Makasha Dorsey is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and public relations professional. Her personal essay “Diary of an Aspie Mom” is included in The Motherhood Diaries (Strebor Books/Simon & Schuster). She blogs about being a writer, mother, wife, woman and Christian over at A Wife in Progress and has written for Absolute Write, The Midwest Book Review, SNAPS: 1000 Words, The Daily Times Leader, and ModVive Magazine. Recently, she was named publicist and contributor to Bridal Tribe Magazine. You can learn more about Makasha by following her at these online outlets: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Amazon author page.
As a child, Tangela Houston experienced “sanctified” cruelty at the hands of her doctrine driven mother. Had it not been for her father’s kind, faithful heart and a desire to find her true self, she would have gladly exchanged Christianity for a pair of designer boots. But when she accepts an invitation from Felecia Williams, her mentor and direct supervisor, to visit Greater Tabernacle Christian Center, Tangela rededicates her life to God at the feet of Pastor Keith Mitchell, a man who would do anything to keep secrets from his past hidden. She even bumps into college crush turned professional football player Eric Parker and rekindles the old flame.
Her confidence in her newfound relationship with the Savior and Eric is shattered when she finds herself accused of murdering Felecia and in the arms of David Moss, the newly appointed minister of music, who is tied to her in a way that will change her life forever.
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Where does your passion for writing come from?
My passion for writing is primal, ingrained into my DNA. Writing is as much a part of me as breathing. Simple things like witnessing an ant drag something a thousand times its size across the floor or dust motes dancing in sunlight inspires something deep inside me to create, to write, to share.
I use to think my passion for writing was a result of my passion for learning. I was wrong. They are two sides of the same coin—me. The passion for one could not exist without the other.
If your passion for writing was a color, what color would it be and why?
It would be indigo because the very heart of me is intuitive. I like to observe and dissect the complexities of people, places, things and ideas in an effort to understand. Because of this I tend to idealize life, seeing both the good and bad in a situation. I carry the good with me and learn from the bad, which leaves a residue of its own.
My personality is also prone to structure and ritualistic behavior. Most of my main characters and personal essay ideas develop from patterns in behavior, ideas and values.
How do you keep the passion burning in your relationship with storytelling?
“Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Star Wars
When you’re passionate about something or someone, you don’t have to try because the passion becomes a part of you. I don’t have to try to tell my stories, they come when it is time. As much as writers, myself included, blame writer’s block on the inability to get a good start or finish on a story I don’t buy into it. I believe that fear prevents us from hearing what our soul compels us to write.
After deciding to write, I committed to it. Sometimes it will take me an hour to bang out a thousand or more words. Other times nothing comes that is related to what I want to write about. I submit to those feelings and allow whatever that needs to come out to flow. After that current of words moves through, I am free to write what I want. The passion is really submitting to the art and then making the art submit to you—kind of like a marriage. My writing and I are one. If I add the passion for learning, we are a trinity.
“Maybe my daddy really isn’t my dad, and it makes Mama upset,” she said to Lily, her pillow baby. Tangela used a small pillow as a baby doll.
“Dolls are not allowed in my home,” her mother told her grandmother, who had purchased Tangela a Cabbage Patch Kid with real hair. “It encourages girls to become unwed mothers.”
“Tangela,” her mother called from the hallway, “get out of that bed.”
Tangela tucked the pillow baby under the other pillows, and jumped out of bed. One foot landed on the light green, shag rug and the other slid into her slippers just before her mother turned on the light. She stood in place and squinted as her eyes adjusted to the light beaming from the 100-watt bulb overhead.
“Stop looking crazy! You know that since your daddy has been elected regional superintendent of our church we have to get there on time!” Her mother walked over to the closet, pulled out a long sleeved, ankle length, navy blue sailor girl dress, hung it on the back of the door, and said,
“Make your bed! Only nasty people leave their beds unmade.”
After straightening out the fitted sheet, Tangela crafted perfect hospital corners with the flat one over the mattress at the foot of the bed then made sure it laid smoothly over the fitted sheet. She placed her perfectly-fluffed pillows in front of the headboard before going into her bathroom to wash up.
She took off her pajama top revealing her white spaghetti strapped tank top, turned on her bath water, and drug her step stool over to the sink. Tangela grabbed her toothbrush from the holder and placed it on the counter. Knowing that it would be difficult to get anything out of the flat tube of Crest, she rolled the tube from the bottom and tried to force at least a dab of the green gel onto her toothbrush. Nothing. Tangela turned off the bathtub’s running faucet and headed up the hall to the main linen closet to retrieve a new tube of toothpaste.
“Get back in your room, walking around half-naked,” her mother yelled.
“Momma, I don’t have any tooth…”
Her mother slapped her in the mouth, causing her to fall to the floor. Tangela wailed as her mother hit her repeatedly. “Shut up when I am speaking to you. And do what I tell you.”
“Ruthie!” Tangela’s father grabbed the woman’s arm. “Stop hitting my child.”
“Do you see what she’s walking around the house in, Kevin?” Ruthie said.
“She’s a seven year old wearing pajamas.” He took Tangela’s hand and started walking toward her bathroom.
Tangela sobbed. “I need toothpaste.”
Her father grabbed a new tube of toothpaste for Tangela’s bathroom, took her into her bedroom, and told her to close her eyes. She obeyed and listened to her father’s footsteps fade into the distance and then return.
“Open your eyes,” her father said.
When Tangela opened her eyes, she saw a three ruffle, yellow taffeta dress with a matching purse. She ran over to the garment and caressed the fabric. “Daddy! “It’s so pretty and my favorite color.”
“I know, baby. You look like a ray of sunshine in yellow. Did I ever tell you that your very first dress was yellow?”
“Yeah, Daddy.” Tangela looked at the floor.
“What’s wrong?” Her father picked her up.
“I know why Mommy doesn’t like me.”
“Who said your mother doesn’t like you?”
“No one, but she is always mean to me. I think she knows that you are not my real daddy because I am light-skinned, and you guys are dark. She’s mad about it because you’re going to leave her to take care of me all alone, with no help.”
He stroked Tangela’s long, curly hair, reassuring her in a loving, fatherly tone, “That’s not true.
We are different skin tones because God, our father, made us that way. Your mom has had a lot on her mind lately, but I will have a talk with her.” He kissed Tangela on the forehead and left.
Tangela heard her parents screaming at each other through the adjoining bedroom’s wall.
“Kevin, you have got to stop spoiling that girl.”
“How is being a good, caring father going to spoil Tangela?” he asked his wife.
“You keep buying her all them colorful dresses. You’re turning her into a Jezebel just like her…”
Tangela’s father interrupted so she did not hear the last part of her mother’s statement.
“Don’t you ever say that again,” Kevin warned. “I treat you so kind. Why can’t you treat Tangela that way? If you didn’t want her, we should have never-”
Tangela ran into the room, completely dressed in the new outfit her father laid out for her, and screamed, “Stop it. Just, stop it. I hate having a momma and a daddy. I saw two girls last week and they were happy with only a momma. I wish I only had a daddy!”