Harvesting: A Raisin in the Sun

Inspiration for this writing is a reflection. October, years ago, my father died (age 52) from black lung cancer, after working half of his life in a steel mill. Coincidentally, I just finished re-reading the novel, A Raisin in the Sun, produced as a play, which I saw several times. One of my fondest memories was taking my nephew (Woodrow, named in honor of my father) and his classmate to Ashland, Oregon, to see the theater production of A Raisin in the Sun.

Playwright and writer, Lorraine Vivian Hansberry wrote A Raisin in the Sun.

Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (May 19, 1930 – January 12, 1965) was a playwright and writer who died at the age of 34 of pancreatic cancer. She was the first African-American female author to have a play debuted on Broadway in 1959. Her work, A Raisin in the Sun, highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago, as they attempt to improve their financial circumstances with an insurance payout following the death of the father. The title of the play was taken from the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes: “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” At the age of 29, Lorraine won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award—named the best play in 1959, making her the first African-American dramatist, the fifth woman, and the youngest playwright to do so.

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“Life, even in the hardest times, is full of moments to savor. They will not
come this way again—NOT IN THIS WAY.” Paula Rinehart

Fear has mountedThe kitchen calendar made me shake my head. Fear has mounted since the beginning of the year. Much of the last six months, my writing is bundled into short sessions of creativity. I laugh, for this is the first time in a long while; I’m not bound by a regular job. Happiness should be defined by my own schedule. Yet, COVID has changed everything and made me think I need a stronger lifeline. Continue reading

Blue Skies

Insanity Is A Mere Reflection Of What Has Happened Today

Author Cheryl Charlesworth as a young girl with her father

Author C.L. Charlesworth shares a childhood memory of herself as a young girl with her father.

When I close my eyes, blue skies make me happy, because they are of my childhood. Fears were really absent, except from the occasional bully (who I eventually befriended).  My parents, the church, extended family, and peaceful, multi-cultural neighbors gave me a good foundation.

As an adult, I admit, I’ve lost my footing.

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Silent Cries

I asked a talented poet—Caeli McKamey to compose a poem. The words carry a profound weight. 

Silent Cries June blog-black woman crying

Silent Cries Speak Soliloquy
~~by Caeli McKamey

Vision-less negligence shackles my birth
Systemic diversity layered deceit distorted inclusivity
Blind prison sentences sleeping awareness no want for future
I sat in the cell you created to punish our souls
Learning the ways of the mute irate mistakes wrongly incriminated
Your response will be written in the black books hidden in our coffins Continue reading

Comfortable Shoes

May 21 - Comfortable shoes Recognizing (and accepting) one’s power isn’t hard if you have wisdom. Not everyone processes the right wisdom to avoid crossing the street against oncoming traffic—because they don’t trust instincts.

“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away. The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My grandmother, who lived to be over 100 years old, imprinted her wisdom—think for yourself and be an honest and compassionate person. Not all people would Grandma invite or even want in her home, let alone sit on her porch. Grandma was particular, not liking phony people, or those who drew a breath off someone’s misfortune. Grandma’s father, a Seminole Indian, and mother, a runaway slave, had a wagon full of children, who lived in Florida’s wooded swamps. As the eldest grandchild, I grew up hearing Grandma weave a quilt of stories from her Native American and Slavery Heritage. Continue reading

Cement . . . Waters

Lock down is my prison. Showing woman with medical mask behind bars

I have a collection of magazines, featuring articles and photographs of places where I’d like to rent a house, explore, and spend time writing.  This is one of the few opportunities in my life when I have the money and time and not able to travel.

The scared elephant-in-the-room is blocking the door from COVID-19. FEAR is a dangerous house-guest. My visitor has taken up residency and freely confronts my-optimistic-self.

There’s a fine line, I think, between solitude, loneliness, and isolation. In any respect, FEAR, if not driven out—seeps into the mind—trampling logic, life, and reality. Continue reading


For many, bringing a sense of clarity is a daily struggle even before COVID-19. Now digesting and swallowing the bitter pill laced with self-quarantine, self-isolation, shelter in place: a table reservation is with one’s self—these new buzz words have replaced the more acceptable (and sadly accepted) terms of living:  SOLITUDE, ISOLATION, AND LONELINESS. Social isolation, solitary, table for one, RSVP blog, March 2020

Writers, all too well, are used to living in a quagmire of cubical existence. We call it creativity. How fortunate writers are:  we know the rules. Continue reading

Taming of the Shrew-d Pen

Last week while looking though my window at the endless rain, my brain raced with ideas for my next 3 stories. I think the stillness of the room allowed thoughts to drift away from the saturation of recent NEWS HEADLINES. To be fair, I can’t blame the toxicity of what is trending into viewership obsession. I did need a break from marketing my present book, The Last Merry Go Round. It’s not that I don’t love the story—I do, and still feel I did the right thing by writing a not-your-normal-candy-romance-about marriage. The reviews so far indicate I was on to something. Continue reading

New School – New Rules

New School, New Rules. A blog about marketing a published book A major task in my city is freeway driving. Trying to get from Point A to Point B is an impossible issue. Traffic is a snail’s ride on a parking lot, causing significant irritations, especially when time isn’t on your side. Recently, when I was in a holding pattern, within a ¼ of a mile from my exit—a thought came to me watching all those solo drivers. ‘How many were alone, had family, or had friends.Continue reading