African American · astronomy · Creative Writing · Uncategorized · writing

Without Shadows We Are But Ghosts, #BlaPoWriMo, #Slavery

curtain shadows by pedro figueras
Photo Credit: Pedro Figueras


A shadow is a dark area produced by a body coming between rays of light. Without the sun, we would not have shadows.

Without the shadows we are but ghosts

In bodies

Carrying the implanted pain of

Abel and the soiled happiness

Of forced religion-

Without the shadows we are but ghosts

In bodies

Carrying the blood of the dark, lynched angels

Forced from a land

To a land of aliens

Where weapons fire rapidly into the backs

Of skin, of babes, of moms, of dads…

Where the cat o’ nine tails

swish into the

Toned plump back of a “pagan”

Whipping the passion of Christ into

This Foreigner

Without the shadows we are ghosts

In bodies of burnt clay and high hair, wooly

As sheeps, puffed as clouds

Such strange beauty!

Scarred for life, the umbilical cord

Still hasn’t been cut

As we float and wallow

In shame and perpetual confusion:

How are we here? Why are we here?


Tough love passed down the placenta

And into the mitochondria of

New Mothers

Producing strong, built babes

Feeding from massa’s god

Without the shadows we are but ghosts

In bodies

Loaned to us from our Ancestors

~©Copyright Erica Jean Smith

*Check out more on BlaPoWriMo this month via Nortina’s blog!


African American · book review · Five Star Review · relationships · Romance · Uncategorized

The Chocolate Reading Experience Presents: Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins

sexy dangerous


Click here to grab Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins

HarpersCollins Publishers(2006)

ISBN: 978-0061751578

The guns. The fights. The thrills. The sex.

This one has it all!

Side note: This book has straight up five stars on Amazon. I’m just sayin’.

Beverly Jenkins proves she not only has a gift for writing historical novels, but writing an amazingly hot and sexy contemporary romance is within her powers also.

Maxine “Max” Blake is hired to protect Dr. Adam Gary, a black scientist who may have just created a prototype that will put the oil industry out of business. When Max meets the sexy, intelligent scientist she is surprised he doesn’t like her, and he is downright rude. The two butt heads constantly but when the “ice” begins to break….

It kept my eyes glued to the page. Let me tell you. I had a sty on my eye, needed rest, needed to get back into reality, but when I read a Beverly Jenkins story I am caught in and it takes a while for me to come up for air.

That is what this book did for me.

Not only does Max remind you of  Storm from X-Men(but with green eyes), her resolve her strength and her humility is infectious. Dr. Adam Gary needed more people skills but you grow a soft spot for him when you learn of his past and his love for science. Plus, the fact that he knows how to turn up the heat on lovin’ helps a bit!

So, let me gift you with a passage from the book so you’ll know what I mean, then afterwards get the book post haste if you haven’t already.

Warning! The following brief passage will elicit a slow burn in your heart. Take those antacids!

“If I don’t see you anymore today, what do you want for breakfast in the morning?” she asked.

“Eggs, bacon, toast.”

“All yours.”

Adam wished she were. The look in her eyes and the tone of her voice made him take a deep mental breath…Blame it on his celibacy, blame it on her, blame it on whatever, but he was hard as a rock.”(from Sexy/Dangerous, Jenkins, 2006).

See what I mean?

So click on the link above in this post(there are affiliate links here folks).

Stay tuned for even more chocolaty reading! Let me know if I am providing enough of it LOL

Thank you for reading!  🙂

~The Write Web

Creative Writing · Uncategorized

Week 3 #HaikuChallenge2018, Senryus and Songs

Image Credit: Skitterphoto


We are officially in Week 3 of the HaikuChallenge2018!! 🙂 🙂

I really am hoping you participate because the Japanese form of poetry is not only stricter in form but also sparks the most creative, enlightening and brightening moment on the page. It is what Twitter is designed to do: Say much with little.

This week, find a song and use it to inspire a Senryu or haiku. Try using the 5-7-5 method as discussed in week 1 or find some examples online.

Below is my example of a senryu, inspired by Christon Gray’s “My Love is Real”

Let me show you love

wrapped in poems and roses

And then, a sweet sigh

I love receiving comments and shares! It brightens my day. So…go ahead…do it.

Love ya!


Creative Writing · Uncategorized

Week 2 #HaikuChallenge2018, What’s the Sin in Senryu?

panda pic from AD_photography

Welcome to Week 2 of the Haiku Challenge!

According to, “Senryu is a short poetic form which focuses on people: men, women, husbands, wives, children, relatives and other relations. It portrays the characteristics of human beings and psychology of the human mind.”

Your Challenge: Visit the site and read the wonderfully touching examples of senryu and create your own. Go ahead and have some fun!

Grab the scent of haiku if you love it>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

**Please link back to this site and make sure to share across your social media networks using #HaikuChallenge2018. Don’t forget to comment on each other’s senryu(optional).

Tip: When entering a haiku contest or writing it for publication, check the guidelines to see if they prefer the 5-7-5. Knowing this can save you trouble! 😉

I have shared a few examples of my own here!

She touches the car,

mangled metal and burned tires-

Memories of dad


a very slim skirt,

pain pays for my fashion



His touch is her twin

They complete each other’s words

The dance of long vows

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may sprinkle this page.

Netflix Nights · Uncategorized

Stranger Things 2 Reaction w/Some Spoilers #NetflixNights

Stranger Things 2 on Netflix

According to The Wrap , Stranger Things 2 amassed 15.8 million viewers during its weekend release, while at least 361,000 brave souls watched all nine episodes in one day!

If you have not seen Stranger Things on Netflix, please see it if you can because I will be giving my reaction to Stranger Things 2 including SPOILERS!

Last season ended with Eleven defeating the “demagorgon” monster. Scientists have been experimenting with opening dimensions and portals and something strange and unholy got out. However, that is not all they did.

Season 2 picks up with Will finally being home and at school with friends but he can’t shake the awful visions of the “Upside Down” world and then he discovers that like a virus, the demagorgon monster and its minions are connected to him. What happens to them, happens to him and so season 2 becomes a race against time to save Will and the town of Hawkins.

During this time, Eleven or “El” is presumed missing. So during the show, we are once again introduced to smart, engaging characters, great music from the 80s and a bit of romance. Just a bit.

So much more happened in season 2 and I can tell you now my favorite characters are Dusty and Eleven. Dusty has the charm and wit to carry the show on his shoulders, just like Eleven’s strength and stoic yet believable personality.

The very last episode stole my breath then gave it back ten fold by the end…before taking it away again.

I didn’t particularly like the episode called “The Lost Sister”. In that episode, Eleven reunites with her “sister” and they both discover interesting things about each other’s abilities, but her sister runs with a group of young thugs who do bad things to bad people, but live by a different set of rules all together.

Annnnd I didn’t care about some other sister with abilities, just Eleven. Sorry.

The true charm of the show lies in its “retro-ness”.

80s music, clothing, language and even the intro to the show reminds you of the movies Mad Max or Escape from New York.But the horror, the storyline, the amazing acting abilities and of course Winona Ryder gracing the screen gives us the perfect show we never want to end.

Have you seen Stranger Things 2? What did you think of it?

Creative Writing · cyborgs · Flash Walk Fiction · Romance · Self publishing · Smashwords · Tracking an Author · Uncategorized

School for Zombies: Dead Guts and Hard Abs

Fall of Autumn3a
The Fall of Autumn by Erica Jean Smith to be Released November 2017



Although brief, the stories will sweep you away. Here is an excerpt of what you will find…

Update: The Fall of Autumn(full book) is now available. Click here for details!


School for Zombies

Part 1


If anyone would have told me I would be stuck in a closet with the hottest zombie ever this side of the Atlantic, “I would have said WTF and get out of here”.

But here I am. In the janitor’s closet of all places.

Stuck with Sindrome. That’s his name for real. A  tall, well built zombie who looks down on me now like a tasty snack but because of our current and dire situation, he cannot afford to eat me.

“Explain again what you saw.” He growls, annoyed.

I roll my eyes to him.  “I said, I went back to the cafeteria to see if I left my small wallet on the floor by the cashier and I heard the noise and started running. It sounded horrific, like vomiting but, I don’t know.”

I had went into the cafeteria ten minutes earlier to retrieve my pink wallet. I knew better than to go alone.

In my dad’s infinite wisdom, he placed me in a school that was full of dead folks. On the outside everything looks normal and new, and the people look beautiful and normal. Borbon High School is a lie. A fake.

It is a  Night School. For zombies.

And guess what? I am not one.

How do I get away with it? My dad, a chemist involved with making popular perfumes for celebrities, made a special perfume for me that repels the dead. Meaning my brain which is capable of a 2.9 GPA at best, will not be morsels to these monsters.

Turns out though that my “Dad” he really wasn’t my dad though. Just a mad scientist who was using me as bait.

He knew my real dad.

Turns out Sindrome is my only ally because he has living human beings he cares for still.

A living, breathing Barbie doll of a girlfriend he wants to save and he knows I have the perfume that will prevent him from wanting to snack on her brains like a burrito.

So anyway, I walk up into the cafeteria as if I am not completely surrounded by zombies. And. No. I do not eat their food. Are you kidding me? I bring my own bag lunch. I purchase their canned drinks though because they are colder and packaged from a local factory.

I had reached down to pick up my purse when I hear the snap of something like a big chicken bone and followed by a loud shriek.

I look over the sneeze guards which previously shielded meatloaf(yeah right) and mac and cheese. Hidden beneath these dishes are brains. Just to let you know. The “real” food is placed on top to make the zombies feel normal as they once did.

But yeah, its brain squash underneath.

Beyond the large sink and stove, I saw movement in the backroom and then a large splash of red hits the window. Blood.

I bucked out of there quick, just as I heard the quick clicking of heels on my tail.

I turn a corner nearly colliding into a locker and that was when I spotted Sindrome smoking a joint -or appears to be smoking…in the janitor’s closet with the door half opened.

“Let me in!” I whisper loudly pushing him inside, not caring if he dropped his cigarillo. I bang the door closed. Confident I left the ghoul or whatever was chasing me.

“Patty,” Sindrome puts both hands on my shoulder. His whole body is ivory and cold to the touch, but it is those eyes that do me in every time.  They are- aquamarine?

Damn! I am not falling for no damn dead person. Nope! Not me! His eyes are a dreamy, kind of aqua framed by long lashes that are ebony- ebony like his hair, ebony like me and my hair.

This closet is too tiny for my fro and his body. One of us has to go.

“Keep quiet, Patty.” He says again. “I hear something.”

I scooch my body closer to Sindrome, aware that my ample booty is now pressing against surprisingly rock hard abs.

Yes. I’m officially losing it.

But I nearly lose my cookies when through the slats of the door I see some wolf-beast-dog thing with long, yellow teeth stalking the hall.

It was as big, or almost as high as five Great Danes and the smell of death followed it. Even Sindrome smelled better. Well, Sindorme always smells of water and leaves mostly. Cigar leaves. Perhaps he has a better wash regime than I give him credit for.

“What the hell is that?” He asks me.

“I don’t know?” I whisper back. “I am new here to this state, this city, this school. Virginia is looney tunes!”

The wolf monster thing pauses. I see its high black butt and three tails wagging.

My heart nearly plummets.

If Sindrome is truly evil, he could just push me out the door and be done with me. The wolf thing could then gobble me up and maybe it’ll spit out my fro- just to be nice.

I have all kinds of crazy scenarios playing in my head right now.

Sindrome has cold, dead hands on my shoulder and I am pressed up against him like we’re lovers.

We are so. not. lovers.

He hates my guts because of my “dad” and I hate his because he is dead. He has dead guts.

“I have to alert everyone else somehow.”

“Wait. You’re scared of it too? Aren’t you a zombie?”

“I have a very bad feeling about this.” He pulls out his cell phone but I remain on him, booty and all. I am scared and did I mention the closet is cramped? Full of dirty mops and thousands of chemicals I am unfamiliar with.

He texts someone just as we hear another scream and I hear that bone cracking noise again. I cringe and throw my body harder against Sindrome’s body.


“Huh?” I can’t understand what he is saying.

“I said-” he does something with my hair.

Oh. He pushes it down. I am about to swing on him and knock him out for that alone. Then he growls: “I said your hair is in my mouth.”

“Oh, God. Sorry.”

Sindrome swears under his breath and suddenly my worst nightmare comes true.

I am pushed through the door with my arms out and I stumble into a hallway that is suddenly overcrowded with zombies. Teachers and everybody is scurrying. Blood dripping from hands and faces.

Some are with a gaping hole in their chest to the point I can see the wall clearly though them and the stampede.

I am tossed and thrown about, trying to run for the exit when I am roughly pulled from the melee.

“This way”, he growls low in my ear and before I can protest, I am yanked again through the crowds.

“You have your motorcycle?” He asks.

“I do.”

“We need it.” I pull the keys from my pocket, unsure how this will all play out.

If I’m smart, I could let him get torn to shreds by the  Wolf Beast thing.

But who said I was smart?

We are moving too fast down the hall and that is when I hear the worst sound of all.

“The hell?” Sindrome pauses as the top floor, that holds the library and classrooms, suddenly wobbles as if it is made of rubber and I see some plaster fall down.

Three very big, large black Wolf Beasts stands at the top. Red eyes looking right at me and through me.

Copyright ©2017, Erica Jean Smith

*The rest of the short story will  be released November 2017 as part of The Fall of Autumn Collection for Smashwords and Barnes and Noble!


Uncategorized · writing

Fiction Friday Challenge: The Quiet Storm

blur photo
Blurred Wedding Cake Photo found on



Synopsis: The narrator takes a look at what a good, “peaceful” relationship looks like. When in actuality, it is a quiet storm…

Look at couple A.

Everyone wants a relationship like Couple A.

Couple A has a routine: both wake up to a shrill alarm. The wife throws open the curtains, she hums the same tune every morning as she washes her face and makes sure her husband’s suit is hung up- straight, starched.


She fixes a hot cup of coffee for him, the off brand coffee that tastes just as great and makes sure he has fresh pastries or eggs to accompany his cup of java.

As he drinks, he smiles over the rim of his cup at the words on his screen. He is reads the newspaper online while she works on cleaning the kitchen before eating her own meal. She is a school teacher and must be in before 8 a.m.

With the online radio tuned to some smooth Jazz and brief chatter about weather and politics, they settle into this comfy routine. Twenty years and he still kisses her before work. Twenty years and he kisses her after he comes in saying, “I’m home.”

They are always impeccably dressed when they go out every other Friday.

Meals? Manwich Mondays, Taco Tuesdays.  Church every Sunday.

At night, while the hubs is alsleep, she massages her right breast until warmth spreads and the pins and needles ebb away. Sometimes when her husband isn’t watching, she winces, face pinched, bridge of nose slick with sweat.

She will also need a wig soon.

She makes sure to receive her medical reports through email, she burns the letters from her physician…

One day, the Mister came home and said, “I love you. When we’re together we never fight.”

But his computer at work is clogged. Clogged with messages, images of his ex, who can bear children, told him to leave his wife a couple of years back.

He will never do that but…

Memories float by his eyes and sometimes- sometimes he phones her. He phones his past. Tells her he misses her. Asks if her family is okay.

Their conversations are brief, uncomfortable, but memories make the talk better. She knows him. He knows her. First loves. He twists his wedding band around with regret. With love.

Twenty years.

He comes home, greets his wife with a kiss, eats her meal, tells her good night and they will rise again to quiet. No arguments. Nothing. Everything is fine.

Couple B on the other hand…

Copyright© 2017 Erica Jean Smith

*Find more stories like this on Marquessa’s blog and join the weekly challenges!