Author’s Note: The Divorce Chronicles

I am so excited about my upcoming book, The Divorce Chronicles.

Read my Authors Note and check out the book on May 6, 2016 on Kindle

When I got the idea for writing The Divorce Chronicles Series, divorce chroniclesI was newly separated. My own four and a half year marriage had run it’s course. My now, ex-husband and I started dating in 2007 and we got married four years later. We divorced in 2015. The nearly nine years worth of headache, heartache, blood, sweat, and tears that I had given this man had me all in my feelings, so I started a blog titled Not So Happily Ever After. I’m not much of a talker; I’ve never liked talking to anybody much, especially about my feelings, so writing this blog was the most logical way to go for me. It was an almost therapeutic way for me to express the feelings that I’ve kept bottled up inside of me and craftily concealed, hidden by my smile, my praise for my ex-husband, and the seemingly perfect image of marriage that I showed to outsiders.
I started writing The Divorce Chronicles back in 2015, during what had to be the fastest separation and divorce process I’ve ever seen. We became separated in mid-September and by mid-November, our divorce was final. After all of those years together, it was all over in a couple of months. During my marriage, I often referred to myself as an actress who’d auditioned for and won the role of a happily married woman, and I played the hell out of that role. Everyday, I got up, got dressed, put on my clothes, shoes, my smile, and my game face on. Ex-girlfriends (who were still very much present), ex-baby-mama’s, random chicks that he’d been involved with-they all found their way right in the center of our relationship at some point or another, but I was ready to deal with any and everything they wanted to bring my way. Because at the end of they day, I had the ring and his last name…they didn’t. From the outside looking in, people thought I was as happy as I portrayed myself to be. On the inside, I was far from happy, but I still continued to hype up my husband the way a loving wife should. I made him seem like he was as close to perfect as one could get. I had taken a vow to stay with him for better or for worse, til’ death, and I was determined to do just that. Even though the trust had been broken long before we ever even thought about marriage- which meant our foundation already had a crack in it and we would crumble eventually- I was still determined to play the hand I was dealt to the best of my ability. Eventually, I lost myself while playing this role. I started thinking, “Why are you trying to prove to these other chicks how much your husband loves you and how happy you two are? That’s not your place to do that…that’s his job.”
I was miserable inside, regardless of how happy I appeared to be in our couples selfies and the numerous photos we’d take together. The fire had long since died out in our marriage, but still I hung in there, hoping that something would spark and re-ignite the flames, and we’d get that old thang back that had kept us together for so long. I told myself to just keep smiling, that I could handle whatever was thrown at me, as long as my kids were happy. In the end, I finally realized that I deserved to be happy too, and I wasn’t. Like myself, many women stay in unhappy marriages everyday for different reasons. The ridicule and criticism from family and friends was another reason I sucked it up and dealt with it. Sometimes, your family members think they know what’s better for you and your life more than you do, even though they’re not the one’s who have to walk in your shoes.
My blog became my diary that I chose to share with the world. And as I blogged, I started seeing characters in my head who were going through their own divorces, which is how the concept for this series came about. Lastly, none of this is to bash my ex- or any man- but rather to help me. Each time I purge myself of the many different emotions I have felt over the years that I kept hidden from everybody on the outside looking in, I’m able to exhale and I feel better about myself and the decision I made to finally stop pretending and truly be happy. Hope you enjoy! XOXO
Joyce

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Sample Sunday: The Divorce Chronicles (Book 1)

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**Unedited & subject to change before publication**

Over the next couple of days, Mark and I kept in contact and it was like old times again. He called me every evening after I got off from work, and we’d talk for hours about any and everything, just like we used to do in high school. I’d gotten comfortable on my favorite spot on the couch when he’d called me two hours ago, and I still wasn’t tired of talking to him.

“I can’t wait to see you on Saturday,” he said Tuesday night as we talked.

“I can’t wait to see you, either,” I blushed and giggled. Mark always did have the ability to make me feel like a teenage girl.

“What are you wearing right now? I’m visualizing you in some sexy lingerie, or a cute little nightie,” Mark said.

“Ooh, you naughty boy.” I looked down at my blue Betty Boop pajamas- the material worn out and torn due to the friction caused by my inner thighs rubbing together- and faded due to repeated washing and drying, and my baggy t-shirt- my usual lounge around the house attire. Completing the look were my pink house shoes, and the black, satin bonnet I wore at night to protect my hair from breakage as I slept.

“I hate to ruin your visual, but what I’m wearing right now isn’t sexy at all.”

I made a mental note to upgrade my nighttime wardrobe as soon as possible. Being married to Chauncey, I got comfortable wearing my ratty pj’s around him. He’d made a comment one night a while back that he wasn’t turned on by my bed clothes. I’d told him that if I could deal with his old, holey draws, he didn’t have a thing to say to me about my sleepwear. And anyway, I wasn’t trying to turn him on…that was the whole point of wearing the most unsexiest garments I could find to wear to bed at night. Now that I’m single, maybe it’s time add a few slinky nightgowns or something to my wardrobe.

“Anything you wear is sexy,” Mark said.

Before I could respond to him, I heard Bryceson calling my name loudly as he entered the front door, and I was annoyed to see that he wasn’t alone.

What is he doing here, now? “Uh, Mark, can I call you back, or we can just talk tomorrow? Bryceson just walked in.” I purposely left out the fact that my ex-husband had walked in behind him.

“Sure, babe. I’ll talk to you later. Have a good night.”

We ended our call, and I immediately wished that I wasn’t sitting around in my raggedy pj’s. Even though Chauncey has seen me wearing this many times before, I don’t want him to think that I’m sitting around like an old maid who’s content with the fact that she has no dating prospects lined up.

“Why are you here now, Chauncey?” I asked, not bothering to hide my annoyance at his presence. Bryce had sent me a text earlier saying that Chauncey had picked him up from school and they’d gone to shoot basketball and to the gym. However, he didn’t need to get out of the car and come inside just to drop him off at home.

“Well, I uh…I have a big problem,” Chauncey began.

“What’s your problems got to do with me?”

“Well, uh, after we got done at the gym, we went back to my house for a little while, just to hang out because Bryce wasn’t ready to come home yet. We were in the living room when we heard this loud noise. Turns out, my hot water heater busted and now water is all over the place.” He paused, as if he expected me to say something.

Sounds like a personal problem to me, I thought. I remained silent while Chauncey finished telling me about his heater bursting. I wonder if my facial expression is showing how truly uninterested I am in what he’s talking about right now. I’ve almost learned how to keep my mouth under control, and not say any and everything that comes to mind; but my facial expressions…that’s another story.

“Oh; well thanks for bringing Bryce home. Bryce, lock the door behind Chauncey when he leaves,” I said after he’d finished talking, not the least bit sympathetic to his situation.

“That’s just it. I won’t be able to stay in my place for a while, so…it looks like I’ll have to stay over here for a few days, until I get everything cleaned up and get a new heater.”

“Like hell you will!” I responded. It was then that I noticed that Chauncey was carrying a suitcase and a duffle bag over his shoulder. “I know you don’t think you’re staying over here?”

“I don’t got nowhere else to go, Simone.”

“Uh, what about your child’s mother?” I asked, trying to refrain from referring to her as his baby’s mama. Even though she looks like a little hoodrat, I’ve never liked the terms baby mama/baby daddy.

“Uh, she uh…don’t got her own place. She’s living with her mama. And anyway, I’m not even sure that baby is mine.”

“Humph! Well again, that has nothing to do with me. There are plenty of hotels, motels, and Holiday Inn’s around here…take your pick.”

“Simone, I don’t have money to stay in no motel, and it might be a few days before I can get back into my place.”

“Don’t you have a mama? Go stay with her.”

“You know my mama lives over an hour away from here…that long commute will make getting to and from work everyday hard on me. Please, Simone, I just need to stay here for a few days.”

“Ma, don’t be like that…he has nowhere else to go,” Bryce decided to add his little two cents in.

I slanted my eyes at him. Traitor. He knows how I feel about Chauncey…we just had a talk about him being around me a few days ago. But if I don’t let my ex-husband stay here, I’ll look like the bad guy in Bryce’s eyes. I wouldn’t put it past Chauncey if he didn’t cause the damage to the hot water heater himself. He’s a sneaky little devil, and ever since he snooped through my emails that day and found out about my tryst with Mark in Vegas, he’s probably trying to find a way to mess things up for me.

Both Bryce and Chauncey stood there watching me with pleading eyes. I sighed heavily before I spoke my next words. “Fine, you can stay here for one week. That should give you enough time to get the heater fixed or find somewhere else to stay.”

Chauncey smiled and headed down the hallway, towards the bedroom.

“Ummm, hold up…pump your brakes,” I said when I saw him getting ready to walk into my room. “You’ll be sleeping on the couch, and you can keep your things in Bryce’s room.” The devil is a bold-faced lie if he thinks Chauncey will climb his butt back up in my bed. Hell to the nah!

People who could have been sacrificed so we could still have Prince

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I, along with most people in the world, am still in shock over The Purple One’s sudden departure from this world. Whyyyyyy??? Like, there are so many more deserving people who I could do without seeing…who I wouldn’t think twice about, or miss one bit if they died instead of Prince.

Let’s see, there’s Donald Trump (self-explanatory)

Stacey Dash

Sarah Palin

Donald Trump supporters

Ann Coulter

Ben Carson

Kanye West

Pretty much anybody from Faux News

There are so many more, but these are the people at the top of my list. Why Prince? The most fabulous, prettiest, sexiest, best-dressed, best side-eye giver, freakiest, most eccentric, androgynist man who ever lived. I used to love to listen to him give interviews. Because he usually dressed so feminine, most people probably expected him to speak in a higher pitch. But babbyyyy, when that man opened his mouth to talk, and that deep, smooth, silky baritone came out of it, I would just melt..like hot butter in a scorching hot cast iron skillet. Seriously, his voice was like instant foreplay. He wouldn’t even need to touch me…just speak to me in that deep voice that he belted out, oh so well. To know that I won’t get to hear that voice again, yet I’ll be subjected to hearing the irritating voices of any of the people listed above, just isn’t fair. I know the time will come when we’ll all have to go, but it’s still shocking.

Aside from all of the amazing qualities I mentioned earlier, he was also The King of Shade. A Youtube user who goes by the name ‘Killer Queen’ put together a compilation video of some of his best, most shadiest moments. Watch it below.

 

 

He had a side-eye that rivaled Michelle Obama’s (and FLOTUS can give a mean side-eye when she wants to) He didn’t even need to say anything…his facial expressions just always seemed to show when he wasn’t impressed with something or someone. Like the time he so effortlessly gave Alicia Keys the side-eye when she climbed her pregnant behind up on top of that piano during her performance honoring him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Yes, I felt the breeze from those palm trees he threw through the tv screen, even though it didn’t last long. It was part, “Lord, I hope she doesn’t fall,” and part, “If she don’t get her butt down from there…wtf is she doing?”

 

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Another perfect example of his infamous side-eye was at the Grammy’s while he was listening to Beck give his acceptance speech after winning Album of the Year..just see the picture below.

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Prince was clearly not too impressed  with Beck, who he’d just presented with the Album of the Year Award

That face spoke volumes. Aside from his shade-throwing, though, we can all agree that he was an amazing performer. For those of us who grew up in the 80’s, we can practically recite most of his lines from Purple Rain, which we’ve watched over and over again. When Doves Cry will always be one of my favorite songs, although there are many. Kiss, Insatiable, Do Me, Baby, How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore….the man had hits for days. That he wrote music, played several instruments, and gave unforgettable performances was impressive. He was different, he was funky, he was edgy, he didn’t mind stepping outside the box to try something different, he didn’t mind showing his freaky side -both on and offstage. Anybody who puts on a lace, yellow suit, which featured butt-less pants and boldly shows his caramel frappe colored ass to the world, with absolutely no shame, is a bad man.

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Artists are known for doing all sorts of crazy things onstage (Lady Gaga and that ridiculous meat dress; Miley Cyrus and just about everything she says, wears, and does) But no matter how hard they try, it doesn’t compare to anything Prince did. He did weird flawlessly and effortlessly. He never looked like he was trying too hard to be something he wasn’t, like many of today’s artist’s (and I use that term lightly) try to do.

I really don’t know what else to say about him that hundred’s of other bloggers haven’t already said. He was an icon, a legend, and he will be truly missed. The world has already been turned purple, with several landmarks- like the Minnesota Twins Stadium and the Eiffel Tower- lit up in Prince’s honor, as purple was his signature color.   Google even created a doodle in his honor. 

 

It saddens me that all of the great performers that I had the pleasure of growing up watching, are all leaving. Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, Left-Eye, Tupac, Biggie, and now Prince. It’s just too much. But I imagine that all of them together in heaven must be throwing one hell of a party. Rest in peace & love, Prince.

 

 

TBT: Prince on Essence Cover

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It is with so much sadness that I write that Prince has passed away today.Circumstances surrounding his death haven’t been released yet, but I just read a few days ago that he was in the hospital, then he was at home recuperating; however, today, he was found dead. I had such a big crush on this man.

I wrote a blogpost about him on my original blog, Random Thughts of a Virgo on the Blogger site back in 2014, when he covered Essence magazine. Since it’s TBT, I’m reposting it here. Click the link to see the original post and RIP Prince.

http://jlsapphire.blogspot.com/2014/06/this-man-is-still-so-sexy-his-voice.html

 

TBT: My First Book

It’s hard to believe that I self-published my very first book two years ago. I have always been a book worm, ever since the 6th grade when my nose stayed in a Sweet Valley Twin book. As I grew older, I got into John Grisham’s crime/court dramas, Lisa Jackson’s thrillers, Zane’s erotic novels, and any and every other genre of book I could find. Eventually, I decided I wanted to write my own books, tell some of the crazy stories that have been stuck in my head for years. So, after years of starting and stopping writing and second-guessing myself, I finally self-published my book, My Secret Life: Confessions of a Housewife in May 2014and I haven’t looked back.

Time flies, because two years later, I have written and published more than 10 books, novellas, and short stories, been featured in an anthology, which became a National Bestseller  on AALBC,com, and written and had published an article in a magazine.  

In honor of TBT, I’m giving readers a free book. Yes, you can read my first baby, My Secret Life: Confessions of a Housewife free through Sunday. Just click the link below to get your copy.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Secret-Life-Confessions-Housewife-ebook/dp/B00KLRAL2O

And be sure to check out the sequel to this book, Swinging in the New Year for $0.99 when you’re finished. Happy Reading.

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