Creativity Sundays: Brunch with Eliza David

Creativity Sundays

 

The table is set and we are sitting down with author/blogger Eliza David.

Join us for some insight into her creative mind.

 

Eliza David Logo 1

 

What is on your table for brunch?

Shrimp & Grits, Bacon, and bottomless black coffee.

 

Describe yourself.

Witty, pretty, well-read, and well-fed.

 

What is your creative mission?

To create carefree diverse female characters who are best at making love and raising hell.

 

What is your primary form of creative expression?

Romance/erotic writing, although I also write for feminist and parenting blogs. I’m so diverse.

 

When did you first discover your love or passion for this form?

My first love story (fan fiction about select members of the music groups Boyz II Men and Jodeci) was written with a friend when I was fourteen.  Though it was very sexual in content, I was still a virgin.  When my mother found it and put me on punishment, I knew that what I wrote was damn good and promised myself that I’d write a romance novel one day. 21 years later, I released The Cougarette (which is free on Amazon – shameless plug!).

 

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What are your secondary forms of creative expression?

Blogging, but I do a lot of reading.

 

How did you discover these?

Blogging became a natural extension of my novel writing.  At first, the blog was established to be a marketing tool for my books.  Now, it becoming something more.  I love using my space to give my fellow indie authors some love.

 

Have you had any formal training?

Besides education and lots of boyfriends, nope.

 

Do you think formal training is necessary?

Not at all. Writing is organic. I think everyone has a writer inside of them.  What is necessary is reading.  If you don’t read, you can’t write…at least, not well.

 

How do you deal with creative blocks?

A nap can work wonders.  When I can’t do that, reading has been helpful.  

 

Tell us a little about your creative process.  

When I come up with an idea, I immediately begin plotting it.  I sit with that plot structure for a few days, rereading it to see if I’m attached to it.  If I am, I start writing.  The irony is, I rarely stick to the plot I construct.  That’s when writing gets fun.

 

Tell us about one of your projects.  

My current project is the first book of a spinoff from The Cougarette series.  It’s based on the best friend of The Cougarette – a fortysomething white lesbian who is also a divorcee with a child. It’s called Savage and will be out in September.

 

What motivates you? How do you stay motivated?

My family, the works of Alice Walker & James Baldwin, my readers – all of that motivate motivates me to keep pushing the pen.  

 

Describe your creative space. What type of environment works best for you?

My creative space is wherever I can make it – my office/guest room, my lunch hour, the wee hours of the morning on my couch. Because I work full time and have small children, I have to grab my writing time when and where I can.

 

How do you practice self-care and self-love as a creative?

Good question. It’s something I need to implement more.  Although I shower daily (LOL!), one thing I never miss out on is my weekend bath.  Just me and a mineral soak – no electronics, books, or Kindle. I’m thankful that my family allows me that moment to unwind alone.

 

What words of inspiration do you have for new or struggling creatives?

Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep sharing your thoughts.  Someone out there needs to read your story – write for that person.

 

What is your favorite word?

Serendipity. The search for one thing and finding another defines my life and my writing.

 

What is your favorite quote?

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison

 

Do you use music/playlists to help inspire you? What songs and artists in particular?

Cannot write without my playlists!  My current playlist for Savage includes songs by Joan Jett, The Runaways, Grace Jones, Heart, and Tina Turner.

 

Where can people find you and your work?

Blog: www.elizadavidwrites.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/elizadwrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/elizadwrites

Instagram: www.instagram.com/writegirlproblems

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/ElizaDavid

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A taste of the newest Turtleberry Novel!

(Excerpt from Ty)

“Ma, you didn’t tell Joey.” Sydney came in my room.

“Tell her what?”

“Anything.”

I looked up at her. She looked so pretty in her tiara. It went perfectly with her dress. “Syd you look amazing.”

“Thank you.” She sat on the edge of the bed. “You got dressed.”

“Yes. I did that much.”

“So?”

“The last time we talked she was so excited about the house. Plus I just know she is going to say something to piss me off.”

“She is your best friend.”

“I know that.” I got up and put my shoes on. “I will tell her after the party. She is going to notice this belly.”

“But you know she won’t say anything until later tonight.”

“I know.” I smiled. “What do you need me to do?”

“Make my little sisters disappear until time for the cake.” Sydney pouted.

“I think I can do that. I promised them our own little party in their room.”

“You are going to come down, right?”

“Yes I will. Only to peek in.”

“Awesome.”

While the teenagers partied in the basement, with Joey as chaperone, I was upstairs with my three youngest. Sophie was twelve and the most upset that she couldn’t be downstairs with the party. Sabrina and Stacey were excited about their own private party. Sabrina was seven and Stacey was six. They were happy to have all the food from the party but not have to worry with teenagers. They didn’t really like teenagers. To keep Sophie happy, I would let her take anything that needed to go downstairs down to the party as long as she came right back. We sat in the middle of the floor and played board games for most of the party. When it was time for the cake I stopped them and we headed downstairs.

I was walking into the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Seeing Jason, Sydney’s father made me smile. “You made it.”

“I changed my flights. My next flight is at midnight. I could not miss this.” He came in the house and I took a few of the bags from him.

“We are going down to do the cake.”

Jason glanced down at my belly and then back up to me. “Okay. How about we stash these bags for now and I carry the cake. If I know my child it is huge.”

“Too huge.” I smiled. I knew Jason was going to wait until later to talk to me about my pregnancy just like Joey would. They both knew me for the same amount of time. I met Jason on the first day of classes. He was the only one of my girl’s fathers that I had a good relationship with. Even though our romance ended, we still remained friends. He went to law school, got married, and had two other kids but still did his best to be there for Sydney.

We barely got through singing happy birthday before Sydney was ready to jump in her father’s arms. He had just put the cake down on the table. Sydney blew out the candles and gave him the biggest hug. He joined the party and I helped my other girls with handing out cake to all of Sydney’s friends. Then we headed back upstairs.

“Mommy, will I get to have a party just like this?” Sophie looked at me when we sat down up in dining room.

I sighed. “Of course baby.”

Sophie was actually having the hardest time. Being unable to find a new job and struggling meant that we needed to move. My current job had become my former job when Stacey’s asthma continued to act up. I was an assistant manager at a bank which afforded me ideal hours. However company policy was not very friendly to single moms. For a while Sydney would stay home with her sister when I couldn’t but that didn’t work for me. Stacey was not Sydney’s responsibility. When I couldn’t come in because I refused to ask Sydney to stay home, my boss fired me. That led to us needing to move.

It wasn’t the first time we had to move. I had just done my best to hide the true struggle from the girls. Joey would always offer to help out but I refused. Jason would step up what he took care of for Sydney and offer to help with the others but I refused too much extra help. Sophie’s dad disappeared right after I told him that I was pregnant. Sabrina and Stacey’s father sent only what the court asked him to. They used to spend a weekend a month with him but when he said what had to be very negative things about me in front of them to his friends they refused to go back. We had been together for a little over two years. However it ended badly and we only spoke when he would call to try and speak to the girls. Sophie never really took to him and Sydney felt betrayed because she actually liked him in the beginning. They were no help in getting Sabrina and Stacey to see or talk to him. Neither girl would tell me what he actually said but I knew they told Sydney and her lips were sealed to me.

My mother loved her grandkids but refused to do too much to help me because I got myself in the situation. There was a lot of tension between us that added to Sophie’s discomfort. We originally moved to Richmond to be closer to her. Now, as the school year was coming to an end, we were going to be moving to Northern Virginia to stay with my granddaddy. He came to spend the weekend with my mother and I never could keep anything from him. He suggested that we come and keep him company in the big house he refused to sell after my grandmother died years earlier. They had four kids and the house was way more than he needed on his own. I knew he wanted to help me out and I also knew that he needed a bit of help. My granddaddy was seventy-seven years old and terrified his kids would stage a coup (his exact words) and put him in a home. I was thankful that we decided to help each other.

Sophie was going into the eighth grade and was going through a rough time. On the surface she was happy to get out of her school because the girls there were terrible. They teased everyone for everything. Sophie had not bloomed early and also hadn’t discovered her own sense of style. I would get frustrated with her indecision when shopping and just pick things out for her. Sydney begged me not to do that again. Apparently I was not aware of what was currently fashionable. I reminded her that if she didn’t always consider her sister a tag-a-long then perhaps she could help me out in that department. Sophie never wanted to talk about the move and was basically packing her things in silence. I didn’t know what to say or do for her. I hoped that things would be better when we got settled.

“Are you sure?”

I put my arm around her. “No matter what is going on I will make sure that you always get your princess day every year on schedule.”

Sophie smiled a little. “Do you think granddaddy will let us get a dog?”

“I don’t know about that.” I watched her frown up a little. I sighed again. “You can feel free to ask him once we get settled in.”

The girls and I were finishing up a game of scrabble when Jason came in the room. They began to get excited. I looked around Stacey, who had stood up in front of me, and saw that he had bags in his hands.

“I could not come empty handed. Sydney is not the only princess in this house.” Jason gave out hugs and bags.

I took that time to get up off the floor and head downstairs to begin the cleanup process. The party was still going on in the basement but there were already a ton of dishes to do. I nibbled on the extra bits of food while putting things away. The kicking baby inside me tried to get all of my attention but Jason soon joined me in the kitchen.

“They love their gifts and then sent me down here to help you.”

I smiled. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Apparently it is not cool to have your dad hanging around your sweet sixteen party.”

“She is so glad you are here.”

He chuckled. “I know.”

I turned back to the sink when Jason looked down at my belly with a slightly puzzled look. “Why do you look like that? You are one of the few people I told.”

“I honestly thought you were joking.”

“I wasn’t.”

“I see that now.” Jason began to help me by putting clean dishes away. “So, what is the story?”

“He disappeared. I am guessing that when I first told him about the girls not all having the same father it was okay. Then reality set in and he figured he would cut his losses.”

“So he doesn’t know about the baby?”

“I can’t find him. He apparently left his job and his apartment. I really didn’t know any of his friends. We had only been on six dates.”

Jason nodded. “Want me to chase him down?”

“For what?” I ran a fresh sink of dish water.

“How about I wash?”

“Kelly must love your insane desire to wash dishes.”

“Yup. Although she does wish I would cook every once and a while.”

I handed Jason the dish rag. “You should try it.”

“So Joey asked me if I knew. I told her that I didn’t.”

“You lied.” I giggled.

“Hey, I know that discussion isn’t going to be easy. I know how she gets sometimes.”

“Yeah.”

“I also know you aren’t going to discuss too much with her because of that.”

I sighed. “You know she still doesn’t understand why I didn’t marry you.”

“Does she not remember you don’t want to be married?”

“I remind her of that but she doesn’t care.”

“Good for her.” Jason rolled his eyes. “Stop changing the subject. Talk to me.”

“This is just how my life works. I let my guard down thinking that I met some really amazing guy and turns out that I am totally wrong.”

“I remember the one time you mentioned him you thought he had potential.”

“We both know that my taste sucks.”

“I’m going to try not to resent that remark.”

I hit Jason with the dish cloth. “You don’t count. We are weird.”

“So you really tried to find this guy?”

“The one friend I did meet isn’t around anymore either. I am not hiring a private detective to find someone who obviously isn’t worried about me.”

“I could.”

“No.”

“Okay.” Jason continued to wash dishes while I put things away. We didn’t talk for a few minutes. Then he turned back to me. “So tell me about this move up north.”

“We are going to stay with granddaddy.”

“For how long.”

“I don’t know. Granddaddy wants me to help him out with the house.”

“Mr. Leroy is brave having all you women in the house with him.”

I smiled. “You know my aunt and uncles side with my mother on wanting to put him in a retirement home.”

“Your mother…”

“I know. She thinks that we are only staying with him until I find a place. He doesn’t want to hear her mouth.”

Jason laughed. “Well you are going to be that much closer to Philadelphia so that works out for me.”

“Sophie is not happy.”

“She is going through puberty. I don’t think she will be happy for another year or five.”

“I worry though.”

“I know.”

“What did you get her?”

“Some books Sydney told me that she liked.”

“Sydney suggested something for Sophie.”

“She asked me if I could send something for the girls when I sent her present. She wasn’t sure if you would be able to get them anything for a little while.”

“My child is thoughtful when she wants to be.”

“Um… you mean my child.”

I smacked him with the dish towel again.

Joey and I actually didn’t get even a chance to talk until the next morning. When the guests finally left Sydney got to spend time with her dad. Then Stacey and Sabrina decided to talk Joey’s ear off about everything under the sun. I ended up cleaning up as much as I had the energy for and then going to bed. In the morning I woke up to a bustling house. Sydney was still asleep but Stacey and Sabrina were downstairs making waffles in the waffle iron and watching a movie. Sophie was listening to music in her room. Joey came out of the bathroom and raised her eyebrow.

“How do you and Syd sleep through this?”

“Practice.” I went in the bathroom.

When I came out Joey was sitting on my bed. She sighed when I sat on the bed. “The guy you met when we went out for your birthday?”

“Yes.”

“Antwon, right?”

“Yes.”

“I thought you said it didn’t work out.”

“It didn’t.”

“Ty…”

“You know I thought for half a second that I could have this discussion with you.”

“Ty, I don’t know what to say.”

“You already mentioned before you didn’t like him.”

“I didn’t say that.”

I raised my eyebrow. “Joey, when I told you we were going on our third date you went through this whole big thing about him not being good enough for me and I need to raise my standards.”

“Why do you listen to me?”

I smiled. “I really don’t. We got to date six.”

“I’m sorry sweetie. Yes I think you deserve and amazing man with a great career. But that doesn’t really matter now.”

“Nope.”

“Syd said you guys are really moving. No luck with finding a job?”

“Not like this.” I rubbed my belly.

“When is this one due?”

“Possibly looking at my first Virgo.”

“Oh God.” Joey laughed.

“Where are you going to stay?”

“With my granddaddy.”

“Mr. Leroy is awesome.” Joey nudged me. “I will only be no more than an hour away then.”

“How did your parents react?”

Joey rolled her eyes. “My dad is not speaking to me.”

“Oh. You know you should have taken him with you.”

“Nothing is good enough for him.”

“Well we will be closer soon. We are leaving right after school lets out.”

Joey rested her head on my belly. “I remember doing this when you were pregnant with Syd.”

“They grow up so fast.”

“Yeah. They are getting old.”

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Purchase in paperback, for your Kindle, or for your Nook!

Happily Ever After? – A New Novel from Turtleberry

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Joey knows exactly what she wants in a husband. Standards are important and she couldn’t imagine spending the rest of her life with someone who did not live up to her standards. But what do you do when most men don’t meet those standards and those that do don’t seem to be interested in living happily ever after with you?

Ty never wanted to get married. What does getting married have to do with living happily ever after anyway? All she needs to do is find a man who is on the same page with her. But that seems impossible when you are a single mother of four kids. With number five on the way and the father MIA, is happily ever after even possible for her?

Available in paperback and for your Kindle or Nook.

NaNoWriMo prompt – 25/30

Write a 25 word, 25 line, 25 stanza, 25 paragraph, or 25 page piece on the art and/or act of falling in love.

Happy writing!

Nanowrimo Prompt ~ 6/30

You are in a grocery store/farmer’s market with the person you find yourself falling for.

Your vocal cords are not working.

There are no paper products to write on or with words that can express your feeling for you.

All you have is food and drinks.

How do you tell them how you feel?

 

 

Happy Writing!

November is National Novel Writing Month

I have been on the fence about participating because I failed miserably last year.  Then I spent the end of October reading a huge portion of my past works.  The unfinished stories really bugged the hell out of me.  Not one for quitting, I decided that I am going to give it a go again.

I have two projects I am working on, to satisfy my insane need to multitask.  My goal is to finish at least one of them by the end of the month.  I will probably stray from the typical way NaNoWriMo is done but I am going to document it all here on this blog.  I am not posting the actual novel on here.  But I will post my daily progress starting this evening.  The goal is 50,000 words by the end of the month.  The hard part for me will be the NO EDITING rule.  (Pray for me ya’ll!)

I think you should all give it a go with me.  The website is http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and you should go there and register.  There is all types of stuff on there.  In some areas they have meet ups.  There are tons of tips.

For all my poet friends and followers… why not write a poem a day for thirty days.  I am going to continue to post prompts up.  I will try to post one a day for those who need inspiration.  At the end of the month you could have a wonderful poetry book!

If you write non-fiction, you can still do this challenge.  Write your memoir.  Write about your favorite topic.

The key… JUST WRITE!!!

Feel free to comment on posts and let me know how you are doing.

Let’s do this!