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A Quick Check in

This is going to be brief update. I’ve been trying to write it for a couple weeks, but I’ve been pulled in lots of directions. Don’t worry; good stuff is happening!

– My flash fiction story, “Gran’s Return”, was published earlier this month in Bending Genres! “Gran’s Return” is the first flash fiction story that I wrote, so it’s dear to my heart. I wanted it to appear in a special journal, and Bending Genres is the perfect fit. You can find the story here: https://bendinggenres.com/2019/02/08/grans-return/

– I’m on Pinterest! You’ll find boards inspired by my flash fiction stories and boards on other topics that are important to me. Visit my Pinterest page –https://www.pinterest.com/roseyleebooks/

– I’ve been working on some new flash fiction stories, and I may have some exciting news to share in the upcoming months. So stay tuned!

– I’ve made an update to my Lagniappe page. You’ll see that I’ve added information about two amazing recording artists – Genensia and Victory Boyd. I’ve also included links to their music. If these artists aren’t already on your radar, you’ve been missing out.

– There’s been a lot going on, but I’ve still made time to stop and smell the roses. I arranged the flowers above in celebration of Valentine’s Day. I smile every time I see them.

See, I told you I’ve been busy. See you next time! I’ll try not to stay away so long.

Rosey Lee

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Riding the Hamilton High

January has been a demanding month. I’ve been on a quest to find a home for three more flash fiction stories, becoming more involved on Twitter (follow me @roseyleebooks), and taking two writing classes. My last post highlighted my commitment to engage in more fun, energizing activities this year. But the busyness of the past few weeks already started to drain me. Thankfully, I found a great way to refuel – Hamilton in Puerto Rico!

It was a quick trip. I was only in Puerto Rico for about 40 hours, but it was worth it. First of all, temperatures were in the 30s when I left Atlanta. Puerto Rico’s 80-degree climate was a welcomed reprieve, but the musical was still the absolute star of the weekend. As a writer, it was an opportunity of a lifetime to see the musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, in the title role. But there was a personal component to the trip as well. As a native New Orleanian, the arts and sports were key in helping New Orleanians heal after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (e.g., Treme TV series and the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl win in 2010). So I relished the opportunity to support Lin-Manuel Miranda’s efforts to raise funds for Puerto Rico’s arts organizations and garner attention for the hurricane-ravaged island.

The energy was palpable even before the show began. Bright gold signage stood out among the people already waiting outside. People seemed happy to be in line. Inside the theater, a woman on my row squealed joyfully when she took her seat. I’d never seen the musical before, and I’d tried to no avail over the past couple years to get friends and family members to explain its appeal. Even the writer among them struggled. They all said some version of “you have to see it for yourself to fully understand”. But they were right. It was indeed delightful. The story was intriguing, the music engaging, and performances superb. But I most enjoyed seeing Hamilton in Puerto Rico because it reminded me of the power of creativity and its potential to bring comfort, healing, breakthrough, and power. After all, what greater contribution could writers/artists offer?

I left the theater on a natural high, dreaming of the possibilities for the characters in my head and hopeful that readers will one day see something through my characters that helps them to make their lives and our world a better place. Martin Luther once said “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” In response, I will paraphrase the lyrics of “Non-Stop” from Hamilton – I’m ready to write like it’s going out of style. Write day and night like it’s going out of style. Okay, maybe not literally day and night, but you get the point.

Rosey Lee

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Recharged and Ready

We’re just over a week into 2019, and I’ve begun to see early benefits from the promise I made to myself to do things a little differently this year. I don’t so much make resolutions, but I set goals. I’ve been trying to tackle work-life balance for years with limited success. I tend to focus on rest and relaxation, but I’ve decided to engage in more activities this year that leave me feeling recharged. And I started on New Year’s Eve.

It’s counterintuitive for me to spend New Year’s Eve outside the walls of my house or a Watch Night service, but I did something totally out of the box. I went to see The Roots in concert. Few things energize me like live music. While I can’t play an instrument and can just barely carry a tune, somehow I still feel like music is in my blood. And I could almost feel the music going through my veins at the concert.

The first gift of the night was Victory Boyd, one of the artists that opened for The Roots. Her voice is ethereal. If you rolled Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, and Tracy Chapman into one and made them a singer-songwriter in her early 20s, you’ve got Victory. She performed a couple songs from It’s a New Dawn and The Broken Instrument, her albums released on Roc Nation. Victory also sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “I Say a Little Prayer” , so maybe it was okay that I missed church after all. And yes I know “I Say a Little Prayer” is not a church song, but she gets extra credit for it anyway. Her sister, MoMo, who shares Victory’s amazing vocal and acoustic guitar skills, joined her on stage. I had a chance to briefly talk with them and their brother, Israel, after the concert. Apparently the whole family is talented but humble. They’re definitely ones to watch.



Victory Boyd and her siblings, Israel and MoMo

The Roots has been called “Hip-hop’s first legitimate band”. Their masterful approach of integrating live music into hip-hop has earned them the reputation of being the best live show in the genre. And they did not disappoint on New Year’s Eve. They played all of their classics as well as a variety of covers such as “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast, “Knocks Me Off My Feet” by Stevie Wonder, “Flava in Ya Ear” by Craig Mack, “The Sweetest Taboo” by Sade, “Hotel California” by the Eagles, and “Luchini AKA This Is It” by Camp Lo. They even threw in the best rendition I’ve ever heard of the Christmas classic “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”. The night was better than I could’ve imagined.



This is the closest I came to getting a photo with
Black Thought, co-founder and lead MC/Singer of The Roots.

More than a week later, I’m still gliding from the energy I got from the concert. And the publication of my first flash fiction story, “Hiding Spots”, has buoyed my high. The story is published in the 2018-2019 issue of Literary AMWA. You can also find it and the accompanying audio version on my Stories page. 2019 is off to a glowing start. I’m recharged and ready to make it the best year ever!

Rosey Lee

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In a Flash

The Christmas season went by so quickly. It’s my favorite time of the year. I treasure it because of my faith, but I also can’t get enough of Christmas carols, nog, and people doing nice things for each other. I try to plan ahead, but I never seem to have adequate time to enjoy the season as much as I’d like. Before it’s over, I’m already planning for the next Christmas. I’m trying to live in the moment more. (Did someone say New Year’s resolution?) But I constantly feel like life is on fast forward.

We’re all pulled in so many different directions, and we’ve come to expect everything to happen fast. That’s a big part of what led me to start writing flash fiction about 7 months ago. I’d begun to plan this website and wanted to generate stories in a short time period that people could read quickly.

Most people are looking for a “quick read”, regularly engaging with short-form writing via social media and text messages. Texts are frequently limited to 160 characters. Instagram and Twitter posts are limited to 2,200 characters and 280 characters, respectively. Yet, people frequently skim through versions they deem too long. Definitions vary, but flash fiction is typically a complete fiction story of 1500 words or less, usually under 1000 words. It seems perfect for people who enjoy reading a good story but who may find it hard to commit to a story beyond one sitting.

Since I aspire to publish novels, I’m hopeful that the flash fiction stories on my website will whet your appetite for my longer works. If you haven’t already, check out my Stories page. I plan to add a new flash fiction story soon called “Hiding Spots”, so stay tuned.

Rosey Lee

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My Theme Song

When I was about five years old, I used to sing in the Tot’s Choir at my church. Even as a kid, I could barely carry a tune, so I was never chosen to lead a song. But I was frequently asked to recite poems or fulfill some other brief speaking role. When the former director of our choir passed away recently at the age of 95, I remembered my favorite song and speaking opportunity from childhood. The song is called “I Am A Promise.” Our director adapted our choir’s version from the song written by Gloria Gaither. Maybe you’ve heard the song before or perhaps you even sang it when you were a kid. If you don’t know the song, check out the YouTube video below.

The choir sang the opening part:

  • I am a promise; I am a possibility.
  • I am a promise with a capital P;
  • I am a great big bundle of potentiality.
  • And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice and I am tryin’ to make the right choices;
  • I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

And then I came in with the spoken piece:

Hey, you know what? It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you live, or who your daddy is, or what you look like! What do you look like? Are you tall, short? Are you fat, skinny? Got holes in your tennis shoes? Freckles on your face? It doesn’t matter one bit! You can be anything God wants you to be! And He has something very special in mind for you! It might be climbing mountains, crossing the sea, helping the sick get well, or singing! Whatever it is, you can do it!

This song was often in the back of my mind as I was growing up. I drew upon it when I felt insecure or doubted myself. It supported me through family crises, encouraged me through adolescent weight struggles, and pushed me when I failed physics tests in college. (I am still a little traumatized by memories of my professor, Dr. Vincent.)

The challenges of adulthood have sometimes made it difficult to remember the song’s message when I need it most, but the song still plays in my head. Today I’m committing to turning up the volume and pushing harder to internalize the words. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. As I struggle to find the time to write and cultivate opportunities to share my creativity with the world, I tell myself…

  • I am a promise; I am a possibility.
  • I am a promise with a capital P;
  • I am a great big bundle of potentiality.
  • I can do it!

My guess is I’m not the only one who needs this reminder, so feel free to borrow my theme song anytime you like.

Rosey Lee

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Who is Rosey Lee?

Since I was a kid, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of having an identical twin sister. I thought it would be fun to always have a friend who understood me and to swap identities from time to time. But I wasn’t born with a twin sister, and I also wasn’t born with the name Rosey Lee.

Rosey Lee is more than just my pseudonym for my writing. I’ve come to think of her as my alter ego and the next best thing to having a twin sister. The name is drawn from family members – women who inspire me, who’ve helped raise me, and whose memory challenges me to stretch outside my comfort zone to share the best of myself with others. With all of the busyness of my everyday life, the name also reminds me that it’s okay to work diligently to achieve my goals, but it’s paramount to stop and smell the roses along the way. I’m honored that you’re interested enough in me that you’re reading my blog. I hope that you’ll check in from time to time to follow me and my journey.