Illusions a novel by Wanda B. Campbell

Illusions a novel by Wanda B. Campbell

We love our mothers, sisters and sistahfriends, but with all their honest advice, do they help or hinder us sometimes.  This week, we have shown First Lady Denise Hightower in her struggles. She reaches out to her mother, but read how her mother responds below:

“Hello, mother, how are you today?” Denise was caught off guard by Lucinda’s calm demeanor.     

“Baby I’m fine. I know I came at you hard yesterday. I’m sorry. I just want the best for you.”

Before Denise could voice her acceptance of the apology, Lucinda turned a curve, laying another brick in her new insecurity wall.

“It’s not easy being married to a preacher, a pastor at that, but you have to watch how you carry yourself. Stop all that crying and moping. People are always watching you, waiting for you to make a mistake. You can’t let them know you’re weak, or they’ll take advantage of you, just as sure as my name is Lucinda; and I know that’s my name.”

“But Mama, you don’t know what I’m dealing with.” Denise’s voice was so low she wasn’t sure if she voiced the words or just thought them.

“It doesn’t matter; you need to be strong for Bryce. You have to be everything he needs, especially at church. If you don’t, he’ll find happiness someplace else.”

Denise switched the receiver to the opposite ear, and at the same time pondered her mother’s implication. If Bryce isn’t happy with her, did that give him the right to practice porn?  “Mama, I can’t be solely held responsible for our problems.” Denise paused. “Bryce has problems-serious problems. He’s not perfect.”

Denise wished, for once, her mother would ask her what those problems were. Just once she yearned to talk woman to woman with her mother about the turmoil racking her mind without the burden being placed back on her shoulders.

“Baby, of course he’s not perfect; he’s human. But it’s your job as his wife to cover those imperfections.”

Denise didn’t realize she was crying until she felt the tears on her hand that held the receiver. After using a tissue from the dispenser on her desk, Denise remained quiet as Lucinda went into her don’t-tell-nobody-but-God-speech.

“I love you, baby and I’m praying for you,” Lucinda said before disconnecting.

“I’m praying for you.”  Do we truly feel each others pain? Are we helping or hindering? We hope you will purchase Illusions to learn more about Denise’ story. Share your experiences and your thoughts about today’s passage.     

THIS WEEK:  Celebrate Wanda’s birthday & Valentine’s Day

This week’s winner will receive A Box of Sees Candies and a coupon for a FREE print design (choose a bookmark, postcard or business card) courtesy of Tywebbin Creations. Winner are responsible for printing. 

Check Wanda B. Campbell’s blog for the winners. For more information about Wanda and Illusions, visit her at






valentinesmayhemIt’s Friday, February 13 and I’m amazed that I’ve even started writing a post on this blog, my neglected blog. If it weren’t for Tywebbin (Tyora Moody) and guest contributor Wanda B. Campbell the blog would continue to be neglected and all of the thoughts concerning the day would remain in my head. Do I blame them or thank them? (raising eyebrow) Okay, I thank them, because I actually love this blog and will reframe “neglect” to become “a need for  personal space.” The blog and me were getting too close, too fast.

How’s that?

So Friday the 13th is that unlucky, crazy, mean day, right? People say things happen on Friday the 13th and there has been a small cottage industry of horror films based on its legend, which I do not know or care to know. I don’t believe in luck, and I can have a crazy or mean day on any day in a calendar year. But there is this funny thing that happens especially for the lovelorn and that’s pre-Valentine Day panic attack. That’s when women with husbands and boyfriends wait in angst to see what they will or will not receive on February 14. The angst will cause them issue “thought” ultimatums like “if he doesn’t, then I will” or “I know he better because if he doesn’t then” or one of my favorites “It’s over if I don’t.” We will drive ourselves freakin’ nuts over what will or what will not happen on February 14. I know, I’ve been there.

For years I didn’t have anyone on February 14, this year I do. And guess what? I’m not one bit concerned about what I will or will not receive. Is that cause for concern or does it mean I’ve finally cracked the February 13 anxiety code?

Who knows? I know this much: It’s nice to be back. Enjoy Wanda’s excerpt, check her out and Happy Valentines Day! Oh and to the anxiety-ridden, Happy Freaky Friday! Embrace the crazy.

~ Robin

Yesterday, I told Nan I had ‘the symptoms,’ of course she was curious and wanted to know what ‘the symptoms’ were and why would I have them. I shared that on Christmas Eve, during the day, I was a normal child doing normal child things but something would start to happen around six o’ clock in the evening and a reality set in – Christmas was just a few short hours away – and I would become transfixed and focused on what would certainly be a glorious day for me. Anxiety would set in, my tummy would bubble, I’d become quiet in anticipation and NO ONE had to tell me to bathe or dress for bed twice. I was there already by the time anyone looked up.  I’d even have this crazy, wild hair combed and dressed before hitting the sack in anticipation of the sound of reindeer hooves on the roof. 

My grandmother would be the first to notice the change in my disposition. She’d look at me and ask, “Does that baby have the symptoms?” and I’d nod, followed by a tear or two trickling down my face. I would be that anxious and excited. She’d then say something like, “Come here, Sugey (her nickname for me),” and we’d do things in preparation for the arrival of the Man known as Santa. We’d bake sugie (sugar) cookies, wrap a few gifts for other people, and then sit down to watch one of a zillion animated Christmas programs on TV. And at the height of ‘the symptoms,’ I’d run and get a Xmas plate, load it with sugie cookies and pour Santa a glass of milk. 

This ‘baby’ has ‘the symptoms.’ I’ve never been more excited to see the outcome of a presidential election. More so than even the first time I voted in 1976.  When I spoke with Nan, I shared that something was rising in my belly: anticipation, excitement and anxiety. I’m not nervous about the outcome, I’m nervous about watching it unfold. “The Symptoms” are as much about the process as the end result.

Today I’m going to work fast and furious, in spite of a few obstacles placed in my way. I’m going to clean my apartment, put things in order, pursue my work for clients, take a bath early – get all pretty – and dress for bed. I’m even going to take one of my homeopathic sleep aides just so I can have a restful sleep. And then tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up, walk right behind my complex and vote at six o’ clock. I’ve even checked the weather report for tomorrow: 70 degrees and sunny. I’m ready. Are you? Do you have “The Symptoms” too?


Best and VOTE, Robin