I gotta tell ya, I am shaky. I have no idea what I am coming down with, but my eyes burn, my head aches, I am dizzy, and I don’t want to leave this here bed. And it not a hang over, mores the pity. Sniffle. So I am going to torture people until I fall asleep again… and then I’ll wake up and do more. No lolly pops today, I can’t take the sugar. Instead I will reflect on what this day means, on the achievements we have made as a people, not just black people, and how I personally can help improve things. Someone once asked me why I don’t focus on racial conflict in my books. I have, and it was between a black woman and a latino man… but still it was more about the story. My response is that I can find racial tension everywhere and anywhere. Just turn on the news. But people don’t need to be beaten over the head with it. I am in it to tell a realistic story with the tools that I have developed, observed, and personally experienced. And in most people’s lives, the race of the person next to them in a non issue. I write about hopes and fears, and dreams and the amazing words ‘what if’. Sometimes the what if has racial issues and sometimes it doesn’t. But I am about telling a story that my readers will love, who’s characters will make you suspend disbelief, and places where there…eventually, will be a happy ending. But instead of focusing in on negativity, we see it daily, I am about enforcing the positive. Yes my husband is white… I forget usually until someone points it out. Yes, I love humor… I swear I don’t set out to write like that, it just happens, yes I am very proud to be black… no matter that my best friend calls me taupe, but what transcends that is that I am a human being doing my best to make this world a little better for the next person. Like Dr. King, I have a dream. My dreams will probably never all come true in my lifetime, but when I look around at my varied family and friends, when I look at the people, blood or not that I consider my family, when I can see so many people with varied opinions, political or not, with different dispositions and attitudes… all gathered just being happy to e alive and connected in some way, shape, form or fashion, want to cry tears of joy and wonder why the whole world won’t follow our example. This is my world, and I am damn proud of everyone who consents to be a part of it. So on this day, I am grateful for all of you, for you are my joy, my treasures, and my hope for the future.