#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 19- “What was your “growing up” moment?”

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop, the first Monday of each month.

Happy New Year Everyone! Let’s jump right in.

This month’s question is: What was your “growing up” moment?

I don’t think I can narrow this down to any one specific moment. Being one of those kids who was always told I was wise beyond my years, I matured early and became a realist shortly after. Here are a few things I think helped me grow up rather quickly.

1) I was too young to really experience the years of my mother being a single parent because she soon got remarried to the man I call Daddy, but she always instilled a since of independence into me and my sister just in case. Still, I have a few post toddler memories of doing things for myself so my mom wouldn’t have to.

2) I went to stay with some cousins when I was about 8 or 9 and remember ironing my own clothes for the first time because I was the youngest and didn’t want anyone to have to wait for me to get dressed. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did it anyway.

3) The first year my mother, sister, and I lived in Virginia was a tough year in many ways I’d rather not discuss right now, plus my dad was still in Texas finishing up a degree (He went back to school for it). I was either 11 or 12 and I prepared my first Thanksgiving dinner… If I didn’t do it, we would not have had one that year. My sister helped, but it was still a life altering experience for me.

4) During my older sister’s rebellious teen years, my parents often left the house and car keys with me if they had to leave for the night or over the weekend. I couldn’t even drive yet, but it was up to me to see that my big sister didn’t destroy anything. (In retrospect, she really wasn’t that bad; I was just a boring straight edge that my parents trusted more at the time.)

Lastly, at the age of 16, when I found myself trying to mentor a 13-year-old-girl into not having sex just to be liked more by boys, I knew my childhood was over. It was time for me to be an example to other young black women and show them that they didn’t have to be a teen pregnancy statistic if they didn’t want to be.

Sorry, that got a little deep.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I’m curious to see if others had really deep or easy-going growing up moments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 18- “What does retirement look like for you?”

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: ““What does retirement look like for you?”

In many ways this is a simple question for me to answer, but then there two different ideas of retirement I hold dear, so…

First, I’d like to retire from a traditional day job and be able to write and or create full-time. I dream of being able to wake up some time after 7:00 am and walk my dog. I’d have a light breakfast and a quick shower before putting on sweatpants and a t-shirt as I sit to write or work on other creative projects. The entirety of my day would be a combination of dog-walking and food breaks as I create. I’d travel and create without the stress of knowing that I have a job to get back to.

Second, I imagine a time when a few smart investments would allow me to have a hobby farm. All the animals on the farm would have jobs to do, whether farm labor or therapy animal, none of them would need to work too hard. I’d bake and make preserves to sell at farmers’ markets and then give the proceeds to whatever cause is most dear to my heart at the moment.

So, not sure if that’s much of a retirement for some, but it’s what I’ve got in mind.

If you’re up for it, please check out my blog tour where hosts get to praise teachers and promote books that have made a difference in their lives.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I wonder what cool things others have in mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords
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#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 17- When was your first kiss?

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “When was your first kiss?”

I don’t think the little boy I kissed in daycare when I was two counts. Besides, I didn’t even like boys then. I probably just did it to make him mad… I barely remember it.

However, I do remember kissing a boy when I was either 11 or 12, the exact age is blurry. He was my first real boyfriend. We even went on dates. Our parents dropped us off at the mall in a group of friends and picked us up an hour later (I’m sure they lurked around nearby.). As much as I got in trouble for being too smart for my own good and beating up bullies, it turns out he really was trouble. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last long. As for the details of the kiss, my lips are sealed.

If you want to know the details, all I can say is, “Gross; we were just kids.”

If you’re up for it, please check out my blog tour where hosts get to praise teachers and promote books that have made a difference in their life.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I’m curious to see how many others really opened up on this, unlike me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 16- What logical decision have you made that’s left you with #regret?

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “What’s a decision you’ve made in the past that you know, logically, was the right decision to make, but which you still feel guilty or regretful about?”

This is a pretty deep question. I don’t want to shy away from it or not give it my full consideration. I’m just not sure if I have anything that really stands up to this.

In my mind, this question is a matter of making a correct choice that doesn’t maybe feel right or hurts someone along the way. Example; a manager makes the choice to fire someone who comes to work a little late every day and is the lowest ranked sales rep, but who is also the nicest person in the department and a really hard worker. The manager has to let someone go, but they still feel bad about it. I just don’t know that I’ve had to make any decisions like that.

I guess the closest I’m come to something like this would be letting go of certain attachments and friendships. I’ve had to do that at different times in my life and I always feel bad afterwards. In retrospect, it’s obvious that I made the right choice because my life is less dramatic and more peaceful overall without those people in it. At the time, though, that I ended those relationships, it was me being the bad guy, telling the other person they needed to change or walk away.

It takes a lot to tell someone that they are toxic and that their choices and or behavior is harmful. No one likes to feel that they are less than anyone else, but when someone says, “You gotta change,” how else could you possibly feel. So, I did the right and logical thing, but I still feel bad.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I’m curious to see if I interpreted the question correctly. I also wonder what kinds of responses others will share.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 15- What kind of music best speaks to you? #MusicMonday

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “What kind of music best speaks to you?”

First, HAPPY LABOR DAY, USA!

And now, to the music…

I find it hard to comprehend the notion that some people just don’t like music, but I know it’s a fact. I’ve interviewed a few of those people. I can understand people having musical preferences and not liking certain musical genres, but to simply not like any music baffles my mind.

I can’t imagine living a healthy and satisfying life without music. I even ask authors I interview about their musical inspiration, but I think many of them are turned off by how I phrase the question, “When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?” I personally think it’s a good question; that’s probably why I never have and never will change it.

I, for one, use music in all aspects of my life. Music is for praise and worship, celebrating, grieving, relaxing, creating, and everything else. I sometimes think of songs that would be great for the soundtracks of my books (if my books had soundtracks). I created storyboards with song inspiration on Pinterest for both Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel and Eternal Curse: Battleground. I went all out for my one contemporary story, It’s like the Full Moon, and created a playlist assigning a song to every chapter (see Side A here and Side B here).

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GOAT 1 by Eric Thomas hanging over a custom shelf for storing vinyl records also made by Eric Thomas (my husband). Can you guess who goat 1 is?

But, if you want to know what music really speaks to me, it would all depend on when you’re asking. It changes constantly. Right now, Big Band music is playing in my head. Last night, my husband and I played a few Louis Armstrong records (I feel vinyl is way underrated. Good vinyl has an amazing sound quality people overlook because it’s not digital). Usually, when blogging, I listen to jazz or oldies. When I’m writing, I listen to classical, opera, and very rarely techno, but not that repetitive over-sampled house music you hear in European night clubs. There is a time and place for that, just not when I’m writing.

For daily life, I’m still a sucker for popular music, though as I get older, I find it hard to like a lot of it. Still, I like it more than many of my peers. I’ve always appreciated Hip Hop and R&B, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with the old school chart toppers as of late. Even though I’m not opposed to country music, I find that I just don’t listen to it much. I do however have a few Bluegrass records that I’ll play over and over. Again, this is not the repetitive foot stomp’n, burning fiddle music you mostly thing of (again, a time and place for that), but good Bluegrass is like an orchestra with a southern style and twang, and can be quite inspirational.

I think I’ll stop here. I could go on and on, but there are others to visit in this hop and I want to be sure to see what they all have to say.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I can’t wait to see what other music and or songs speak to others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords