Showing posts from May, 2013

Filthy Dancing

One of my favorite movies of all time is Dirty Dancing.

Don't judge.

I distinctly remember being about nine years old and sitting in my friend Nikki's room, sneak-watching her teenage sister's VHS copy of the movie.  For two hours, I sat cross-legged with my jaw slack as I gawked at lustful, sweaty, twenty-somethings grinding on one another to music from the sixties.  And when he walked in... you know who I'm talking about... Johnny, or Mr. Patrick "Hotness" Swayze, with his mullet, tight dancer pants, dark shades and pouty little pink lips... I was confused as shit.

Suffice it to say, black girls from Queens who are head over heels in love with artists like LL Cool JandPlay from Kid & Play are NOT supposed to like dancing white boys with mullets.  I was in the closet for years.

Anyway, it didn't take me long to realize I was not alone in my love of Dirty Dancing.  I would say the obsession is fairly common among 80s babies.  Symptoms include a comple…

Run, Girl, Run!

Actor Michael Beach.
If you are a connoisseur of African American movies in the 90s B.T.P (Before Tyler Perry), this face probably solicits a litany of emotions.  This is the face of the man of cheated on Angela Bassett with a wyatt woman in Waiting to Exhale... Causing her to do this... This is the face of the man who cheated on Vanessa Williams with her skanky dancing cousin in Soul Food... Causing her to do the this...
And... this is the face of the man who gave ER doctor Jeanie Boulet AIDS.
Which pretty much sealed the deal.
"Michael Beach" will forever solicit my innate black woman "run, girl, run" reflex.  Don't get me wrong.  I am sure the man is a decent human being in real life.  However, the minute he steps onto my television or movie screen, I know no good will come of it. 

But what if the Michael Beach character had a story? 

I recently asked my Facebook friends whether they would read a novel about a character they didn't like.  I asked the quest…

Finding representation is like... (Ode to the Agent/Writer Relationship)

The agent/writer relationship is an interesting one.
You spend months, years, maybe even decades, pouring your heart and soul into writing a novel.  After which you find someone to help you sell it.  The publishing industry is set up such that the "someone," or agent, is the gate keeper to getting published and in most cases, you don't have access to a publisher without one.

So you seduce.
You tailor a masterful query letter or pitch, do your greatest "like me and my book" jig, and hope that an agent "falls in love" with your book enough that they can passionately help you sell it. 

The process makes sense. 
I mean, just think about it, how many frustrated artists have you encountered in your lifetime?  If everyone had carte blanche access to the poor editors over at one of the big six, those guys would be digging their way through pages and pages of manuscripts on their way into their offices each morning. 

And so many writer's hopes and dream…

Music and Lyrics

Music is a BIG part of my writing process. 

If I need to be transported to a particular place or feel a particular emotion, nothing will get me there faster than a good song.  I'm not alone.  Stephen King, Emily Giffin, Nicholas Sparks and I am sure many, many others all claim music is a big part of the writing process.

For as long as I can remember, whether it has been angsty sad white lady music (think Sarah McLachlan, Lisa Loeb, anyone that every picked up a guitar at Lilith Fair) or the grit and self-awareness of a Hip Hop record (Nas, Common, Talib Kweli), music has informed my poetry.  It reigned in the chaos of my emotions and helped me bleed my most honest thoughts onto a page.  When I was falling in love with my hubby, Steve Wonder'sVisions sparked words upon words upon words and ultimately inspired the poem I wrote him for our wedding.

My earliest memory of music informing my fiction was when I was in college.  I read a statistic about senior citizens having a high…

Nighttime is the write time

Me at work the next morning after I was up all night writing...
Love and Light,

Walk Beautifully

In 2004, my husband (then boyfriend) and I attended a Martin Luther King celebration at the University of the District of Columbia.  It was the beginning of the second semester of our first year of law school and we had no business being anywhere but the library.  However, it was also the beginning of our relationship so in an effort to score brownie points (and other things new boyfriends hope to score) he convinced me to go by stating one simple fact: Sonia Sanchez would be there. 
My favorite poet. 

Understand, I have loved Ms. Sanchez since I was a teenager.  I remember reading about the Black Arts Movement and learning about her, Nikki Giovanni, Amri Baraka and all the trailblazers of black literature and art in the late sixties and seventies, a time when art was an underutilized but amazingly powerful means of resistance.  Nothing communicated the sentiment of the civil rights struggle better than art.  I remember wanting to pump my fist and write poems about injustice and mour…

A Note from a Tiny Human

Tonight my littlest, the Peanut, and I built a house out of Legos.  We were building it for an alligator (of course) and he was telling me about all the things he wants to be when he grows up.   His eyes grew wide and he threw his chubby, little arms in the air and declared, "I want to be a pi-wat."  Like Captain Feathersword, the pirate from his favorite television show, The Wiggles.   My five year old, the Pickle (a 35 year old trapped in a 5 1/2 year old body), promptly told him that he could never be Captain Feathersword because pirates were only pretend.  You see, the Pickle is far more practical and prefers the more realistic dream of being a daddy but without a mustache because mustaches get in your mouth (of course).  Before bed, with this little dream of mine never far from my mind, I asked the Peanut if I should just be a lawyer or keep trying to be a writer.  I mean, who doesn't enjoy the advice of a 2 1/2 year old dreamer? He said I should be a "A Sue-…

Sex, Lies and ABC's Scandal

Every Thursday night, I am glued to my television screen watching Scandal, ABCs prime time drama about Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) a political crisis negotiator in Washington, DC.  The show is many things.  It is thought-provoking, innovative and bold, but the biggest draw of the show is undeniably Olivia's hot affair with the President (played by the guy who hired Willie Lopez to kill Patrick Swayze in Ghost). 

It's hot on so many different levels.  He's married.  She's not.  He's a white republican.  She's not.  It has all the elements of that which is "oh, so wrong" but "oh, so friggin' right."  He looks at Olivia like she has the secret to world peace between her thighs and she looks at him like a big piece of moist chocolate cake (err, vanilla). 

Like I said it's hot.

Inevitably, when the show is over, Facebook and Twitter starts a-buzzin'.  Everything from "Olivia, you need to leave that married man alon…

Big Pimpin', Cinnamon Rolls, and Other Comfort Activities to Cope with Rejection

When I was a kid and I had a bad day, my mom would take me for a big fat ice cream cone at the Carvel on Union Turnpike in Queens.  I would drown my sorrows in a creamy, swirly vanilla cone smothered in sweet rainbow sprinkles.  I'd lap up each dripity drop during our twenty minute car ride, unloading in between licks about the usual perils of an awkward youth.  My dramatics ran the gamut.  My 5th grade crush didn't like me.  The biggest dork in school did.  My feet were growing faster than my boobs.  And by God, how much longer did I have to wear braces?  By the time I dipped my tongue into that last bit of ice cream buried in the tip of the cone, my problems felt cured... until the next day at least.  I'd curl up that night and sleep like the sort-of baby I was.

As an adult, my cheer-up routine has... evolved.  Cheer-up sessions at 31 are usually just me.  Clutching the steering wheel of my car with one hand, guiltily cramming a Panera Bread Cinnamon Roll in my mouth wit…

100 Likes on Facebook! UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!

Do a happy dance! I reached my first 100 likes on Facebook! To celebrate, I am giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card!  I think that still buys a book! All you have do is 'like' my page on Facebook and then follow the rules below to enter.  The winner will be revealed on Saturday, May 4.  Good luck!

Congrats to our winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love and Light,