Tag Archives: Grandmothers


NyokaToday I went to the airport to drop off my wonderful cousin, Nyoka. She has gone back home to America, after extending her stay in Trinidad for an extra week. She was here to help our 94 year old grandmother who has hip surgery.

The month of May has been all about granny. I don’t live close to her, so I have made quite a few trips. No problem though because I know she would do the same for me. I hope I never know what it is to be bedridden or have any sickness. If I were ever sick, I hope that I have Nyoka or someone very similar to her to take care of me. She is patient, gentile and very attentive. The things she has done in these past three weeks will last her in blessings for the rest of her life, even if she never does one more good thing. It takes a special kind of person to care for someone, especially when they are immobile. Nyoka has always been kind and thoughtful, and her relationship with granny is unconditional, but I felt like if the dictionary had video the way she cared for granny would be the visual definition of love. It was extraordinary to witness.

Yes, I helped and so did other family member, still it cannot be denied that Nyoka was on a different level. I realized early on that she wanted to take the lead; I allowed her because I knew her visit was short, and she would not be comfortable unless she had the opportunity to care for granny herself. She was the doctor, and I was the nurse.

Now that Nyoka is gone, and I have to go back to work the process of granny’s care is going to change. Granny has started therapy, and she will have a Home-Care Attendant. Everything will be managed by her very willing son, who can give Nyoka a run for her money. I will, of course, continue to visit and overnight when I can though I will be haunted with the feeling that I need to do everything just as Nyoka did.

What is most important is that granny is improving. She is like a bedridden superman. However, the thing about Superman is that he only stays down for so long and then he is back on his feet saving the world, and that is just want Frances Joseph will do.

Take every opportunity you get to show the people you love that you love them.

Do good even when you don’t have to.


SELIMA BOOK COVERMy dear friends, I cannot express the joy I feel right now. I have been working on this novel for over two years, and have never put so much effort into anything in my life. Aside from death or trouble in my family, there is not much else that can bring me to tears. My emotions took me by surprise.


The Cover

The art work was designed by Jason Jarvis, and the graphics were done by Derik Smith. What do you think? Do you love it as much as I do? Their combined effort was more than I had hoped for. To say that I am pleased is an understatement. This cover is amazing if I do say so myself 😉


My Surprise!

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to read my novel FOR A LIMITED TIME  at http://www.swoonreads.com/m/selima-and-the-merfolk

I would greatly appreciate your support. Be sure to rate, comment and share. The novel is young adult, so it is appropriate for children from 13 years old. I have had a few adults read it and they liked it as well.

With all of my heart I want to thank everyone who has helped me with the project. Great things cannot be accomplished without help, and I feel very fortunate that I was assisted by such talented people.

I truly hope that you love what I have put out, and will support this project.

Special thanks to all my followers, and all the people who have taken the time to like and comment on my posts.

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. I pray that your 2014 is 100 times better than your 2013.


Laugh On Wednesday, I was on a role … or so I though. I found out about an opportunity to be published http://www.wednesdaypost.com.au/ For the better part of the day, my fingers were tap-dancing to the song ‘get your package together.’ Amen they only wanted a short synopsis and biography, along with chapters off course.

By lunch time, I was satisfied with what I had written, and my stomach had begun to demand sustenance. I am one of those people who cannot stay hungry. I bought myself a nice beef soup and came right back to work. All I needed to do was insert headers, page numbers and a cover page. Well, like my grandmother would say ‘the devil busy.’ It took almost an hour to get those three menial changed done. When I finally got everything looking nice and professional, I went to Harper Collins page and met this message:

Please return on Wednesday to make your submission

Have you ever heard a silent scream? Like when someone is paralyzed by fear, the sound doesn’t escape their mouth? That was my scream (I was in the library). I knew I was submitting to Australia, but I totally ignored that Australia is almost 13 hours ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.

At that point, there was nothing I could do but to submit next Wednesday. I was mad at myself because the time difference was a silly oversight. At the same time, I was excited to have started the submission process.

My mixed emotions resulted in me laughing myself out of the library. It was either that or grumble. At least I have everything ready, and will have a chance next Wednesday.


Granny 8She is called Granny by everyone. She is known to make the best pelau you would ever taste. Frances Joseph is by far the most multidimensional person I have had the pleasure to know. Granny is a true Caribbean woman. She is a native of Grenada; her deceased husband was Antiguan, and they met and married in Trinidad.

At ninety-three, she considers it a privilege to have seen her nine children grow into respectable adults. One son and one daughter are deceased. She often proudly recites the names of her seventeen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

At any given time, any member of her family can rattle off a list of her saying:
“Friends carry you but they don’t bring you back.”
“Time waits on no man.”
“Don’t leave for tomorrow what you could do today.”
And if she cannot find something, you better believe its Satan’s fault lol.

Aside from being known for her tasty dishes, Granny is also an energetic story-teller. She will tell the same stories a hundred times, but the weird thing is that you always want to hear them again. One of my favorite stories is – When she was a girl a man put question to her (flirted). She put him in his place (rebuked him). He retaliated by telling her father that he saw her talking to a boy. In those days that warrant a beating for poor Granny. Granny was patient. She crept out of her house at midnight, and hid in the adjacent cemetery. She knew that the man would pass there to get home. With the precision of a ninja, Granny pelt (struck) him with a big stone (rock), and caught him in his head. The man saw her. He came to her house and told her father what she had done. When her father checked on her, she was in her bed, faking a deep sleep.

Granny never lost her spunky nature. To this day, she is known for her quick wit. I often compare her to Sophia Petrillo from the 80’s sitcom The Golden Girls. My grandmother is a blend of many temperaments. She is a very compassionate lady. She has taken care of three children other than her own, and has helped several people as long as I can remember.

In her better years, her grandchildren could expect a sponge cake on their birthdays. She taught me how to make sponge cake, black cake, curry crab and pelau. I remember her warning when she passed on the pelau recipe. “If you burn your pelau you would embarrass me, because my pelau don’t burn.” I think I have done her justice, but my food would never be as good as hers.

Curry Crab

Curry Crab

Making Cakes At Christmas Time

Making Cakes At Christmas Time

Black Cake

Black Cake

Of all her adventures, the strangest thing she has done was substitute for a priest. When granny was a girl, Catholic priests did not go to the cemeteries after funerals. On occasion, little Frances Joseph would commit the dead to the ground. It’s an odd thing for a child to do. However, to have lived next to a cemetery, must have eluded any anxiety a regular person might have of dead people.

Granny is a comedian, and an honorary musketeer (my sister, cousin and I). Everything is more fun when she is involved. It’s odd to us when grown children don’t like to spend time with their grandparents. Most of us are adults, and we would use any opportunity to stay at her house. We like to stay up at night, bundle into one room, and listen to her tell stories of her youth. She grew up around some eccentric people, and she was a cook by trade. By far our favorite story is the story of her first boyfriend, the Norwegian soldier. That is an epic love story waiting to be penned.

There is so much I could say about Frances Joseph. My words will never do her justice. She is someone you have to meet in person.

While writing my novel, I found that it needed a character that was wise. The character also needed to know how to love and support. I immediately thought of Granny. That is what she has done for me, from the time I came into her family at seven years old.

I have been told many nice things in my life, all of which I appreciate. The best compliment I ever got was from Granny AKA Frances Joseph. She told me that I didn’t come from her, but God sent me to her.

This article is a tribute to her life and the example she has set for me as well as many other people. She represents a life well lived, and a respectable woman who has earned her credits.

Love you granny.


granny getting kissedSometimes I get so consumed with bashing myself for not writing enough that I forget there are more important things happening in the world. Like my grandmother’s birthday. My grandmother turned ninety-three yesterday. She is the strongest, most giving person I have ever met. Though she had a hundred children of her own, she took care of several grand children and some bonus children, myself included.

Yesterday her daughters organized a surprise for her at TGI Friday’s. The food and company were great, but best of all, granny was beaming with joy. A random handsome young man got in on the fun when he kissed her. For the first time in my life I saw Granny blush.

Granny has always been the nucleus of her family. She has the wit and wisdom of a ‘Sophia Petrillo.’ I always admire that at ‘family’ gatherings, half the people are not relatives. She has been good to so many people, that her family has to accept that they have to share her. She lives her life as an example of what being a good person is all about. Happy Birthday granny!

Besides my grandmother’s shindig, I was terribly fatigued this week. I think I am stressing myself out about my May 31st deadline. Spin or Crossfit classes are usually the highlight of my days, but even that didn’t raise my spirits. Chocolates, cheese and soft drinks have not been a part of my diet for months. I am a stress eater, and I’ve been bonding with my estranged favorites. When they bond to my stomach and thighs I’ll have something else to stress about.Poui 2

I reviewed chapters one through five AGAIN. My intention was to send five chapters to Writers Digest. After I adjusted the margins, the first three chapters were exactly fifty pages. Unfortunately, fifty pages were all I budgeted for this month. I’ll pay for line editing for the first three chapters, maybe five, and have the rest proof read. I want the first chapters to be as crisp as possible as they are what I’ll be sending with my query letters (chapter one). If they want more after that, it means they like the story. The rest will have to impress with proof reading alone.

I’ve begun to review the next five again.
Here goes …