Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, and Years seemingly pass by with each Tick of the Clock

Time; they say that time flies when you’re having fun. Well, I am here to tell you that it flies either way! I take a breath and wonder, where did it go. It seems as if only yesterday, I was a young girl running barefoot through the fields around my father's home, and suddenly, today, I am an old woman. I have been busy writing. The 24th I published another e-book. It is called Annabelle’s Diary. She was who set me on this time exploration thought process. And, I wondered, do I write to keep from facing reality; the reality that I am growing older each minute and dread it consequences? The more I thought on it the more I rejected the notion. I write because they need me to. By them, I mean the characters. Each of them has a story to tell and it seems that I am the only one listening. Sometimes, they come to me and introduce themselves; at other times, I am drawn into their conversations and have to catch up! Take for instance the aforementioned Annabelle. She come to me one day and her story began with these simple words. “I was born the summer of Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Two on my father’s plantation near Savannah, Georgia. Birthed by the plantation midwife, Mary, who said I come so easy and quiet into this world that at first she feared me dead. Even after rousing me and washing me, she said I remained so. She and Mother both said I was a good baby; I never fussed unless wet or hungry. Even then, Mary said that I was quiet with my fussing.” She wasn’t pushy or loud. Her voice had a deep southern drawl and was a soothing as my grandmothers voice was. Immediately, that was who she became in my mind, my grandmother. Now, when I say that I hear them or they introduce themselves, I don’t mean that I hear a physical voice or that they appear before me; I’m not crazy, or at least I don’t think I am. What I hear is not in my ears, it is inside my mind… I have wondered if I were a channel - a means of communication - for these souls. Each has a unique voice and I can see them in my mind as clearly as I see anything in the physical world. The other day, I heard a young male character speaking; and, when I pay attention to him, he says “In easeful-death, I roamed; a soul lost to Damnation, doomed to roast in Purgatory forever and ever. I knew that dead, was what I was, and that Purgatory was where I was, because my father would always yell, ‘Damn your soul to Purgatory’ when he was mad at someone, and he was mad at me. The fear of his wrath was what had always kept me in line, but not this time; this time, I was willfully disobedient. Many a time, he had warned me that if he ever caught me fraternizing with those heathens in Tidewater Bayou, he would beat me within and inch of my life; and I had intentionally ignored his warning not to go to old Nanny Rue’s house in the bayou. Nanny Rue was an old black woman that told futures and mixed potions for folks who’d come seeking her advice or her assistance with personal matters. Even matters of the heart, health or in general they just needed to know something, and I needed to know about Jubal. Jubal Lafourche is my best friend in the whole world; he has been since we was in the first grade. No one knows where Jubal is. Neither his maw nor any of his twelve brothers and sisters either. And after having talked with his kin, I knowed for sure that something was wrong. They themselves even said that it wasn’t like Jubal to just disappear, especially like that, when we had made plans to go fishing.” When I heard his voice, I knew his name was Samuel LeBlanc, he lived in Louisiana and that he was born with one leg shorter than the other. I knew that Jubal Lafourche had one arm that was smaller and drawn up close to his body. I cannot wait to see where his story leads. Several months ago, I had a visit from a Southern Belle; another soul from Louisiana that wants her story told; her name is Desiree Evereld de Comte. She came to me and introduced herself this way: “I was born in a canebrake in the Bayous of Southern Louisiana during a pre-harvest burn; it was the fall of 1825. On the night I was born, another child died; we were born the same instant. She took only one small breath; I came out kicking and screaming. I must have known that my row would be a tough one to hoe. Mi mamán, Anasazi de Comte, was caught en el campo; she was spreading fire through the cane fields when her fluid broke. She said it spewed forth as a river that had broken through the levee and flooded the land with bloody water that sizzled and come to a boil before it soaked into the scorched, dry earth. I never was fond of the name, Desiree Evereld de Comte, but I was born with it, therefore, the name fused with my body at birth. Chosen by my mother, christened by the parish priest with my white mother and father in attendance, they were already looking ahead to the gala they would throw to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. Anasazi and Angelique exchanged knowing looks; if my birth had gone as intended I would have been auctioned off to the highest bidder upon my sixteenth birthday. Little did they know at that time that she had given birth to the future bride of Blanchard de La Fontaine, owner of the largest sugarcane plantation, west of N’awlins… Mamán give me that fancy name in hopes that one day I would live a better life than she had. Too bad, she could not see into the future, as Madame Laveau of the French Quarter did; if so, she might have choked the life out of me the moment I tore through the membrane that separated her body from mine. It would have saved her a world of hurt and humiliation. My birth mother was a high yellow, a Quadroon named Anasazi. She had three white grandparents and one colored grandparent. That is where the saying ‘There was a nigger in the woodpile’ originated from. No matter how many generations go by, you cannot breed it out; occasionally a Negro child will be born of white parents… Anasazi was not meant to be working the fields of a plantation; she was meant to be the mistress of a rich a white man of means, a Creole. Bred to placate men, she was to enter into placage when she turned sixteen. Placage is the marriage between a white man and a quadroon or an octoroon. Some mulattoes are allowed to enter into these marriages, if their skin is a shade that is light enough to be pleasing to the eye. However, it was not to be. Anasazi’s white father died, leaving her and her mother unprotected. Upon his death, his white wife sold her into slavery on her sixteenth birthday. This woman has a voice that is reminiscent of my cousin, Donald’s wife Anna, when she first comes from New Orleans… Anyhow, while they are talking I am listening and trying to write it all down. I know that in the end it will make perfect sense. I am having a little more trouble with my character Joshua Stokes and his latest mystery. Since I invented him, I try too hard to control what he says and does. Maybe I need to loosen the reins on him and just turn him loose ;)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Road Map of Life

My mother lived a hard life and her face was like a road map of that life. It had peaks and valleys and trails that traveled a ways across it and then ended somewhere near her jaw line or hairline. Some of those crevices were so profound and jagged that if you were a piss ant trying to cross them, they would have seemed like the Grand Canyon, especially as she grew older. There was even the occasional creek on the map; it would be up near the corner of her eye as she let a tear slip in times of grief. In my younger years I didn’t understand mama; I’m talking about my teenage years because up until then, she was right as rain, at least as far as I can remember. Although, I do remember walking along the highway with her one time and she was toting a suitcase; it was her, my older brother, and me and she was toting my baby brother who was not even walking at the time. We had walked maybe a mile from home and then along come my daddy to take us back home. I can remember him driving toward us on the highway, and I can see him and the car as plain as day… I know they were fussing but I do not remember any of the details; I could not have been any more than four and a half at the time. I believe that is my third memory of existence. The ones of my brother chopping me in the head with a hoe, and of turning me loose down a steep hill on his bicycle is strong, as is he setting fire to the grass in the field. There are several small glitches besides that, but nothing definitive until I was school age. The reason I brought up that I did not understand Mama was that once I neared my teens and becoming a teenager, so did she. She became young and free again, living vicariously through me… she went to work on the nursery so that she could buy me stylish clothes and took me roller skating and to the river to go swimming. I could talk her into anything, it seemed. Once in a while, she would skip work and let me skip school. We would stop in Wilmer and get a hamburger and then we would ride the back roads to the river or go visit with relatives around the county. She taught me how to drive the stick shift and let me drive all over the place even though I was only about thirteen… The older I got the more I realized that it was not right for her to be doing that. However, the older I got it seemed like the younger she did or rather acted as she did… and that was when we grew apart. She and daddy married when she was only fourteen and after I got older, I realized that that was why she was doing some of the things she was doing; she had never lived through the teen experience. Married at fourteen, she had my older brother a week after she turned fifteen, then another baby at seventeen; a little girl born without a soft palate; she lived only a couple of months. She had me when she was eighteen, my younger brother was born four years later, then she carried a baby full term - a little girl that was stillborn. Then she had us another brother four years after the other brother. That was when she really began to rebel… drinking and running wild. Six years later, she birthed my sister and then four years after that, our baby brother. When he was six weeks old, she ran off and was gone of over a week, leaving Daddy to care for him. I was married and living in Lucedale at the time so I did not know anything about it until after it was done with. It seemed like after that wild burst, she settled down with the running around, but she didn’t stop drinking. During all those years, she was in again out again in church and her relation with Jesus Christ. It would not be until after I had my own children that I could understand just a smidgen of what she might have gone through as a young mother… I was in my twenties before I had my two oldest children and I remember being twenty six years old and sitting in the floor crying because of how stressful it was to have one under one year old, and one that was four and a half… she was just a child raising children. I can only imagine what she went through losing her babies… we became close again as I raised my own children. She was a good woman that suffered life. She had many demons that she fought through the years but in the end, she won the battle; she reunited with Christ, she was saved. I am sure that she sits at his feet in heaven. Today, September 13, 2013 she would have been seventy-seven years old. We lost Mama Jan 23, 2005 to a long list of health issues unrelated to her other battles of life. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. I miss her now more than ever as I too grow old and have begun to have many of the same health problems. One day we will see one another again. Love you Mama <3 Happy Birthday!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Y’all bear with me; I have too many irons in the fire

Y’all bear with me; I have too many irons in the fire I have too many things going on, so many that it is hard to separate them at times. Do you ever feel the urge to just beat someone’s face to a bloody pulp because of the way they look at you? Well, I do - all the time. The only thing that saves them is my ability to separate fantasy from reality - my fantasy would ultimately land me in jail. LOL My characters have begun to carry over into my real life space. What I mean by that is that I find myself in character even now, as I write this. At the moment, I am the Sheriff, Joshua Stokes. He is the protagonist (Lead Character) of my novel Dumping Grounds and the sequel is going to be Awesome! I have decided to call it Fallout. I reckon I am in character because I have been writing the sequel and when I quit writing so that I can do something else, I am afraid that I will lose him. I am also writing a short story to enter into a contest and I am working on at least five more novels that I want to finish and publish; besides all of that, I am cooking, washing, and cleaning for my family - I am exhausted! Marketing me as a writer and marketing my books takes a fair amount of energy and time. Y’all, my fans, can help by telling people about my books and writing reviews on them on sites like Amazon and Good Reads and this place called Shelfari that is a part of Amazon. Til next time, adieus ;) Fallout Cover

Friday, August 30, 2013

Getting ready to do some serious writing. I'm Taking a little time for myself!

Writing is a great COMFORT to me - it is something I enjoy - it releases my stress - I can go on - I never get to write as much as I'd like to. The worlds I enter into when writing are my escape... My family may argue that I spend a lot of time writing - what they do not realize is that although I am sitting at my computer many hours out of the day, I am jumping up to do this, or to do that. Their supper is always ready by five o'clock. Their clothes are always washed and folded. The house may not be spotless, but it is livable. All the Animals are fed... and the list goes on. I also take care of a four year old. Any of you that have children know how many times you have to do this, that, or the other for them. They are constantly needing (I am not complaining - love her to death!) I am the family Matriarch therefore they all (husband, daughters, son, brothers, sister, grand-children, nieces, etc.) call me if they're having trouble or need something; the phone is always ringing. My point is - I do NOT spend ENOUGH time writing! I can be on a roll - words flowing like a river and then BAM! have to stop for something - by the time I read over what I had written and get back into the flow- more time has been wasted. What really bothers me though, is when I think of something as I am writing and then have to leave it so fast that I don't have time to make a note, and get back to the computer and the 'thought process has completely vanished - sometimes, I never recover that exact thought- my memory sucks lemons the last few years! - anyhow the brilliant thought that would have made the book better is gone - oftentimes replaced with a meager attempt to regain it - In the end, the book is usually good - however, I think it could have been better. Today is the beginning of Labor Day weekend and I hope to do some serious writing this weekend. I have started a sequel to Dumping Grounds that I have titled 'Fallout' 23,000 plus into it. I think y'all are gonna like it ;) I have several novels that I have set aside to work on the project - I also write under another pen name - trying my hand at YA. Have projects swarming my brain so fast cannot get it all out. In the end we will see what has come of it. Y'all pray for me and be patient. In the end it will be as intended, an escape for someone else from reality - at least for a little while ;) Y'all have a safe and enjoyable weekend Susan

Monday, August 5, 2013

Working on a Sequel

Have you ever wanted to scream at the top of your lungs, stomp your feet, and pitch a regular ol’ Hissy Fit? Well, I have, here-lately its all the time. These grown, lazy-ass people around here drive me crazy. I have been trying to write, but it is hard when you have to jump up every couple of minutes to get a curtain climber off the top of the freaking house, or clean up something they have spilt or broken. I am about ready to become a stark raving lunatic and I do not want to write in that frame of mind. I am trying to get a sequel going on Dumping Grounds because I have had many requests for the return of The Sheriff, Joshua Stokes. I cannot blame the readers for wanting more of him, for although he was an invention of my devious mind, I fell in love with this character. I want to explore him a little more deeply than I did in the first book. See exactly how far I can take him… I think I could write several more novels following this perfectly, imperfect, sexy hunk of man around ;) Y’all pray that the demons do not devour me and cause me to go ballistic and clean my house of these individuals that are driving me nuts!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Sheriff - Joshua Stokes

Just dropping a note to let everyone know I am still here. Been busy marketing my newest novels 'Dumping Grounds' which I published under the name Lila Beckham and 'Beyond the Willow Tree' which was published under Susan C Beck. I also published a 'flash fiction' 8 page (mini-novel) called The Empty Room. I have also been writing! I started another novel - a sequel to Dumping Grounds. I've had many women wanting the character of Sheriff Joshua Stokes - to return. LOL, it seems they cannot get enough of the sheriff! Everything is available on Character Bio: Joshua Stokes 50-year-old Joshua Stokes is the charismatic and dedicated sheriff of Mobile County, Alabama. If asked to use one word to describe him, most folks would say, levelheaded. Women find Joshua attractive, and although he could have his pick of available women in the county, Joshua chooses to live alone. He enjoys the solitude of his 150-year-old cabin that sets alongside the Escatawpa River and was once the residence of the old Moffett Plantation’s overseer. Stokes is a spiritual man unconcerned with material things. However, deep down inside, Joshua Stokes is a lonely man who drinks too much and hides his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. Stokes is known for his manners, strength, and old-fashioned approach. His dedication to the law and his passion for maintaining the pride and chivalry of the Old South make him a desirable lawman. Until next time - Y''all have a good day! Susan aka Lila

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beyond the Willow Tree

Just letting everyone know that my newest novel Beyond the Willow Tree is now available on and several other places to download as an e-book. The print edition should be ready in about a week for those of you who still prefer the feel and smell of paper. try to post again real soon ;) Here is the link for those who have not yet seen it on Facebook

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Giveaway on Good Reads - Winner Announced

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dumping Grounds by Lila Beckham

Dumping Grounds

by Lila Beckham

Giveaway ends August 10, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

What's been going on?

What’s been going on?

I know; I look studious,

I also appear organized, don’t I. However, I can assure you that I am not...  I am teetering on the edge of a cliff and hanging on for dear life! I am the worst procrastinator in the world when it comes to telling people what has been going on in my life. Mainly because my mind is as busy as a beehive in the springtime and about as unorganized as those bees are when the hive is disturbed. Here-lately,  have been going in so many different directions that I don’t know which end is up most of the time. I wanted to touch base and let everyone know what's been going on with me. 
First off, I have published another book. This one is another Thriller set here in Mobile and I called it Dumping Grounds - it is sorta a sequel to A Murder in Moffettville. So far, it is getting rave reviews by readers, now I hope some pros will pick it up and review it too! It is published through Amazon & its company Create Space. I also used a pen name (Lila Beckham)on this one and plan to use her on more. I've submitted one of my stories to Virginia Quarterly Review hoping to get it published (Y'all keep your fingers crossed) I am anxious for everyone to read it. I just published an eight page flash fiction mini-book (The Empty Room) under the Lila Beckham persona too. It is also available through Amazon (only as e-book.)
Right now, I am trying to finish editing the sequel to She Walks the Night Winds so that I can publish it. I know I have several people who are looking forward to reading it and getting it in book form. My latest endeavor is trying to learn how to market myself and my books (LOL) not so easy for me. I have sponsored a Giveaway on Good Reads for a Signed Copy of Dumping Grounds, due to be given away on Aug 10, 2013. Good Luck if you are one of the ones hoping to win it!  Until Next Time Adieus Amigo's :)