough that he just laughed, and began to tell me what he was thinking. They were very poignant thoughts about a loved one we lost not very long ago. As he unburdened himself, I heard his being quiet and knew he'd found a peace that only that conversation would have allowed. Very shortly thereafter, he was asleep.

I realized that it was that same sixth sense that brings my characters to me that had tapped me on the shoulder for him. Don't get me wrong. I'm very intuned to my husband on an ongoing basis - I can sense his needs, moods, wants, and desires with a simple glance - but this was different. I think my muse nudged me awake this time for him. That's a real good sign, because my muse isn't known for either being generous or compassionate when it comes to me and my time. Maybe s/he's mellowing with age.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ring Tones

I've been somewhat driven the last few years. Driven by things that sort of wiggled themselves into my daily routine as necessities. I can't tell you when I added most of them, when I stopped wondering if I could afford them, or when they became so ingrained they also became somewhat invisible. Cell phone, PDA, home fax, second telephone line, second, third, or fourth computer, digital camera, digital video camera, you know, the constant progression, the constant stream of 'things'.

One of those 'things' has been the package I selected years ago for my telephone service. Call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, three-way conferencing and a few other features I have never used. One that I thought was invaluable, a true life saver, a busy person's friend, was the ID benefit. Knowing who was calling and being able to determine if now was a good time to take that call seemed so utterly vogue in the beginning, but before long it became something else, a means of discriminating, short changing, even dodging people and things. Ingrained and invisible, unknown to me, it had also become an issue of great stress.

I might not have realized that had not something happened, some snafu, some malfunction, that zapped my caller ID system about a week ago. At first I was like, 'oh, no,' now what do I do? And, of course, day one I let most calls roll over to voice mail so identity could be established and I could make that ever so important decision to talk or not to talk.

Day two, nothing was more important than getting that ever loving thing fixed. Only, I got busy, and I forgot until it was too late to sit on the telephone for an hour waiting to talk to someone about getting it resolved. Day three, because there were a couple of significant calls I was waiting on, I started to answer the telephone -- without benefit of pre-knowledge. By day four, I felt a subtle change taking place in my life. It was a change linked to expectation and excitement. It was a return to the thrill of the unknown - simple as that - the unknown thrill of not having the foggiest notion who was on the other end of the telephone when I lifted that receiver.

So, what else have I jockeyed myself out of by just falling into rhythm with the drone of the world? I don't know, but I think I'm going to give myself a chance to find out. Heck, I might even go outside the next time it rains, get myself a small shovel and play in the mud. I used to make a dynamic mud pie. Might be time to go back to that starting gate and work my way back this way again.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Rudimentary Senses

Promotion is so important now if you are a writer. Self-promotion. More and more I'm hearing from both agents and writers alike that it's a writer's willingness to hussel, to get out there and pump, to push and sell their own books, that is almost solely determining new book contracts and contract renewal decisions. I've seen it work both ways (new deals or non-renewals) recently so I know there is a lot of validity in that premise.

Having seen and heard so much of that line of thought, it was very refreshing when I received an email the other day from an agent who just wanted to share a clients' newest work on a personal level and to step off the push, push, shove, shove bandwagon to simply say what a gifted writer the author was and what a remarkable work she had crafted.

I didn't remember immediately that the author was already celebrated. Forgot at the time that much of the author's work, like this gem, COPPER SUN, was young adult fiction, or that not long ago I'd seen something else about her (Sharon Draper) having been nominated for or receiving some significant award for another work. All I knew as I read through the email was that Sharon had someone who really, really believed in her who was committed to helping make her literary dreams come true not only because if Sharon made money she'd certainly continue to make money too, but for non-tangible reasons that have become almost rudimentary in this 21st century. Her agent respects her talent.

I've been on the other side of the table; not as a literary agent, but as a personal manager for recording artist, and I know you must keep your balance and perspective in a safe, often non-personal place to be able to consistently make good decisions for your clients, but not always. Anymore, clients and agents often never actually even meet. They are only voice mails, emails, PDF files, instant messages and an occasional Fedex to one another. But then, I've been seeing ads recently that will allow you to get your M.D. online -- so, what the heck am I complaining about?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Take a Deep Breath, Close Your Eyes and ...

I'm celebrating my birthday today. One of my friends sent this wonderful flashing collage of my most recent projects this morning in celebration. She's an engineer turned author (I have a couple of friends with that same resume) and one of the most creative and generous spirits you could ever encounter. Matter of fact, she just let a few of us know of the signing of her own first book deal on New Years Eve. I'm not sure she's made a public announcement yet, so I won't spill the beans, but she's a truly great writer and deserving of the honor.

My husband wanted to know where I'd like to go for dinner this evening. It's winter here in Missouri, but I told him I thought I wanted one of his extraordinary Porterhouse steaks on the backyard grill. At first he agreed, but when he asked if I was sure about a dozen times I realized he was wondering if I was still thinking straight in my new old(er) age. We have grilled late into the season, but not this late. I finally opted instead for a nice dinner at the Peachtree, one of our favorite spots. He seemed please.

That reminds me of something. A couple of years ago he surprised me at another favorite restaurant with about 30 family and friends on my birthday. I think I earned his undying respect that night. I made a wish and blew out all the trick candles on my birthday cake. Our relationship kicked into a new gear after that! I never told him what I wished for.