Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I would like to discuss my obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to my writing.

Recently, I decided that I wanted to find Ramses' mansion and floor plans online so I didn't have to create something myself. I wanted to experience it as Sapphire would when she first arrived, (as much as I could being the writer). I also was being lazy and didn't want to spend time creating something myself, so I could get on to the good stuff I really wanted to write. So, I looked, and looked, and looked. I printed out several plans that fit what I thought Ramses would be living in. But I also was trying to find something that fit the image I had in my mind and work with the scenes I had envisioned. That's when the OCD took over.

You don't even understand how many hours I spent and how many searches I did on Google looking for the perfect mansion! No....really! You have no idea! This delayed my actual WRITING, of course, which is stupid! I sometimes wonder if my OCD is another form of procrastination. But when I get an idea in my mind or have a questions that forces me to do some research, I can't focus on my writing until I've resolved the question or found exactly what I"m looking for. It's really ridiculous, but at the same time, I've enhanced my writing a ton after these OCD moments. I do need to practice self control.

The problem with finding the right mansion was that the floor plans would be great, but the exterior renderings, (I've picked up some architectural lingo on this journey) didn't fit the look I was going for, and then when the exterior was perfect, the floor plans didn't fit. After finally finding what I thought was the perfect plan, I decided it wasn't, and ended up searching again. Finally, I chose the one with the exterior I liked and just changed the floor plan, adding a wing so that the scene I'm going to write will fit with how the house is set up.

This whole process took about 2 weeks when I actually found the house I ended up settling for after the first week of searching. SPAGETT! Yes, I'm crazy! HAHA!

Now, thank the LORD, it's all sorted out and I'm writing again!

During this process, I realized that I wanted to rush ahead to write the good stuff but it is crucial for me to be in the moment as a writer, just as the characters are. If Sapphire is seeing this mansion for the first time, she has to be totally experiencing it. Feeling, smelling, touching, and seeing it all! After looking at thousands of mansions and closely examining the one I chose, I was able to do a better job describing everything and making it come to life!

The moral of this story is: if you don't want to be crazy, don't become a writer! HAHA!
Actually, it's that research, being in the moment with your characters, and sometimes OCD, can benefit your writing!

Application in!

I submitted the application for the Gift of Freedom Award offered by A Room of Her Own Foundation. What a blessing organizations like that are to writers! I'm very thankful to have come across them.

The application process was intense but I plowed through it as I do when I have my mind focused on something. In all, I had to submit 11 documents. 5 essays: My finacial situation-1 page; Artistic Response piece to a Virginia Woolf quote-5 pages; What Writing Means to Me-5 pages, My Creative Project and its Practical Aspects-5 pages; Community Benefit of my project- 3 pages; individual lists of employment history, education history, community service, publications, history of awards/prizes/grants; and 10 page sample of my writing. Plus, they wanted 3 consecutive years of tax returns and $35 application fee. WOW! But it's all done and submitted! YAY!!!! Now I just have to wait until they announce the winner. Yes, 5 months of waiting! March 31st is when they give the award. So long... But I plan on getting it so it's worth the wait! :)

For the love of SPAGETT! I swear if I roll my eyes one more time, they'll flip back into my head! I'm so SICK of this phone ringing, and ringing, and ringing! And every call has been a maintenance call, which takes twice as long. I really need out of this job DEAR GOD!

$50,000, $50,000, $50,000- PLEASE!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Apathy and Ice Cream


I sit here munching away on almonds wishing I were in bed!
I am the epitome of apathy and irritation!
A gripe-fest would feel SO GOOD right now but I know that I'm trying to stay positive about my life.

GRRRRRRR! It's not easy for me to be positive. Most people wouldn't believe that because I am very upbeat but that's outwardly. Inwardly toward myself I am very negative. I must get over it!

I've been staring at chapter 26 today but don't feel like writing. I'm SO tired! All I can think about is sleeping. Let me try this out:

Sapphire walked into the kitchen at Ramses' enormous mansion and saw Madu standing over the sink drinking a glass of water. He might as well have been a piece of the granite counter-tops with the way he addressed her presence.

"Hi," she said in her most cheerful voice, hoping to encourage equal friendliness. But he merely nodded, continuing to gulp down the water.

"I was just coming down to get water myself. I'm a water-aholic. I got used to drinking a ton of it when I was in my band. It's extremely important to keep the voice well hydrated."

"Water-aholic?" Madu said, giving her a look that acknowledged what she thought in her own mind; what a stupid thing to have said.

"Listen," she said, taking a firm stance with crossed arms. "I know you don't like me, although it was your idea that I stay here, which I still don't understand, but here I am! So, unless you're trying to get me to leave by acting all annoyed and awkward, can you at least be a little more friendly?"

"No. The truth is, I just do not like you."

She shrugged. "Well, okay. I guess that answers my question. I'm going to go back to bed now for a few years or something. Maybe I'll just sleep forever! That sounds really good right now. Don't get me wrong, I don' t mean sleep forever, like being dead but just actually sleeping. I love sleeping! And while I'm asleep I'll dream about doughnuts and ice cream. Mmmm...."

And Sapphire slept happily every after.



By Malia Cortez
From Sapphire’s Egypt soundtrack- The Journey of pages Vol. 2

Chin up girl! You don’t have far to go, you know, you know now.
Chin up girl! And let a smile play across your lips now.
They cannot, they cannot take away the memories you’ve made.
They cannot, they cannot stop you from dreaming.
Oo, oo, ah. Oo, oo, ah. Oo, oo, ah.

Be strong now! Each step you take is closer to you destiny.
Lights! Camera! Action! Keep rolling now I’ll tell you everything.
There’s no point, there’s no point in hiding ‘neath and endless sea of veils.
They cannot, they cannot stop me from living.
No, no, no. No, no, no. No, no, no.

When will the circus end?
Hey man, can you even contemplate it?
When will the circus end?
Hey man, does it seem overrated?

Help me up, help me up again. Why does it always seem that I am struggling, juggling? Get away, get away from here. Can’t you see I’ve poured out every drop of my blood for this? Hey can’t you see our tears? Don’t let these cherished years just disappear.

When will the circus end?
Hey man, can you even contemplate it?
When will the circus end.
Hey man, does it seem overrated?
Does it seem overrated?

Chin up girl! You don’t have far to go, you know, you know now.
Chin up girl! You don’t have far to go, you know, you know now.
They cannot, they cannot stop you,
They cannot, they cannot stop you,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I saw Rafiq on the street last Friday! Not the real Rafiq, of course, but if Rafiq did jump out of the pages of my story this guy was close to what I created him to look like.

I was walking toward the garage I park in after work, when coming down the opposite side of the street I spotted him. I was really tempted to run over, in spite of the cars that would be screeching to a halt and honking their horns at my foolish sprint across the busy road, and say, "Will you pose as one of the characters in my story for a photo shoot? And by the way, you're hot..." HAHA! Sigh... But I just continued to my car. I really hope I'll run into him again.

I've had to pause on writing Chapter 26 while I complete the application for a $50,000 grant from A Room of Her Own Foundation. PLEASE GOD GET ME THIS MONEY! I've decided that I WILL get the money. Yes, that's right! And then I'll not have to work for a year and be able to concentrate solely on finishing this rewrite, go to Egypt, self-publish, market and look into making the music CDs and movies. YEAH! That would ROCK! I'm almost done with my 5th essay I'm required to write for this grant. I will be going up against other writers, so I'm not sure what my odds are...but NO! My odds are GREAT because I'm going to get the $50,000! YEAH!

Now, I will return to my essay.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." -Romans 5:3-4

I want to focus on what I'm trying to do but I find my mind wandering in a million different directions: it' s nice outside, I want to sleep, I want a cookie, I want to eat lunch, I don't want to but I can't help but stare at this stupid TV in front of me that throws a tumult of distracting images my way but I can't do anything about it because I'm at work and it just HAS to be on all day, every day, showing the erratic stock market that I could care nothing about! GRRRR!

Perseverance is a big part of who I am. It's easier for me to persevere in some areas of life than others. Usually when suffering is attached I want to retreat but during a recent difficult time, I've proven my ability to persevere even when my suffering has been incredibly intense. And as a result, I've developed a stronger character and hope is abundant.

In regard to Sapphire's Egypt, I've persevered with it for almost 8 years. It has been hard to keep faith at times but after any moment of wavering, my love for the story rekindles my passion and I'm reminded that all my toiling has been worth it even if it never makes it onto the book store shelves.

This story started out as a way for me to heal after a difficult time; it was very therapeutic. As I worked on Sapphire's character I was also working on my character. I've learned a lot about myself and even God though this series. So, I will keep on persevering!....Which means I should stop distracting myself and, you know....WRITE!

I don't know why I'm hesitating on continuing Chapter 26. I've been dying to write it! So GO!!!!

Words on paper mingled with blood
Passion surges like electricity through wires
Thoughts- mere sparks from flint
Ignite the forest where he had once tread;
A forest of flame in himself
Madu Kahotep

Monday, September 22, 2008

Website almost ready, book almost done!

My Sapphire's Egypt Website is coming along most fabulously! My Web Designer ROCKS! You know you do, Mrs. V!

I can't wait to have the finished product! This has been such a fun process for me and it's actually helped me put things into perspective about my story as I'm finishing up this...what is it now?...4th rewrite on the first book in the series? But that's how it goes!

I'm currently working on the 26th Chapter, "By Starlight." WEEE! I have been envisioning this chapter for some time now and am so excited to be working on it FINALLY! It's going to be great! Hee, hee... After this chapter I have 5 more to write and then I'll be inserting the ending that's pretty much finished aside from some minor editing. I can't wait!

I've hired a grant writer, who is trying to get me money so that I can self publish this first book since I'm not having any luck with Agents. The conventional route never seems to work with me anyway...HAHA!

I suppose I should be working on the story now, so I'm gonna go! Maybe my next blog will be a little more creative!