Why Should People Read Descendants Of Hagar

My First Novel

My First Novel

“Descendants of Hagar is unique because of its creative process. I surveyed a variety of masculine women about their experiences and thoughts on gender expression and gender roles. Then I used that research as the foundation for Linny, my main character. I didn’t want Linny to be a combination of all my assumptions about masculine women. I don’t know of any other book where such a process was used. It’s an important novel that should be read because it explores all the complexities and contradictions of being a masculine-centered woman.

I interviewed more than sixty women who I presumed were lesbians because I’d posted requests for
interviews on lesbian sites, but surprisingly the majority were bisexual. This was a constant reminder that gender expression does not denote sexuality.

Additionally, the abundance of bisexual respondents highlighted the anti-bisexual bias in the lesbian
community and the need for open communication. One follow-up question I’d constantly ask bisexual,
masculine women was, “How did the lesbians you were dating receive this information?” Almost all of them said they were never asked because of their gender presentation. Furthermore, they didn’t volunteer this information because they are afraid of discrimination, or that it would undermine their gender role. A few of them even said they actually asked the women they were dating if they dated men, because though they themselves dated men, they were not interested in dating other bisexual women. Even in these instances, the feminine women they were dating never took that as an opportunity to pose the question back, if the masculine woman was dating men.

Of the lesbian-identified, masculine women, who were in the minority of those surveyed, some discussed dating men before coming out. They were competitive with males and jealous of the support males were given, while they were discouraged regarding certain interests and behaviors. Some women said they had straight relationships because they confused admiration with attraction. Noting, they believed the men they dated also confused admiration with affection. These men often commented on them being stronger, lower maintenance (more in touch with themselves, naturally beautiful) or just more relatable than other women. Ultimately, setting the stage for their first romantic relationship.

These are some of the life experiences that were considered when writing “Descendants of Hagar.” It
gives another perspective to the evolution of becoming a masculine woman.”

“Descendants of Hagar,” may be purchased online anywhere books are sold. “Descendants of Hagar,” is sold in paperback, hardback and e-book. For cohesion, it is suggested that book clubs, classes or other groups planning to read and/or study the novel purchase their E-books directly from the publisher AuthorHouse. The price is the same, but each E-reader will have “real” page numbers, pages identical to both the paperback and hardcover book.

AuthorHouse E-reader note: Use the Mobi file on all versions of the Kindle, and all versions of the Kindle app. Use the ePub file on these devices and readers: Sony® eReader, Kobo eReader, NOOK™, iBooks (iPad/iPhone/iPod), Stanza, Bluefire (iOS & Android). Use the PDF file with Adobe Acrobat on a personal computer.

About Original Sin

Child with the holy ghost.

Child with the holy ghost.

Before I could address any issues I’d gained just by living in a country that is hostile against black people. Before I could address the defense mechanisms I built to survive as a female in a race that is hostile towards females.  Before I could grow to appreciate my nappy hair, heavy body and dark skin in a world where beauty is defined as: long straight hair, anorexic thin bodies and white skin, I had to unearth all the lies I’d been told about God.  I had to see how much of all of the above was rooted in my faith.  Then I had to stop believing in a God that saw me as less because I am female.

Now I know, I don’t mean become atheist.  For a while I did identify as atheist.  God and I were atheist, I like to tell people.  I am grateful God doesn’t allow what you think about who or what God is to change its spiritual connection to us.  I am grateful God is so infinite, God isn’t challenged or undermined by rumors spread and printed by man. I am grateful God is patient and understanding while we figure out God is God and not who we’ve been told God is.  That in itself is a miracle, grace, mercy and a lesson.

The truth is, I never actually didn’t believe in God, I can feel God.  I exist in our connection.  I just couldn’t accept or believe the murderous, racist, patriarchal, war mongering imperialism and slave supporting Bible was God’s word.  It was horrifying to read about Lot offering his virgin daughters to all the men of Sodom.  It was heart breaking to read the rules for selling daughters or beating slaves.  Identifying as atheist felt right.  Especially since I also hadn’t separated who God actually is from how I’d been taught to view or understand God.

It took awhile to acknowledge and see God without prejudices or perceptions I’d learned over a lifetime.   Which meant unlearning.  Which meant accepting actual truths.  Like that Buddhist believe Buddha was also born of a virgin, walked on water and changed water to wine.  More importantly, Buddha existed a thousand years before Jesus.  On top of that, there were a lot of deities who shared similar traits and did miracles.  All of the books most religions are based on now in writing were folk tales spread through word of mouth.  Folks borrowed great feats from other gods, and said “Yeah, mine did that too.”  Also, the text we are now relying on was written by men with all of their prejudices, fears and assumptions.  Most of the rules are now arbitrary, because they were rooted in the time period and challenges people faced hundreds of years ago.

Accepting several truths and remaining open to learning and accepting wisdom wherever I find it, allows me to read the Bible without hostility and to see its beauty.  The Bible like most collections of folk tales teach universal and timeless lessons.  When put in its proper perspective it’s easy to marvel at how long the Bible has existed and how many generations have passed it down, without being angry or feeling the need to figure out which interpretation or translation is most valid.  I am also free not to apply it literally.

Living a spiritual life does not mean, for me, God fearing.  Living a spiritual life for me means not seeing myself as flawed, broken or needing salvation.  Living a spiritual life means trusting God and feeling myself a divine representation of the creator; beautiful and perfect in all of my uniqueness.  Imperfection is our divinity.  There are no set rules for all of us to follow, we all have different purposes.

God is love.  God wants the best for us.  God leads us to our greatest good.  God is not sitting somewhere waiting to punish us.  In fact, when we follow God we are spared and rewarded or moved further down our path.  Which feels rewarding, because we are spiritually fulfilled and soothed when we live in our life purpose.

Living a spiritual life means acknowledging and accepting that God is working through me to achieve my life’s purpose.  It means knowing God trusts me to achieve this goal.  It means knowing that because God is infinite, called by many names and is many different things to many different spirits who all have purposes there is no perfect.  There is no one way.  God can be all the Gods we know of.  There are no real mistakes only lessons.  Everything is about what is conducive to achieving our life goal.  If praying works, pray.  If meditation works, meditate.  If Yoga works, stretch. LOL!  A large part of getting there is following the spirit that tells us which way to go, we all hear it but we do not all heed it.

Religion teaches us not to trust ourselves.  Religion teaches us to go outside of ourselves for approval and guidance.  God calls us into ourselves.  God speaks to each of us but we are challenged to listen because we want to read what dead men are saying.  Religion is a huge hindrance to being who we are called and led to be.

My biggest struggle is being spiritually responsible, accountable and most important active… not reactive.  My struggle is not to respond but to create.  Not to challenge but to be a challenge.  I am a catalyst for change.  I am usually inspired or compelled to take steps before others are even aware it’s time to move.  I am always fighting my calling. For that I am praying for courage as I move inspite of fear.

Love Love Love

January 18, 2015 Random

Random beautiful woman. I think every blog should have a picture.

Random beautiful woman. I think every blog should have a picture.

I haven’t blogged in over a month.  I decided to blog today even though I don’t really have anything to talk about.  I like to blog when I actually have something to say or share.  My life is pretty mundane and peaceful.

I’ve been reading a lot because I’m on a project that requires me to read several books.  The fact that I was even offered the project is a huge honor.  Initially, I couldn’t believe I was chosen.  I really just wanted to do a good job.  In the midst of completing this task, I’ve realized it is a lot of work.  A lot of work for free.  I’m kind of burned out.

I’m frustrated that this project is taking up so much time.  I want to finish writing and publish a well written follow up novel to Descendants of Hagar.  I can’t give Daughter of Zion the kind of attention it requires because I’ve got reading goals I’ve set for myself so I can keep up with this project.  I am also trying to finish a poetry book. I am also doing tons of research. I am also earning income writing and editing on other projects.  I work full time.  I’ve started painting. Lot going on, doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in a day.

On top of all that, I’ve got to market.  Marketing is a way of life once you seek to make a living with your art.  You always have to be on, telling people what you do, trying to see if there is anyway others can benefit from your gifts. My life has gotten very interesting in that respect.  I’ve met some cool people. I’ve found some artist I can barter with…

I started writing grants last year to finance my projects.  I haven’t actually ever gotten funding, but it’s been good practice. I am starting to get a calendar together for writing grants.

I’ve always seen art as actions fueled by passion and impulse.  Considering how I will live off my work long term or how I will fund projects has taught me to create schedules.  Like I’m not free to edit anything else until around June 2015 and then I don’t think I’m going to take on any outside projects because I want to get my own projects completed.

I guess I could write about how my dream is very different from waking up and accomplishing it in reality.  Things are a lot more calculated.  I am grateful I learned patience before I got to this point. I am grateful I don’t take rejection or not winning grants as set backs.  Whether I get a grant or not, the next step is still the same, I go write.  Sure I want to receive funding but I don’t write for money I write because it is my calling and gift.  So, not being funded doesn’t actually stop my progress. It could expedite some research but it wouldn’t stop anything.

Now I’m praying the people in my life won’t focus on external accomplishments or numbers.  I don’t want my work to become about statistics or comparisons to other writers.  I can only be as good as I can be and I’m constantly striving to be my best self not just in writing, poetry, performing or art.  I want to be the best human being I can be.  Which means I’m always looking for opportunities to grow or trying to find the lesson in every challenge.

My goal has never been to be better than any other writer or about competition in general.  My goal has always been to be the best writer I can be and tell the best story I can tell based on what I know and I’ve learned.  I am not just researching the time period for my historical novel, but also how to write better.  I do writing exercises to see what techniques work for me or speak to me.  I practice writing poems.  I’ve started reciting and rehearsing for when I return to the stage.

A few nights ago I went to see Saul Williams and Suheir Hammad.  It was a benefit reading for the legal costs of Ferguson protesters.  It was a beautiful experience that reminded me of why I became a poet.  For a moment I was at home again, within myself. It also reminded me that artists belong to the people and speak for the people.  It motivated me to return to the poetry I first loved.

Being among poets reminded me that I needed to start seeking to be in poetry cyphers.  For a long time, years ago I went to poetry readings more often than some people go to church.  I hosted poetry readings.  Poetry, good poetry was my religion.  I don’t know how I’ve gone so long without being in someone’s cypher.

Maybe 2015 will be about me remembering who I am and being in that knowledge.  I feel like I’ve been searching for home for years.  I think, I am home.

Random beautiful black woman. This blog has two random pics. LOL!

Random beautiful black woman. This blog has two random pics. LOL!

I prayed the people in my life would start to value what I gave so much of my energy.  On so many levels, people have changed their conversation with me and about me.  No one is saying, well you could write at any time.  Or trying to make me feel guilty because I am so busy.  People actually ask me about how my writing is going and respect me as a writer.  People are encouraging me instead of attempting to discourage me… It’s an amazing transition from just last year.

I am grateful I have some regular income from writing.  I don’t make enough to live off of, yet.  But I do receive regular income.  Which is a huge step in accomplishing my dream.  I often compare this time to others going to college. I pray it doesn’t take four years to get into a position anchored in art, or where I do some form of art to pay for my living. Still, I’m keeping my head down, doing the work and keep showing up to the page.

Recently, Facebook shifted.  Some of the writing groups I’m a member of on the site started to show up in my feed.  As a result, I began participating in several groups. Which by the way, if you are a writer it helps to network with other writers.  I was reading and exchanging information more than I was writing.  I am learning so much from the groups regarding publishing, web hosting, formatting and marketing.  I don’t know how much time went by before I realized I wasn’t writing or researching.

I have a new phone. I had to send the one I got myself for Christmas back, I think before Christmas.  This one works like a charm.  Well, after a certain man in the hood worked his magic for a small fee.  So I think I love it. I also like when I feel like I’ve got some little known information… I have a phone guy and a mechanic.  Life is looking good. I might be becoming apart of this community.

Love Love Love