Monday, November 10, 2008


Hello People,

I don't know about you but I'm still riding my Obama high. This morning my four-year old explained to me why it was important to dry his hands after washing them. In response I told him he was very smart. "That's right, mommy," he said with a very solemn face. "I'm smart like Obama." Don't you just love this man's influence! It's everywhere. If you've lost your Obama high, try listening to's new song,It's A New Day and I guarantee you'll be feeling Obamalicious once again. Don't let the feeling go.

I'm using Obama's amazing journey to become the 44th president of the United States to inspire me to make my dreams come true. No more excuses. One of those dreams is to become a successful novelist. I actually sold my first YA novel to HarperCollins in 2006 but am only now getting a chance to revise it. I've been a bit lax. But now with my Obama fever, I'm forcing myself to get it done by the end of November. That is November 28th to be specific.

The story is about Syrinthia James, a 15-year old girl with a White mother and a Black father. She's grown up however, without ever knowing her father's side of the family. Thanks to circumstances beyond her control, she's being "exiled" to Brooklyn for the summer to live with her father's brother and his family so she can "discover her roots." As it turns out, her uncle's family includes a colorful cast of characters including her Japanese aunt, her little cousin Miko, and an older cousin with a troubled past who helps Syrinthia learn to love her whole self. There's more to it than that, but I don't want to give away all the good stuff.

I'm going public with this book on my, website and charting my progress so if I give up or slack off, I will face public humiliation. Feel free to drop me a line and tell me to stop playing on Facebook and get back to work!

And finally, anyone living in the Philadelphia area should feel free to come to the Painted Bride Arts Center this Friday night, November 14 at 5:30 to hear me tell my Kinky Gazpacho story as part of the First Person Arts Festival. I promise to put on an exciting performance and it's free so what do you have to loose?



Martine Joelle said...

I AM SO HAPPY. I mean, I'm starting to wonder if this is a healthy dose of extreme joytude. That is so lovely about your son saying he is smart like Obama. I can only imagine how many kids are being tranformed by this even before he gets to work. He goes to parent-teacher conferences, he makes Tuna sandwiches...Everyday normal change agent.

YAY! I'm so excited to hear your polishing up on a YA novel. I'll so check back in and leave you sparkles of encouragement.

I just watched that video three times. This is an amazing moment and I feel empowered to be apart of it and help with anything and everything in my community. I always felt that way but now I feel there is a support and cultural shift to do so. This is awesome!

Are you going to apply for the inauguration ticket lottery?

Ms. Wooden Shoes said...

Good luck on finishing your book. I just read Kinky Gazpacho over the weekend and loved it. I related to so much of it. From the trivial (I too love Toto's "Africa" and I can't get my black girl booty into the Spanish clothes from Zara and Mango which are so popular here in Holland), to the significant (how can any proud black person allow the buffoonary that is "Black Pete" and although there weren't any slaves in the Netherlands, the Dutch were quite active in the slave trade). Hurry with the novel. I can't wait to read it.

Andrew said...

Sounds like a great story! Looking forward to your reading at the Festival. I always think of my friends in Brooklyn as living in exile...

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone!

This is Harvetta, who grew up in Iowa. I am so happy...with some uncomfortable feelings. I'm on an emotional rollercoaster. I have "no time" to write, but this is major news (for me, and I hope for you too.)

I own a bookstore -- and a couple of minutes ago I finally realized that J.M.G. Le Clezio, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature is black -- at least in the U.S. (just joking -- in the U.S., in France, in Africa, everywhere) because his father was Nigerian. I was so shocked because I made a stupid mistake --- last week I looked at his photos and had no idea. So, to me this makes the Obama election even sweeter. All of this must be in the stars.

It takes the sting (for me) off of Obama's comment that they would probably get a dog for his children that's "a mutt, like me." That hurt my feelings. I argued with my significant other about it this morning, which just convinced me more that this was not a useful comment.

It also bothers me that people are even talking about what type of dog they'll get, when so many other issues are more important.

By the way, it was blissful, to meet a total stranger from Iowa, and her friends, who were all white and to celebrate Obama's success with hugs and laughter.

Gotta go now!

PS: Just saw some pictures of Obama as a young child -- he was a cute, chubby kid!

LT said...

Thanks for the love and support Meltingpot readers!

Ananda said...

Hi Lori. I love what your son said. Yep I am deep into Obama land ... and DC is rocking with this amazing energy. Woo Hoo. Congrats on the novel. We need your stories. I am excited that I will have a chance to get your book for some young readers I know. Keep writing. Best wishes. Just do it the way OBAMA would....

Carleen Brice said...

I love hearing the things kids are saying post-election. My 12-yr-old nephew, who's been having some trouble in school came home and told his dad (my brother) "I held my head up high and had my chest stuck out all day." on Nov. 5th.

Brava to you on your YA novel. Sure to be a hit!!

Christina said...

I thought you might appreciate this post (somewhat Obama related). J was adopted from Ethiopia two years ago, and is probably the sharpest child I have ever encountered (and considering I taught 800+ students over four years, that's saying something!): He also told his mom, "that O-rock-O-boom guy is on TV!"

Can you tell I'm still feeling pretty Obamalicious myself?

Spring said...

Thanks to the link (in an earlier post) to

It is hysterical!!!!

Best of Luck with your book! It takes a lot of courage to put writing-in-progress out there with a deadline. You can do it! And the world really NEEDS more YA books that are representative of who we are. Bestow your gift, baby!

Anonymous said...

Well, I've got it straight now. I got confused because the cover of his book the African literally refers to his father as an African.

Mr. Le Clezio's father was British. So what? An article says that the writer champios the "lost wisdom" of non-Western cultures. He is still a multicultural man, much like Obama. (Sigh) It's all about identity.


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Good luck on the book. Sounds like a great story.