My Life in Charleston Lately

A new blog, but delightful nevertheless. Check out FASHION and FISHING.

I’m sure my friends must think that I have moved away. Or possibly that I am out traveling the south of France, eating croissants with men named Jean-Pierre or Francois. But the fact is, I am right here in Charleston. The beautiful city of ours with its beaches, fine dining, oyster roasts, and tourist attractions there are countless things one could get into. But instead I have been doing this:

Work, work, work. My 9 to 5. My hell on Earth. Just kidding it’t not so bad. When you’re knee deep in tracheal secretions or helping someone learn how to swallow their saliva, the time goes by fast.  But I do burn out really easily. And seriously as of lately my only work ambition has been to see if I can re-arrange the office so that no one else in the room can see my computer monitor.

20140314-104328.jpg  Our…

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Ban Bitchy?

Ban bossy? No, ban bitchy!

Black Millennials

From the Ban Bossy campaign From the Ban Bossy campaign

The recent Ban Bossy campaign has been met with lukewarm response. Despite a slew of celebrity and political endorsements, public opinion reveals uncertainty about its implementation.

The campaign promotes female empowerment in young girls, and seeks to overthrow the word “bossy,” a term often used to undermine the prowess of strong female leaders. The tagline, as said by superstar Beyoncé, is: “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

Ban Bossy is headed by Lean In, a nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook, and the Girl Scouts; two powerful organizations with ample resources to comprehensively address female empowerment and leadership skills.

Although I am supportive of the motivations behind the campaign, I have my doubts. For one, I personally never associated the word bossy with overwhelming negativity. I always connected it with “boss.” I always used the word in the most definitive…

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A love affair with dandelions

For those VBA Winners who love make-up!

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My Lemonade Stand

A collection of stories by women…


The “I finished my novel” honeymoon recedes into memory like the scent of suntan lotion on last year’s bikini. The road to publication stretches as far as the eye can see. And damn. That road ain’t paved with yellow bricks.

The lovely, optimistic and oft-asked, “When’s your book coming out?!” is answered with a cheery “Someday, I hope!” while inside my heart stutters. The true answer is, “Well, you see, writing a book and publishing a book? It’s the difference between graduating from university and getting a job. The first is never a guarantee of the second. You got the goods, and hopefully the goods are good. But before anyone buys your goods, you must do all the hard work of selling them.”

First, generous strangers and writing buddies dissect your pounds of literary flesh.. You revise, then pay a story editor cash money to tear apart your work again. Revise…

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My Beautiful Child-Self

A Christian turned atheist; and a poet as well.

Life Sans God

I bring my beautiful child-self outside to play. We…

go to the beach

stick our feet in the wet sandKids at the beach

wiggle our toes in the sand and water

build a huge castle with a moat

hop and run in the shallow water

dive underneath the crashing waves

hop with the waves as they repeatedly hit us in the chest

body surf

                         toss balls and Frisbees

join beach games

                                        flop on our towels to bask in the sun

drink yummy fruity drinks

eat pizza

                                                 dance like crazy to the loud music

Beach Sunsetsing shamelessly till our…

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Finding My Way Back

Lovely photograph with lovelier words…

finally walking

After weeks of too cold too snowy too icy, a sunny, blue-sky 45-degree moment arrived yesterday. I wasted no time and went to the woods.

So did the 4,335 thoughts I’ve been carrying around with me since December.

The lot of us followed a well-trod path through the forest on a slow, not-so-quiet, walk around the pond.

“Will you just shut up,” I kept admonishing them, out loud, like a crazy woman muttering under her breath. (No wonder I’ve been feeling like The Shining’s Jack Torrance lately.)

By the end of the walk I almost recognized my self. I almost felt again like that beautiful zen creature who effortlessly finds quiet in the woods. Almost, but not quite.

Photo ©2014, Jen Payne

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Why I’m Doing the WoC Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues… at Columbia University – like yesterday, I think?

Black Millennials

Vagina Monologues On Thursday and Friday, I will be in the Vagina Monologues at Columbia University.

The noted collection by Eve Ensler brings attention to the plight of women in the world. As a part of the global V-Day Campaigns, the controversial play is an unapologetic pronouncement in femininity and sexuality. It critiques the hardships many self-identified women face, while acknowledging the social rewards and come with carrying emotive female genitalia.

Already a contentious staple in cultural dialogue, the Columbia VagMo run will feature an all women of color cast. The added layer of race, self identity, and ethnic background are sure to arouse suspicion and hesitancy from those people uncomfortable with unabashed diversity.

I will be in the play. I’m The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy. My monologue is challenging; I’m a tax attorney turned lesbian dominatrix. I go into detail about my rise in profession, and how much I love the…

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A Most Serendipitous Time

One of mine.

DooRFrame Books

In a whirlwind trip, I meet some extraordinary women both in Mississippi and in Atlanta. Out to dinner with 7 lovely southern ladies – honestly there’s no other way to describe these women! – one of them – oh, her name fills the air – Camille – leans in to ask me if there’s anything else interesting about my life – other than medical speech pathology – and because we are in a social rather than business setting – I tell them I’m a novelist. And the curiosity is sparked – several women want to know what I write. Odd to me that the word novelist does not conjure thoughts of fiction in people’s minds – not just these southern lady minds, but minds everywhere. I hear the same question, “Do you make your books up?” In my head, I hear, “Yes, they’re fiction.” Of course, I’m more polite and…

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

What has love got to do with anything?

Resting in His Grace

IMG_20140214_065824Who is this saint that we celebrate on February 14 with hearts and chocolate and candlelit dinners and greeting cards galore?

Some scholarly individuals say that he was a priest executed on February 14 because he would not deny his faith in Christ.

Others say that Valentine was a romantic Christian during Emperor Claudius II reign.  When the emperor outlawed all marriages and engagements, Valentine secretly performed the nuptial ceremonies.  For this reason he was beheaded on February 14.

And still others claim that Valentine was killed because he helped Christians escape from prison.

There is a legend that the reason we give Valentine cards is because the daughter of Valentine’s jailer fell in love with the saint during his confinement.  Valentine wrote a letter to his love and signed it…yes, you can see it coming….”From Your Valentine”.

My ethnic heritage claims Saint Valentine as the patron saint of beekeepers. …

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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