Musings in the Dark: In This, A New Year...


In This, A New Year...

I’ve had the flu for the past month, which is the reason I haven’t been posting as much as I would normally.  The older you get, the longer it takes to rebound from illness and injury.   December is also the month when my yearlong emotional cycle is at its lowest point, so I can take comfort in knowing that soon I’ll be in a better place mentally and emotionally.  One of the things that I’ve come to understand with being bipolar is that I have to let my emotions do what they do.  I can’t (and won’t) suppress them.  If I’m shifting, I let my loved ones know that I have to be off the grid for a couple of days and they understand why.  It is the way my life is now, and if I’m to be happy and productive, I have to make adjustments in order to do so.

2012 was a year of many expectations.  I had three goals and due to circumstances beyond my control, I failed to meet all of them.  Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased.  But I survived 2012 and therefore have an opportunity to try again in 2013…and I will be successful this time.  The biggest thing was to complete my terminal degree and along with that, relocate abroad.  It’s been my dream to live overseas ever since I was nine years old.  The opportunity is there and I’m not afraid to take it.  However, timing and positioning are everything when you want to make such a move.  So here is hoping that by December of 2013, I will be ringing in the new year from another country.

My journey as a natural has been very successful.  I recently started washing my hair with a bentonite clay/aloe vera mix and it is WONDERFUL!  Unlike black soap or shampoo, the clay doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils and you don’t have to deep condition afterwards.  My curls are beautiful and coily and my hair texture has finally evened out.  My hair averages 12 inches in length, nearly five inches longer than it was at the end of 2011.  I’ve been consistent in using my homemade shea butter cream, vinegar rinses and hydration with aloe vera juice.  Feed your hair healthy things and it will reward you by being healthy.  I look forward to finding new techniques and products to use on my hair.  For those of you struggling with transitioning, don’t give up.  YouTube is your friend.  Plenty of sistahs are sharing ideas and tips on how to maintain your hair through rough times.  I’ll provide the recipes for the shea butter cream and bentonite clay wash at the end of this post.

I have plans to publish a minimum of two books this year.  There are also plans for the next volume of The Sultry Court; details will be forthcoming soon.  Tainted is slated to drop within the next couple of weeks; it is in the final stages of production.  I’m super-excited about this book.  I also hope to finish Nightingales and am working hard to ensure that Blade Dancer will also be published this year.  This book will contain lots of original artwork by the phenomenal Julie Nguyen; some of which I’ll showcase periodically.  

Writing and publishing books is a long and tedious process if you give a damn about your product, and it is an inexact art as well as science.  So it is conceivable that Blade Dancer may not get published until 2014; but if that’s the way it has to be, then I accept it.  I refuse to publish crap; Sheila & K’avir mean everything to me and they deserve nothing but my very best efforts.

There are two things I plan to do this year.  One is a Vision Board where you prophesy and post your goals for the year.  The other is a Good News Jar.  When something good happens, you write it down and put it in the jar.  At the end of the year, read everything in the jar.  I’m looking forward to many good things happening for me and my loved ones.  I encourage you to do the same.

Happy 2013, fans of the Dark!!!

Shea Butter Pomade

1 container of unrefined shea butter softened, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, Vitamin E and castor oil.  With every oil except coconut, use no more than a tablespoon.  The coconut oil should be warmed; 3-4 tablespoons’ worth.  Use a wooden bowl if you have one available (but not necessary).  Whip using a mixer until the shea butter doubles in volume and becomes fluffy.  Scoop into a sealable container.  I use it about 2-3 times a week and it lasts me about a month.

Bentonite Clay Wash

You will need a small food processor for best results.  2-3 tablespoons of clay (I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay from Amazon), ½ cup of warm aloe vera juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp honey, and 2-3 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils.  Put the juice in the food processor first and then add the other ingredients.  Mix until it forms a paste and then place into an applicator bottle.  You have to use the clay wash in the shower because your hair must be soaking wet.  Divide hair into four sections and starting at the scalp, apply the clay from the roots to the end and massage thoroughly.  Rinse well.  No need to deep condition. 


  1. One of the few things on my list for 2012 that I accomplished was going natural. It has been a learning process but I am determined to stick with it because I have never felt freer.

    Most of the things that I wanted to do in 2012 never happened but I took a couple of classes and passed them with flying colors. I am hoping that I will accomplish more this year.

  2. CiCe,

    but I am determined to stick with it because I have never felt freer.

    Hello liberation! It is a blessing to be free of salons and stylists. I got rid of all my old shampoos and curling irons and hair dryers. I freed up so much space in my closet and liberated money from my budget. It's also helpful to make my own products, because I can do that anywhere in the world and not have to stress over finding a stylist.

    Keep it up! You can do it!

  3. 2012 was really cruddy, but with the end of world down I feel like something has shifted. Thanks for the shoutout and congrats on the hair! I had no idea. Coconut oil is love all over.

    Happy New Year :D

  4. Rashida here,

    Just found out you had the flu! Geez! Do you have echaenacia AND golden seal in your area?! Take this when you FIRST get the symptoms and it will lessen it or prevent colds entirely. Of course check with your healthcare provider with this suggestion. This has worked for me. So far, I have NEVER missed a scheduled workday do to colds and flu at least in 18 years. Mind you, I have had symptoms..but it was not bad enough to remain home. Hope you feel better. Sending you lots of cyber tea and honey!

    PS I joined Live Journal! Have only been there once in a month...when I signed up, lol. D@mn..if I thought navigating your site was difficult...!

    PSS Have you seen "The Hobbit"? They should have named it "The Hot king and 3 dwarves" I am so freakin' in love with the Elf king Thranduil. He is super sweeeet! No laughing guys!


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