Black History Celebration!

In our society, being black usually means that we have been stereotyped: Loud, obnoxious, rude, disrespectful, poor, illiterate, and the list could go on and on. But the stereotypical image or perception by others is not true of all of us and it is because of who we are that we are able to make a difference in how people see the whole. I am proud of my familial connection to Carter G. Woodson and being a joint-heir with Jesus Christ!

Being Black3

Thank you for respecting me for who I am, not how others may see me!

Mightier Than The Sword–Live on Amazon!

I am so grateful that I’ve finally completed this project and can share it with you! If you read free chapters on JukePop, you can now read the entire book–after the 15th revision. A mystery/suspense worth reading and you may be surprised! amazon cvr 3   You can get it now http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Mightier Than The Sword! (Excerpt 2)

The moment she thought about their ability to solve crimes, she got a check in her spirit that was so strong that she opened her eyes and looked around her. It was almost as if someone had spoken aloud, but she knew she was alone in the bungalow.

“That’s odd. I wonder where that thought came from,” she wondered aloud.

She pulled out her bible and put on her glasses to read for a while. While she was reading, again she got a check in her spirit. The thought came to her, “this rest will not be for long.”

“What the heck does mean?” She pulled her glasses off and sat nibbling on the end of the stem of eyeglasses, lost in thought.

Laying her head back against the chair in which she was sitting, she closed her eyes and before she knew it, she was asleep and dreaming. Her dreams encompassed the energy draining case they had just closed in which a white male had systematically chosen his victims—females between the ages of 21 and 25, light-complexioned, with short, close-cropped hair styles. He had abducted and raped them and then chained them in abandoned buildings, with their mouths duct-taped, left to die. Fourteen women had been found dead in three different states before they finally caught him—in the act of abducting female number fifteen. A witness to the abduction had the presence of mind to videotape the attempt while screaming for someone to call 911. The woman escaped and the man had fled, but not before video of his car was made.

When police arrived with the FBI, the woman and the witnesses were able to give a good description and helicopter units were on the scene within minutes. They had found him cowering in what appeared to be the next abandoned building he had planned to use for his victim. In his car, they found a knife, duct-tape, and a chain-ripper with a roll of chain links.

When questioned about the deaths of the women, he was vile and spewed profanity venomously at anyone with short hair. He wore his hair long and it was matted and tangled, making him look like a mad-man in a horror movie.

The psychologist who had profiled the killer had already intimated that the killer was someone who hated short-haired females because they reminded them of men who might have harmed them when they were younger. Eventually, they were able to ascertain that the killer had witnessed his father, raping young, light complexioned black girls just for the fun of it and had attempted to get him involved. During an attempt to rape another victim, his father was killed when the victim fought back and stabbed him to death. Watching from a hole in a wall where his father dragged his victims, he could not get help for him before he died. Apparently, in his mind, he was avenging his father’s death by raping the women and leaving them to die.

Tiffany groaned in her sleep and then turned over into another position. She saw drops of blood circling her and someone with a hood over their face holding a sword. Just as they got close enough to raise the sword to strike, she woke up, drenched in sweat.

Shaking like a leaf, she got out of the chair to get a cold drink. She stood at the sink, holding onto it for fear she’d fall, if she let go of it. Getting a glass out of the cabinet, she opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. Her hand was still shaking as she poured the water into the glass. Lifting the glass with both hands, she was able to steady the glass in order to drink the water, but she was so shaken by the dream that before she could finish the water, the glass slipped from her hand and broke.

Stepping back from the broken glass, she leaned against the wall and forced herself to stop shaking before she attempted to get up the broken glass.

“Breathe,” she told herself out loud, “Breathe!”

Spotting the broom and dustpan in the corner, she retrieved them and swept up the broken glass, but not before a splinter of glass pricked her finger and drops of blood formed a circle on the floor.

She stood frozen—thinking about the dream—and knew that something horrible was about to happen, but she didn’t know what.

Using self-talk to propel herself into motion, she made her way to the bathroom, cleansed the area around the cut and applied antiseptic before wrapping her finger in a bandage.

Going back to her chair, she picked up her glasses, spontaneously chewing on the end, as she became lost in thought.

“Now is not the time for panic,” she told herself. “Now is the time to reflect upon the possibilities and prepare for the unknown.”rev nano2

My NaNo Novel for 2014!

I had actually decided not to write for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, but after a “friend” bugged me to do it, I did. I already had a story in mind, but had not determined what I wanted to do with it. So, a couple of weeks before the first of November, I developed my characters, my story map, and my fictional city–complete with a grid of the streets and location of all major buildings. I completed my research and typed up my notes, and on November 1, 2014, at 4:30 a.m. I started writing. By November 9, 2014 at approximately, 2:00 p.m. I had finished the first 50K! Now, near the near, I am revising (2nd round) and my word count is over 72K. Since i plan to publish the “finished” work (after 3 more rounds of revising and editing), it will be available on Amazon as an eBook, hopefully before the end of January.

At any rate, here’s what the cover looks like–right now.

rev nano2 There’s an excerpt on the NaNoWriMo site and I’ll probably post it again, soon! Some ideas are worth pursuing! This one certainly was!

Excerpt–Mightier Than The Sword–Novel-in-progress

Samson wanted to leave with Melandro, but Tiffany and Tyson quickly closed down the club and everyone had to stay put, including Samson. Tyson called for police reinforcements and Tiffany called in the Sheriff’s office. This was way too much for them to deal with. Traffic was blocked from entering the parking lot of Club Jazzy and for a three-block perimeter. Behind the club was the river so they weren’t concerned about anyone leaving in that direction.

“Tyson, make sure all of guests are comfortable and have the police collect every glass at every table and bag them. Battle, call the hospital and make sure everyone is x-rayed for needle pricks and their stomachs pumped. Swatere, check the bathrooms and collect all the garbage cans. Whoever is responsible for this, is not getting away again!” Tiffany thundered orders.

Pretty soon the place was packed with uniformed officers, interviewing guests and taking notes. All of the stemware bagged and all the eating utensils and food put aside.

Samson and the other owners were dumbfounded. They couldn’t believe this was happening on their opening night. Immediately, technicians were brought in to rule out food poisoning for which the chef was eternally grateful for them saying, the food was not tainted in any way.

When the stemware was bagged and tagged, another agent from the FBI took them directly to the lab where Katie was standing by.

When Tiffany asked Samson what Melandro had been drinking, she immediately became suspicious.

“I only saw her drink club soda. Then after we announced our engagement, she had a sip of the champagne. Ask the bar-tender if she had anything else.”

When Tiffany asked the bar-tender if Melandro had anything to drink, he just shook his head. “She came back here once, to fix what she was going to call a Jazzy special. I don’t know what she put in it and she washed the shaker as soon as she made it.”

“That figures,” Tiffany muttered. “What about the glass she used for the champagne toast, has that been cleaned as well?”

“No, in fact she never finished the drink so it’s on the counter—right where she was sitting before she collapsed.”

“Battle, get that technician over here to check the contents of this glass.”

The technician had brought specially formulated strips to test for poisons and he immediately put it in the glass. It turned blue—indication of a toxic substance.

“Okay, get that to the lab and I want results tonight, not tomorrow!” she barked.

Samson sat at the bar with his head in his hand, not knowing what was going on. “Samson, do you have a pen I could use? I don’t have one in this tiny little purse,” Tiffany explained.

“Yeah, sure. Let me get you one of the marketing ones from the office.”

“Franklin,” she called to a uniformed officer, “Please escort Samson to his office and bring him back here pronto.

Walking back to his office with his police escort, Samson’s heart sank. This was supposed to be a night to remember, but not because of three people being rushed to a hospital, but because he had decided to commit to one woman. When he unlocked the door, he sighed and went quickly to his desk and opened the drawer. Stunned, he picked up the syringe and the vial, wondering how they got there. Since Franklin was standing right behind him and saw the syringe and vial, Samson plopped into the chair, not saying a word.

“Agent Harangue,” he radioed. “You need to see this. I’m in the office near the back of the building. Don’t make a move,” he ordered, pulling his service revolver out and keeping it aimed at Samson.

“I’ll be right there,” she said, motioning for Tyson to follow her.

“I don’t know what this is or how it got here,” Samson stammered.

“Don’t say anything else until Agent Harangue gets back here,” Franklin ordered, stepping back from Samson, watching every move.

Tiffany and Tyson burst through the door.

“What is it?” Tiffany asked.

Franklin motioned with his gun at Samson. “Get up slowly and move away from the desk.” Turning to Tiffany, he said,

“There’s a syringe and a vial in the drawer. Samson here says he doesn’t know how they got there.”

Fortunately, Tiffany had brought a pair of latex gloves to the back with her and an evidence bag. She put on the gloves and gingerly picked up the syringe and vial, putting them into the evidence bag.

“Tyson, take these to one of the technicians and have it analyzed right away. If this is what I think it is, we’ve finally solved these murders and hopefully, those who are at the hospital will survive.”

“Franklin, read Samson his rights and take him in for questioning. He’s to be held until we get back from the hospital and no one, I mean no one is get back here. As soon as everyone has been interviewed and we have contact information, turn them loose and tape the place off.

Samson was read his rights, handcuffed and led out of the club, totally mortified by what had just happened.

Is This You?

“Declare me innocent, for you see those who do right.You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.” (Psalm 17:2-5 NLT)

Does any of our communication sound like David’s prayer?

When we have reflected upon what we do and have done, do we dare ask God to declare us innocent–knowing He sees everything we do, knows our hearts and certainly knows our hearts? Can we realistically say to Him, “You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong?”

Considering we are saved by grace–not because of anything we done to deserve God’s favor, but because of who He is–our sins are forgiven and we have a right to declare whatever it is we want to Him.

When we understand we are forgiven for those things we did when we did not have a relationship with Him, it is so much easier to understand David’s declaration. It is also easy to understand the importance of “staying on the path” which God has established, not following evil people or trends, and not wavering from following His directions.

We know what and who we were–notice the past tense–before we knew and understood Him.

I refer to some aspects of my life as my “BC” time–before I had understanding of Christ and what He has done for me. I am now living in my “AC” time–after obtaining understanding of who He is and grateful for what He has done and is doing for me. 

If we never acknowledge that we have done anything that needs to be forgiven, how can a forgiving God, forgive us? If we never obtain a relationship with Him, how can we expect to communicate with Him–knowing He knows all about us and loves us anyway? If we never change our ways, how can we expect to be a beacon of light in the darkness that pervades the earth so others will come to know Him? Can we be like David and make such declarations?

David was not perfect by a long shot and neither are we, but right now–I declare I am the righteousness of God; I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; I am forsaking all those people who might lead me astray; I am staying on the path that God has set me upon and I will not be moved! I am Blessed and highly favored and never alone because He is always with me!

Is this you?

I Am All That God Says I Am available on http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Think You Can Write?

Purposeful Writing

Writers today lack ability to compose words that connect the reader with a mindset to engage, entertain, and influence those that ponder and contemplate the connected contextual content of so many slashes on paper that attempt to mimic classic construction of such, viably termed, literature. Small wonder that society as a whole has lost its way to elucidate minds and encourage discovery in changing and rearranging the alphabet in ways that tackle the boredom of youth, yet re-energize the minds thought past redemption to understanding age-fraught diseases that lead to forgetfulness and sometimes complete eradication of what was.

Stifled, stunted by contemporary verbiage that is more folly than wisdom at its best when the best of language appears to be that which we now disown rather than use as an indicator of our intellectual ability and foresight and not just an extant reflection of who we once were.

Hampered, hamstrung by rituals and rules constantly changing, and rearranging thought patterns from ancient to present, but not relaying any message with clarity, as yet understood by the masters-of-words who could with the blink of an eye or stroke of pen transport readers from there to then within the space of time, not withheld from those who had imagination.

A preponderance of evidence exists, illustrating ineptitude by many, including those who proclaim they are masters of the written word in teaching it and yet fail to elucidate their ability at every turn, penning composition better suited for elementary students with simple minds that lack sophistication to compose letters of the alphabet that would entice a scholarly mind to read.

Mundane describes with understatement the slew of words on paper that attempt to divulge the essence of thoughts pre-arranged in random order that never meets with structure and organization designed to formulate a clear, concise message with fortitude.

Many redesign and regurgitate the prose of ancient ones in an attempt to supersede abilities in their proliferation of archaic pronouncements in terms that float just out of reach of those who dare to contemplate use of a dictionary, or resource of any magnitude, dispelling the notion that words and their contextual use are unimportant.

The means by which change occurs, lies within the ability of all concerned to see the need to reevaluate the processes used in learning and teaching and mostly in views that are ensconced in boxes with lids and fresh ideas are staled with the hindrance, and no one gets beyond the pale to think beyond the boundaries established by those who did not access galactic thinking.