Excerpts & Insights Chapter 13 of Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner

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“Derek Morris was one of my brief crushes during my early school days. We weren’t particularly close, but we were in band together in junior high, so we’d known each other for a few years. He played the tuba, which meant that he was right in front of me since I was on the drum line in the very back of the formation. I left my instrument behind and joined the drill team after middle school, but he went on to marching band. The squad always performed with the band at sporting events and school functions. They always marched ahead of us, tubas in the back, and since I was one of the shorter girls on the team, I was in front. So, there we were again, nearby to each other and chatting each other up. He was always such a chipper guy.

When we waved and said hello as we crossed paths on campus, he always flashed me a big, movie star smile. It was as if he’d stolen a piece of the sun and kept it inside himself, but not hidden. It was there for everyone to see, every time he looked someone’s way. He had the kind of smile that could make a person feel better, even on an especially crappy day. And he never missed the chance to shine a light on someone’s world. I never heard him say an unkind word to or about anyone. I thought he was such a sweet soul, as did most people who knew him.

He committed suicide at the start of our sophomore year.”

Ten years later, and I still think about this boy. This experience didn’t keep me from going down my own path of darkness, but it postponed it for a while. And as I made my way back, it saved me again because I was reminded of the looks on his family’s face, the way the student body wept for him, the way I wept for him, and how his killing himself changed my thoughts and feelings on suicide, if only for a time. I still pay him respect for the seeming sacrifice. I pray that I’m not the only one who learned a great deal from one boy’s choice.

Stay tuned for more Excerpts & Insights

Dava

Excerpts & Insights from Chapter 11 Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner

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“After all the bad run-ins in Sacramento and the taunting at school, I had vowed to never, ever like or date a black boy. I had convinced myself that they were all terrible and not worth my time, but he was different, and he liked me back. Once he and I locked in on each other, summer school became less about passing art class, and more about learning the art of love. We were high school kids, so naturally our courting consisted of making fun of each other and embarrassing one another in front of the class, only to exchange googly eyes and smirks. We ate lunch together occasionally and we talked before or after school, but we weren’t attached at the hip or anything. We never officially dated that summer, but we crushed on each other something fierce. I thought about him obsessively and my journals from that time are full of dreamy entries and poetic love declarations to him.

12/3/2002

Every time I see you

my blood runs cold,

and then gets too hot,

and my heart just stops,

then beats really fast,

until I just can’t breathe,

and my eyes can’t see.

But, somehow, I’m still watching

the world walk towards me.

My brain is working overtime,

in overdrive,

in hyper speed,

going so fast that I can’t think or speak,

and I have so very much to say.

I’m all caught up in you,

in complete disarray.

Do you see anything

that’s going on inside me?

No. But, you know.

And do you know how it is that you do?

You feel the same thing,

because it’s happening to you too.

For Marcus

___

At certain points in my life I was very much like an old white supremacist trapped in a young black girl’s body. I had a certain disdain for black people, black boys and men especially. The experiences I’d had with them were mostly frightening, lewd, and disrespectful, and for me that meant that giving my time or my body to “one of them” would never be an option. Luckily I’ve done quite a bit of growing up, and I realize that not all black men are like the ones I ran into back then. I’ve since abandoned that way of thinking (thank heavens) but it still stands that a man, black, white, or purple, has to approach me with a level of respect for me to even bat an eyelash at him. Even as a young adult I hesitated to go to certain places or even particular cities because of how a majority of the black men act in those areas. I often hear stories of black women being hooted and hollered at by black men in the streets. When the women don’t react “accordingly”, they’re hit with a barrage of “fuck you bitch”s and “you ain’t cute noway”s. I had way too many of those experiences, and it certainly left it’s mark on me. Today, I’ve seen and met some outstanding black men, so I let them be the example I choose to look to when I think of what a black man is.

-Dava

Excerpts & Insights from Chapter 9 of Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner

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“One night at the dinner table, Lilly got upset with me because I took the last piece of some food she liked. I can’t remember exactly what it was. When I declined to share on account of her being a brat, she balled up her little fists, scowled, and yelled at me, “YOU NIGGLE!” It got so quiet in that kitchen you could have heard an ant fart. Sam and Diane exchanged looks of shock, confusion, and, to my dismay, amusement. I sat there, dumbfounded and angry.”

___

My youngest foster sister and I were like peas in a pod for the most part, always together, but as she grew older and became more aware of our racial differences, she began to look at me and feel shame. She was exposed to things in the world that told her that there was something “wrong” with me because of my skin color and the fact that it was different and darker than hers. That hurt a lot, because I never saw her as anything other than my sister. I cared about her, I cared for her, and I protected her, so her starting to not want me around anymore was very painful to deal with.

-Dava

Guest Spot on Akasha Temple Live!

Ruthann and Casey J. - hosts of Akasha Temple Live!

Follow the link to hear me chat it up with Ruthann Amarteifio from Akasha Temple Live on blogtalkradio! I dish about my upbringing and how it inspired my debuting novel, entitled Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner. I also talk about various situations going on my life presently, my spiritual path, and where I hope to be in the next five years in my career and in my spiritual undertakings. It was my first interview of the sort and I had so much fun! I’m blessed to have been afforded the opportunity and Ruthann would love to have me on the show again. I quickly obliged! Listen in now and catch me at the 32 minute mark!

-Dava

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/akashatemple/2011/12/30/akashatemple-live

Excerpts & Insights from Chapter 7 of Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner

“With Lorelai being tight on cash, I experienced yet another kind of duality in my life – abundance and lack. She took me with her to the dollar store once and, before we went in, she told me to watch and tell her if someone was coming. We were in and out pretty quickly, and when we got back home, I saw some straight up magical shit! Out of her jacket, she pulled a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread, a half gallon of milk, and a big ass box of corn flakes. Those were our rations for the week. At my grandma’s house, we never seemed to have enough. At Diane’s house, there was always an overflow of everything. I chuckle to myself every time I think back to when I would open a cabinet or refrigerator door at Diane’s house, and do the running man out of sheer joy. Everything was always full, and name-brand too.”

__

I continued to experience both abundance and lack throughout my young adult life and I learned that there are joys and pains of both. I feel that I had to know one to know the other, so I’m extremely grateful for each and every experience. As I grow in my career and in life, I desire to live abundantly, and I know that I’d never really be able to appreciate it if it weren’t for those sparse and desperate times.

-Dava

DON’T FRET!

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I know that Christmas is only days away and that you’re a-hopin’ and a-wishin’ you’ll get that Kindle under the tree. But even if Santa has something else in store for you, don’t you fret. You can still download my book and all of your other favorites on amazon.com! Here’s the link that will show you how:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

Download the app and then head straight for the book bins to get your copy of my book!

 http://www.amazon.com/Nobody-Puts-Crack-Corner-ebook/dp/B006NQBL2Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324312074&sr=8-2

The Waiting Game

So, I just uploaded my book to http://www.amazon.com

I think I’m too tired to be excited right now, but I probably will be tomorrow when it’s available for purchase. Writing this book has been such an amazing experience for me and, above all else, I’m looking forward to teaching people through sharing my life experiences and my funny way with words.

For the first time in my life, I feel like…myself.

-Dava