Tag: Black women

Miniseries Overview: “You Can’t Say That!”

Reference The Writers’ Block Podcast Episode 95, published on February 23, 2023.

As one who happily identifies as a Black writer, language is both color, tool and canvas. There are certain things I as a Black writer will say, do, and use which go along with that experience. Moreover, people whom are non-Black will not get away with those same vehicles.

For this second miniseries of this year, I am going to break down what this phrase means, and why (in certain instances), this a farce.

Part 1: March 4

“You Can’t Say That”

Part 2: March 11

“Why I Say That”

Part 3: March 18

“You Can’t Get Like Me”

Part 4: March 25

“Anything You Can Do, I Can Write Better”

Language is power, and power is language.

Here we go.


To The First Work: Day 28

I have chosen to love unabashed.

I have chosen to have my heart be what I lead with, weigh and listen to. 

What I have reason is love demands. It doesn’t just act.

Love demands service.

Love demands accountability and sincerity.

Love demands you participate.

Love demands you pay attention.

Love demands you act.

My first work is still love.

To The First Work-Day 27

There is a subtle power to admitting you love someone. Admitting that there is a person in the world who you want to know, want the best for, and perhaps think of before yourself.

This is what we chase. This is what I strive to convey on screen, on pages, or by voice.

This thing, this power, I seek to capture, or remind the world exists.

For that cause, I write.

For that cause, I can’t give up.

To The First Work-Day 22

If I can get it off my head, and I can see it to deal with it.

There is a reason why I journal, why I write, and why it is I use that visible pain to write characters that are believable. I am learning to honor what I feel, how I feel, and give myself permission to do what I had not before: feel.

At this portion of my life, I have the need to honor what I emote. Even if it is just to myself.

I am learning that as I protect everyone else dear to me, I cannot neglect myself.

To The First Work-Day 21

I’m 41.

I’ll be 42 in June.

I am learning to love myself radically. Like, radically! From the sprinkling of gray hair, to the soreness in my left foot (#plantarfascitis), and yet, the fact I don’t look my age. I love the fact that I still love to dance in the mirror, still flexible, and I am enjoying my body.

I love that I can be a vixen in great heels, and comfy in my high top Chucks.

I am learning more about me as I age, and understanding what Mother Rashad said about my own self being such a treasure. It took me 4 decades to get to this point: to enjoy my own company, self, and place in the world.

I belong in the world. I add to it. It’s better with me in it.

To The First Work- Day 20

Audre Lorde said that self-preservation is a radical act.

It took me to getting to age 40, to appreciate that. When I sit still too long, I feel a pain in my left hip. Not the joint, but the tendon. It pulls at me, reminding me of my age…and that I survived COVID-19 as a PCT during the first wave of the pandemic. Then, the snowball happens.

My mind wanders…it reminds me that I am still here.

I’m a rape survivor.

I’m a survivor of domestic violence.

I’m surviving racism.

I’m surviving sexism.

And misogynoir.

I am learning to say ‘No’, and absolutely mean it. I am learning to listen to God, and His gift of intuition. I am appreciating the fact I am a survivor–in control of the story I present to the world, and I tell myself. I am looking at myself in the mirror and smiling back at the woman that is there.

She and I? We gon be alright.

To The First Work-Day 18

Michael is the name of my favorite archangel.

Which is funny seeing that the most protective people I have ever dated were named, Michael. I have often wondered why that is, and what I did to attract them to me.

My childhood sweetheart: Michael.

The first guy I loved: Michael.

First man to break my heart: Michael.

The man that loved me to the point the gift of writing came back: Michael.

On some end, that’s fitting. Oddly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To The First Work-Day 17

I count myself as a unique, mystical woman.

And for that cause, I think it was natural that I would be a writer.

It seems natural that I would be one that would fall in love with a world unseen, and subject to my own imagination. Next February, I will be celebrating 10 years as a published author.

I will be celebrating 10 years of doing what I love…what I have dreamt of doing since I was 10, 11 years old.

Daily I chase this talent: daily I am amazed by it.

To The First Work-Day 16

If I had stayed married to my second husband, we would have been married a decade in June.

10 years. Even thinking about that now is emotional.

What that relationship taught me is marriage with the wrong person is a prison sentence. Thanks to some internet sleuthing, my bestie and I found out that he has someone else, and has a new baby.

A boy.

I remember how devastated I felt, and how I had to pull myself together. Then, I remembered what he told me before while trying to hang on to a relationship I was done with:

“I know you want a baby…”

The most valuable thing I got back from that relationship was…me. To fall in love with me again. To protect me again. It was only when he was out of my life that I could breathe again…and heal up. Rather than do better by me, do right by me, he thought he could manipulate me with a baby. It’s incredulous to even think about having a baby with him.

Do I hate him? No.

Do I love him anymore? No.

Does that startle me? No.

Do I want him back? Don’t make me cuss.

To The First Work-Day 15

Read ROMEO IS NOT COMING on Amazon and Kindle. -JBH

It’s Love Hangover Day.

Where you are basking in the glow of being well loved, or realizing you are the secret. This day is symbolic of either the best hangover or the most devastating hangover you have ever had.

There is time for regret. Reflection. Reconciling and remembering.

My Valentine’s Day? It was quiet. I reflected. I reconciled. And I decided–in my heart–that I might not be as ready as I thought I was to give up on love.