Musings in the Dark: 2014

12/18/2014

Boss Chicks: Special Edition

So yesterday Noob sent me a link to a video of a christmas party in Nashville, TN. The video showed a clip of a group of what had to be at least 200 Delta Sigma Theta sorors strolling to Strafe's "Set It Off."  I'm inspired.

***Update:  The video can now be found on YouTube at http://youtu.be/HhHP17KO-58.



I got every single inch of my life from this vid and I am here to tell you that every last one of those glorious sistahs set that shit clean the fuck off.  The video was originally found on the Facebook page of BJ Baskerville.  I hope you can watch it.  Please try; it's worth it.

The party was held on 12-13-14, and it's nearing one million views on Mr. Baskerville's FB page.  I'm responsible for about 30 of them.  I cannot stop watching these grown and sexy sistahs stroll like it's going out of style.  What I really love is the parade of different ages, hues, sizes and shapes storming the scene and daring anyone to throw even the slightest sliver of shade.  It's absolutely wonderful.  I am inspired.


I'm not Greek; I'm not a member of that tribe. I respect each and every organization and the people who comprise them.  What keeps me watching this video (other than the absolute fabulous flawlessness of 95% of these women killing it in stilettos, mind you) is this:


Imagine being a teenage girl and knowing (superficially) that your mother is a member of a Greek organization.  Imagine your mom being, well...your mom.  Then imagine seeing your mother get out there and slay with her sorors.  My mother wasn't Greek, but nevertheless I found myself in the mental shoes of a 15-year-old girl seeing her Greek mother enjoying herself in the throes of her sisterhood and geeking the hell out. I am so inspired.


Even better, what you see is not only mothers, but also grandmothers, aunties, cousins and big sisters.  I love it.  I love that the line is comprised mostly of sistahs who aren't in their 20s.  I love that the women range from butterscotch to mocha, buzz-cuts to 14-inch Yakki, size 3 to size 24, with various levels of energy but dedicated enough to participate in a rigorous exercise in celebration of their sorority.  God bless them.  I am soooo inspired.


I raise a glass of kumquat honey ice tea to those stylish strolling sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Happy Holidays and please continue setting it off!

11/30/2014

Update

So much has been going on these past few months.  I’ve been swamped up to my eyeballs with work, and there’s other stuff happening.  I haven’t had the freedom to create or think or write, and it’s really starting to work my nerves that I don’t have access to that outlet. 

There’s so much to say, to express, to comment on, to vent about.  I don’t even know where to start or even if I can start.  I will say this: being removed from all of the headlines and whatnot is a relief sometimes.  I don’t ever really know what’s going on unless I log into FaceBook & Twitter.  Sometimes, I deliberately stay away from social media because I can’t always handle the news as it comes.  Stories about babies dying in cars, child abuse, the #Gamergate bullshit, motherfuckers looking to rationalize rape, and most recently, #Ferguson…it can be too much.  So it is nice to not have to know everything.  Emotional distance is a good thing to have.  

Besides, getting through the rest of this SY is going to take every bit of emotional energy I have.  I’ve found myself in a situation I didn’t foresee, and I’ve now got decisions to make.  I am getting better at what I do, and that has been nothing but a bonus.  Change is good, but it’s also annoying as fuck.  But I know that things will work out for the best, because they usually do.  

At any rate, I’m just checking in to let y’all know that I’m still alive and still kicking.  I will hopefully have some news on the creative front soon enough; Nightingales: cool air is just about finished, and hopefully I can get back to working on the revisions for Tainted soon enough.  Just have to see how all of this plays out.






11/11/2014

The Midnight Hour

Halloween 1987:  ABC broadcasted a made-for-TV movie called “The Midnight Hour.”  It first aired in 1985, but I never saw it until the aforementioned time.  I was a prepubescent middle-schooler and thrilled at the prospect of anything Halloween- and horror-related coming on TV.

The movie starred gorgeous Shari Belafonte and the lovely Jonelle Allen and it’s about a bunch of teens who fucked around with some sort of ancient curse and woke up the dead.  Story-wise, it’s so-so. Meh.  Why I’m even bothering to mention it is because of this:


11/04/2014

Blasian "Winter of Love" Promotional

Middle Child Press is putting its top two Blasian works on sale at a reduced price of $3.99 for the entire winter...starting now.

Amaya Radjani's Corruption (2011) is the currently MCP's best-selling work of all time, having garnered numerous reviews and fairly consistent sales.
...this is a book you WANT and NEED to read. It's an interracial romance that spends absolutely NO time on race issues and more time on the vagaries of modern-day relationships. It's about friends, family, culture and finding love and strength in the most unexpected ways.

Honestly, Corruption packs more heat than Dirty Harry's .357 hand cannon and a lot more heart than any Hallmark Channel movie, all within a slim 164 pages. A warning: this isn't an HEA so if you're the type who likes their romances all warm and fuzzy wrapped in a big pink bow, then this book is not for you. For the rest of us, Corruption is a wild, sexy, emotional and unexpected ride. It's risky and totally untraditional, and well, the kind of romance that's right up my alley.


The Fountain Pen Diva, an Amazon Vine Voice
Folklore, and Other Stories (2008, 2012) remains Ankhesen Mié's most popular book of all time since its initial release in 2008.

A collection of three stories, Folklore is Mié's first foray into MCP's trademark experimental fiction and gained notable acclaim from the Midwest Book Review, RAWSISTAZ Literary, and APOOO Bookclub while still in the abridged, paperback format.
Folklore, and Other Stories by Ankhesen Mié is the author's sophomore effort and the short stories show how her writing has grown. Ms. Mié has taken on the ambitious task of writing from an Asian perspective. Many of the stories read like old-fashioned tall tales with the flow of poetry in short story form. The stories in this collection offer a new look at age old situations such as marital relationships. The stories are at once true to life, yet mystical and filled with fantasy. The story entitled, `The Collection' is particularly interesting with twists on love and divorce.

I recommend this volume of short stories to readers willing to read something different. In this day and age when many feel there is nothing new under the sun, along comes a writer like Ms. Mié proving that is not necessarily so.


Angelia Menchan, APOOO Bookclub
The books go on sale November 3rd, 2014.

10/31/2014

It's November, and that means...

NaNoWriMo has begun!

November is National Novel Writing Month.  The object is for up and coming authors to get used to the writing process by writing each day.  The goal is to create a 50,000-word novel by November 30.  How you work out the amount of words you write per day is up to you.  I've never participated, as my writing routines were well in place before I ever heard of NaNoWriMo.  But my brotha from anotha motha, Denny Upkins, wrote Hollowstone in NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago and was able to get it published.  I strongly encourage newbies to participate.  It can be fun, you can get essential feedback, and if you're serious, you can get a novel and some notoriety.


Even if I wanted to take a shot at NaNo, I couldn't.  My muse holds to no one's schedule.  She's sididdy like that. 

Go to www.nanowrimo.org for more details.

Happy writing, peeps!  Even if you don't finish, every day of progress puts you closer to your goal.  Writing is a long, lonely process, and most people only notice when the hard work is done.  NaNo is good for glimpsing into that process.

10/27/2014

From the Vault...All Hallows' Eve

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  It occurs during my favorite
Source
season.  My birthday’s about ten days removed, it’s the middle of football season, I’m cooking “real” food, and the air’s got a nice snap to it. For many, Halloween’s about trick-or-treating, costumes, candy, pranks, haunted houses, parties, great TV...yanno, cool shit like that.  For me, it’s always been about the candy, movies and costumes, but as I got older, I became fascinated with the origins of the holiday.

9/27/2014

The Rebirth of Slick (IV)

It's almost been two months since I've been getting the weekly Trey treatment, and I've been asked about my health as a result.

It's great.  Physically, mentally, emotionally...it's green across the board.  Not to mention the fact that I'm able to get aroused again, which is a definite bonus.  (It is a bit...tedious...for Trey to constantly get me up and not back down, but that's the subject of a Shortie, not a blog post)

9/19/2014

The Rebirth of Slick (III)

II

Yeah, this looks to be a series of Stella-esque proportions.  I'm working some things out, so...

(Leoprincess, getchu a Self-Care Fund on the real)

I used to get a massage once a month at Massage Envy in the States. 45 minutes and slightly more than a dollar per minute and contracts are required and medical history and all...Over here, where there's at least 3 massage parlors on every freakin' corner, they don't deal with that level of bureaucratic bullshit.  No contract, no dambs given regarding medical history or anything of the sort.  They feel like if you want a massage, then it's on you what your issues are if you don't speak up to your therapist.  And you can get a 90-minute massage for about $40.

So the first time I rolled up in one of said parlors, I was given a pair of paper panties.  Being used to keeping my underwear on at Massage Envy, I was like, "Dafuq is this about?"  The therapist assigned to me (her name was "Candy") explained in halting English that it's to keep from getting oil in the fabric.  I could also opt to keep them off if I wanted...but I wasn't even trying to hear that nonsense.

(She also asked if I wanted my breasts massaged and I couldn't get the words "Hell no" out fast enough)

9/15/2014

The Rebirth of Slick (II)

Cont’d from part I

This didn’t occur to me until after my most recent session.  I can understand why it took so long; it’s been y  e  a  r  s since I’ve been able to manifest anything above lukewarm.  I thought that I’d never regain the ability to do what a woman’s body should; that in spite of the men I’ve met and hope to meet, none of them would come close to moving the needle.

Boy, was I utterly and completely wrong.

Trey’s grasp of English is just barely enough to do his job; he understands the words he needs to, but there aren’t many, and nothing more elaborate than that.  Complex phrases are lost on him and don’t even try using sentences.  Most of the massage therapists have a limited command of the English language.  They’re not required to know it to service customers.  At any rate, Trey knows what “very good,” “pain,” “softer,” and “harder” mean.

9/13/2014

The Rebirth of Slick

This may or may not be the beginning of a series.

I'm actually ruminating on how best to present this post.  Ankh suggested I go full on in-your-face, but I don't think that would be the best method.  Rather, I think I'll approach this from the stance of a woman experiencing a re-awakening and coming to terms with exactly what this means and its implications.

The title means exactly what you think it does.

I put my sexuality on hold for a very long time while I took care of my family and worked out my issues.  There was also graduate school to consider, and with those three enormous elephants, a part of me had to go uncared for, and my womanhood was it.  When your mind is always distracted and you're operating at a level of stress so tough that you don't realize it even as it's tearing down your body, sex can either be a well-deserved outlet or a serious unwelcome distraction.  I couldn't keep a boyfriend longer than six or seven months because of those three elephants, and even then I couldn't get them to give me what I wanted.  So I just let that part of my life wither.

9/08/2014

Fic Update; Zodiac: Jyotisha


“And to think, you could have had a piece of that before you died.”

Read more here...

8/30/2014

Fic Update; Zodiac: Solstice (Summer)


"Cayo looked around at the elegant, comfortable room.  While he loved his employers and his job, he couldn't help but feel that there was something slightly odd about their home.  He and Chef were the only two people welcome in the Zhous' Suva residence, and he got that same vibe every time he was in it.

He decided to ask his companion about it.  Chef and Macallan Zhou served together in the Marines.  If anyone knew the answer to that question, he would.  "Chef, have you ever noticed that there aren't any pictures of anyone except Mr. & Mrs. Zhou?""

Read more here...


8/25/2014

Why I'm Justified

I've been meaning to sit down and write this post, but I got caught up in the marvelously sexy, dark, and malevolently murderous world of Macallan and Madalyne Zhou.  But it's time to pause for the cause.


A little while ago, I got hit up on social media by someone who wanted to get to know me.  I was comfortable with being an online pal, as we live on two separate continents, and this was established by me immediately.  But for whatever reason, this person jumped in with both feet and wanted to start exchanging information, as in pictures.   Somebody had defined notions of beauty, and s/he "needed" to know what I looked like in order to "assign values."  In order to be an online buddy.

*snort*  Think about that for a second.  

More on the algebra fuckshit in a moment.


8/24/2014

Fic Update; Zodiac: Nirayana


Stevie coughed and took a long drink of the claret. “I like men like you.”

Capricorn stared at him, smiling slowly as he passed the blunt back without taking another hit.  “I figured you did.  Relax. Enjoy that.”

Read more here...

8/18/2014

Fic Update; Zodiac: Ayanamsa (II)


She handed him the wine.  “I didn’t ignore you, Mr. Devinci.  Unfortunately, I won’t be kissing you.  The only lips that touch mine are Macallan’s.”

“Who?”

“Mr. Zhou.  Don’t be obtuse.”

Read more here...

8/14/2014

Fic Update; Zodiac: Sayana


“How come all of you are so beautiful?” she asked.  “I mean, I’m a lesbian, but the men on the…menu…are fine and I could have easily seen myself picking one of them.”

Taurus seemed to glide.  She handed Trev the wine and stood before her, patting her dark brown locks.  Her voice was husky and sensual.  “Mr. & Mrs. Zhou have an eye for talent and beauty.  It’s part of the mystique of this place.  Unattractive employees don’t make for good business.”

Read more here...

8/09/2014

Fic Update: Zodiac: Ayanamsa (I)

"What you see on the menu before you are the most gifted, most talented, most able-bodied employees that time-honored profession has ever seen.  May I introduce you to the Signs of the Zodiac.”

“Nothing on your menu appeals to me, Mrs. Zhou.”


“You haven’t even looked,” Macallan said.

“I wasn’t talking to you,” Nico said, not even sparing Macallan a glance.  “I’m talking to your wife.”

“I must insist, Mr. Devinci.  I will not be servicing you.  I am a married woman.  I only do...things...with my husband.”

“Hubs can watch, then.”  Nico glared at Macallan.  “You don’t mind if I fuck your wife, do you?"

Read more here...

8/05/2014

Fic Update: Zodiac

Most of the people who came to the Zodiac Club had no idea who the Zhous were, and they preferred it that way.  In many ways, they were mythic; preferring the rumors of others—lessers—to propagate their existence. 

Read more here...

8/02/2014

Fic Update Alert: Zodiac

Pollux made a clicking sound and Castor forked the sign of the evil eye.  “You’re one to talk…or have you forgotten that this is a brothel?  Everybody fucks in this place.  Even the people who own it.”

Read more here...

7/31/2014

Fic Update: Zodiac


“Or you can get the hell out of here,” Macallan said, still salty about the insult.  He was ready to shoot the guy and put his hand on the handle of the desk drawer, where he kept a nine locked and loaded.  He gave zero fucks about them being cops.

Woolcoat stared at the carpet and put his hands in his pockets in a futile effort to hide their turning into fists, but the Zhous weren’t fooled.  There were plenty of assholes in Suva Oriana who had trouble accepting assistance from Madalyne.  This prick was no different.  He looked up and managed to say, “I am sorry for offending you, Mrs. Zhou.”  Uttering the words looked painful.


Read more here...

7/27/2014

New Fic Alert: Zodiac

Well, all that time on the couch had to lead to something, and that something is another Shortie.  The Muse has graced me with a wonderfully fun and diabolical idea, and so I'm going to experiment with it.  It will be a series of shorties, or chapters, under the title "Zodiac."

Summary:  Macallan and Madalyne Zhou are owners of the Zodiac, a popular nightclub in fictional downtown Suva Oriana.  Macallan is a former criminal defense attorney and ex-Marine, and Madalyne is a former surgeon.  They are a beautiful, attractive couple; elegant, confident, and completely amoral. The Zodiac Club is a front for the Zhous' secret and extremely profitable venture: a brothel.

Head on over to Shorties to meet the rest of the cast.


7/25/2014

Dark Love IV: The Outer Limits


After a not-so-brief interruption, my homage to old-school television continues with The Outer Limits. 

The opening monologue is classic:

 There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits. 

This was a mostly science fiction anthology show that aired from 1963-1965 on ABC.  The first season combined sci-fi with a little bit of horror and followed a Monster-of-the-Week (MotW) format.  What separated The Outer Limits from The Twilight Zone was its straightforward storytelling style and sometime focus on dark forces that came from within the human condition and "outside"of our galaxy.  In that, TOL is very much Lovecraftian. 

7/24/2014

Year One Complete



*crossposted on Black Girl Nerds and The Blasian Narrative*


I just finished my first year abroad.  I would say that I can’t believe that a year has passed, but that wouldn’t be true.  I can believe it.  I’ve just experienced it.  I’d like to share a little bit with you.

What’s it like in this part of the world?  Well, I can tell you this: I get stared at A LOT, and the natives sneak pictures of me on the sly.  Sometimes, the stares come with smiles, other times, it’s just outright shock.  This is typical for a lot of the older Chinese, as many of them may never have laid eyes on a black person before.  I always smile and say hello, because if I am their first, I need it to be a positive experience. 

6/24/2014

CRASH!!! ...a Teaser

Lee-Lee walked up to the lady and extended her hand.  “In that case, let me introduce myself.  My name is Elysie Blake, but everybody calls me Lee-Lee.”  She pointed to Monica.  “That’s Monica, my roommate.  We live in 6B.  Those two are Jocasta and Neveyah.  They live in 6C.”
The lady didn’t extend her hand and Lee-Lee stared at her.  “Your name is…?”
She smoothed her hair and glanced at the movers, who were finishing up.  Her ring caught the light and the stone sparkled like a diamond.  “I suppose I could offer my name.” 
“It’d be nice,” Monica said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of her voice and failing.  “We do live on the same floor.”

6/22/2014

The Nightingales Supplemental...

Silhouettes by katagaci
Today marks the release of the Nightingales blog.  It is intended as a supplemental resource to the series and a way for readers to keep track of the characters and the story.  As I’ve said before, this was a response to a writing challenge posted by fellow author and co-conspirator Ankhesen Mié on At the Bar, and it wasn’t intended to be anything more than that…until the Muse decided that it would be.

The original challenge was for a TV show with a basic cast and premise.  As a result, the Nightingales series is constructed into a set of 60-page books or “episodes,” with each episode representing one hour of TV time.  I originally thought the tale could be told in a miniseries format of a one-hour pilot and five hour-long episodes…but as I got deeper into my research, I realized that there was no way I could do that and be fair to the readers and the story.  So what I can assure you right now is that the Nightingales will span at least six books.  This isn’t the kind of story that I think would work well in novel format.  Writing it as a series of short stories (short for me, anyway) keeps the narrative streamlined and the plot moving. 

6/21/2014

Meet the Nightingales: Jocasta Dallas


Bianca Lawson as Jocasta Dallas

Jo is a genius, an author, a Daddy's Girl, and a popular bartender at a downtown strip club.  She’s at a crossroads in her life, a woman with decisions to make and baggage to either claim or release, and finds herself caught up in a situation that tests her heart, her strength, and all of her abilities.

6/20/2014

Meet the Nightingales: Elysie Blake

Sujata Day as Elysie "Lee-Lee" Blake

A lover of nature and the occult, Lee-Lee is a doctoral student indirectly studying her origins.  She’s friendly, inquisitive, and blessed with unique abilities.  Her gifts allow her to be a conduit for supernatural forces.  Supported by her skinflint father, yet sustained by her understanding mother, Lee-Lee is determined to know who and what she is.

6/19/2014

Meet the Nightingales: Cressida Brinton


Michelle Krusiec as Cressida Brinton
This is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and will do whatever she feels is required to obtain it.  She is classy, cold, and calculating, with a slew of wealthy men at her beck and call.  But an unforeseen encounter puts her in the crosshairs of the unfamiliar…actually needing someone.

6/18/2014

Meet the Nightingales: Neveyah Austin-Malone

Jana Mashonee as Neveyah Austin-Malone

Neveyah Austin-Malone is a talented musician and gifted dancer who loves taking off her clothes for a living.  She is a tour de force on stage and has the ability to bring men to their knees.  Neveyah’s been fooling around with powers she has no business messing with, and as a result, has opened the door to something she’s unable to handle on her own.

6/17/2014

Meet the Nightingales: Monica Tierney

Nightingales was conceptualized to be a cable television show, and as such, is dreamcasted.  The actresses that were chosen have made the characters come to vivid, wonderful life and it is with the utmost respect that I reference them here and on the Nightingales blog.

As part of the publication countdown, allow me to introduce the dreamcast of this exciting new series. 

Chrystee Pharris as Monica
Monica Tierney is a computer geek with a love for languages and the law.  She’s practical, brilliant, and relentlessly planning her future with Chris Kang, her fiance. She’s about to be in over her head in an unexpected spiritual struggle.  A Christian, Monica is unprepared for what is about to be unleashed.

6/16/2014

Coming Soon: The Nightingales

I am thrilled to report that my next book, Nightingales: CRASH!!! will be published
next week by Middle Child Press.  Nightingales is a contemporary supernatural series about five women who unite to solve the mystery of a haunted apartment that one of them occupies.   The series is expected to be a minimum of six 60-page books, or “episodes.”

Fans of Musings in the Dark may recall when this idea was first conceptualized a couple of years ago; as a response to a writing challenge posted on At the Bar.  Like ideas tend to do, this one took root, sprouted, and then evolved...and boy, did it ever.  I was not planning to write a series, but when the Muse speaks, I listen.  Therefore, I do not know how many books it will take to resolve the plot.  I will, however, take my time in doing so. Join me, if you will.

Readers can stay abreast of the Nightingales by checking out the supplemental blog, which will be released shortly before the publication of CRASH!!!  There are full biographies of each protagonist and information about the people in their lives, as well as anecdotes and facts about the setting of the story…my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.  Feel free to follow the blog and share your opinions and reviews of the books as the series progresses.

CRASH!!! is the pilot episode and in it, we meet the Nightingales: Lee-Lee, Monica, Neveyah, Jo, and Cressida.  

Neveyah and her BFF Jo are rudely awakened by Cressida, who is moving into a recently-vacated apartment on their floor.  Also disturbed by Cressida’s early-morning relocation shenanigans are Lee-Lee and Monica.  They converge in the hallway and sparks begin to fly.  Little do they know that Cressida’s loud and abrupt entry into their lives also marks the entry of something other.


Let the countdown to publication begin!

5/29/2014

Update

It's been almost six weeks since I last posted.  So much has happened and I've been super-busy with work.  The institute where I am employed sends its students on week-long field trips out into various countryside provinces.  The point is for them to experience the real China up close and personal.  

I was a chaperone on one of these trips and lawd, I wasn't ready for the excessive amount of walking that takes place (and this was supposed to be the "easy" trip).  I never claimed to be in shape, but if this is going to be a yearly thing, then I best get my workout game up.

And then, a completely unexpected thing happened...which you can read about on The Blasian Narrative.  I'm still getting my head around said event...and its eerie sorta-kinda parallel to my novel, Corruption.  

In two weeks, the school year will be over and I will finally have time to get back to regular updates.  Nothing is as time-consuming as August and June when it comes to the lives of educators.

4/18/2014

The Dream is Real


A couple of weeks ago, Ankh and I were exchanging emails and she mentioned that she finally landed a gig she’s been wanting for a long time, in a location that she always wanted to be.  She then went on to gush about how she spends her free time doing the things she loves, and then she said, “I’m living my dream.”

I acknowledged how proud I was of her, and then also shared that I, too, was living my dream.  I’m an expat with a doctorate, and I am a published author.  I have a job that I love, and while I am not currently living in the part of the world where I always saw myself, I do know that I’ll get there one day.  That I even made it to Asia is a testament to my faith in God and my penchant for pensive persistence. 

4/08/2014

Guest Post: "The Shade of It All"

The following is a guest post from a fellow author, friend, and my brother from another mother, Dennis R. Upkins.
_____________________________________________________

Before I begin, I want to thank Amaya for having me as a guest on this Virtual Book Tour, promoting my next novel West of Sunset. Amaya and I bounced topic ideas around for me to discuss: getting published, advice for aspiring writers, my writing process, etc.

But for Amaya, I couldn't just hand her any guest post. It had to be something special. You see Amaya is more than family. She's one of the elite member of my inner circle, my Ride or Dies. She's my twin. That sibling from another maternal figure. One of the perks of having someone who is family or a twin, is that you can have those REAL conversations that desperately need to be had without fear or hesitation.

One of said REAL conversations that need to be had, preparing for the inevitable shade and how not to let it hinder your progress.

As Amaya knows, being a writer is no easy feat, especially if you're a writer of color. Unfortunately, you're going to find yourself a target for jealousy, resentment and even sabotage.

3/26/2014

Dark Love III: Bus Stop


My analysis continues.

Bus Stop isn’t a supernatural or horror anthology TV show.  It was a mainstream series that focused on a bus stop in the fictitious town of Sunrise, Colorado.  However, there are two episodes that stand out.  One is “A Lion Walks Among Us,” an adaptation of Tom Wicker’s novel The Judgment.  This particular episode was aired exactly one time, and due to the violence it contained, it led to a congressional hearing on television violence, the firing of the network president, and the cancelation of the show.  The executive producer also lost his job. 

3/09/2014

Dark Love II: Night Gallery

Next on the slate in my continuing homage to Stephen King’s deconstruction of sci-fi/fantasy/horror fiction and television is Night Gallery. Night Gallery is Rod Serling’s second go-round with network television.  You undoubtedly remember the first, The Twilight Zone.*  




2/25/2014

Fic Update: Discipline

"You mean you’re finally going to fire me?  This means we can be seen together in public, then?"

Read more here...

2/24/2014

Fic Update: Discipline

I put my hands on his desk and leaned forward so that my face was inches from his.  “We can do this thing on two conditions.”

Read more here...

2/21/2014

Fic Update: Discipline (6/?)

I couldn’t help but smile at how ostentatious it was, but when he got out wearing jeans and a simple blue shirt, my heart smiled.  While the car seemed to match the image of the man I worked with, the way he was looking right now caught me completely from the left.  He looked like a regular guy.  A regular great-looking guy.  His hair was tied back with a leather strap and his sleeves were partially rolled.  His bracelet shone in the sunlight and his smile… I decided that I liked him better this way.  Don’t get me wrong; the man gave a new definition to rocking a suit, but this…this right here was very nice.

2/20/2014

Fic Update: Discipline (5/?)

“Yes,” he said, and before I knew it, he had me in his arms, straddling his lap, looking into his endless blue eyes.  His hands were on my ass and all I could think about at that second was about how thin my dress was.  The man was strong.  Have I mentioned that yet?  How strong he was?  How he could hold me tight, hold me hard, hold me the way a woman needs to be held?  How safe I felt when he had his arms around me?  He’s so strong.  It was a definite bonus.  He lifted me like I weighed absolutely nothing.  “Yes,” he said again, staring at me.

Read more here...

2/18/2014

Fic Update: Discipline

“Am I wrong in assuming that men are constantly throwing flowers at your feet?  If that is the case, then I must be working among complete morons.  I simply can’t believe that there isn’t a straight man in this city that you haven’t captivated enough to want by his side.”

I took a deep breath, cursing the fact that the sexy bastard had the absolute audacity to smell good.  The utter nerve of him, working my girl nerves!  He had some sweet game, though.  I know I was blushing…at least a little.  “Half of my associates would be completely demoralized to hear you say such things.”

“No doubt they want the top prize for themselves,” he said, moving closer to me.

Read more here...

2/17/2014

Fic Update: Discipline (3/?)

"I heard a muffled thump! and looked over to the side.  A small smile broke over my lips as I cupped my wineglass and walked out of my apartment.  Ten steps later, I was opening his door and walking across his floor in my bare feet.  I heard him in the kitchen and I thought I’d wait for him to come out.  I took another sip of my excellent wine and ran my fingers through my hair.  I wore it down and completely free; my hair appointment was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  If it got fucked up tonight because of our shared, secret chicanery, it would be absolutely no problem."

2/16/2014

Fic Update Alert: Discipline (2/?)

"He was tall, very tall, and slender.  He walked towards me and extended his hand.  Nice, long fingers, square nails…not a callus to be found. There was a gold bracelet peeking from under his suit jacket.  I took his hand and gripped it while looking him dead in the eyes, which were green.  He had black hair; as black and as layered as a raven’s wings, slicked back and longer than I prefer my associates to have, but it worked for him.  Boy, did it work.  He was decked out in the finest of Alexander McQueen and he smelled great.  He looked at me and there was a smile dancing over his lips.  “_______________, at your service.” "

In the Shadow of Greatness

I would like to take some time to honor a man who, in a short time, has become a very important part of my life.  He is a fellow creative soul, a genius in residence, an all-around stud, and one of the wisest people I know.  He is a man who covers the ground where he stands, and being that he's 6'5", that's a lot of ground.  If he has your back, then you are blessed indeed.

He is a staunch supporter of PoC, LGBTQs, women, and other marginalized groups.  He takes no prisoners and he does not back down.  You don't want to roll up on him on a brightly lit alley, much less a dark one.  He allows you to say whatever you want, but choose your words wisely, because he'll make you eat them if you can't defend them.

He takes absolutely zero shit off racists, haters, asshats, wanna-be allies, jerks, innanet gangstas and keyboard warriors.  For fools who wanna chug a bottle of eCourage and come for him, he is classy enough to warn your dumb asses that that is not the wisest course of action.  And he's super-kind enough to link me to watch the takedowns occur.  It's one of my few forms of entertainment.

I have learned so much just by listening to his words and reading his articles and posts.  I'm not nearly as knowledgeable in the arena of social activism as he is, but because of what I've learned from him, I'm able to stand tall in the areas I can and deflect the fuckery that ultimately comes my way.

To my friend, my fellow author, and my brother from another mother, I wish you nothing but good dreams, better blessings, and multiple fortunes.  And if I could fund your very own personal rotating hottie lineup, I'd gladly fork over the cash to do so.

*raises glass*  To you, Denny!  May 2014 be as good to you as 2013 was to me.



2/15/2014

New Shortie Alert: Discipline

Well, this little baby was inspired by a discussion over on The Black Girls’Club.  May I present to you, “Discipline,” starring Jill Scott, Tom Hardy, & Tom Hiddleston.  This fic comes with pics and a soundtrack.  

Lord, he felt so good.  My hands went up and down, down and up, taking in the tactile terrificness of his torso and I couldn’t help but moan a little.  But being the calm, cool woman that I am, I moved my hands back up to curl around his neck, making sure I got every inch of available skin. Then, when I was ready, I caressed the lobe of his right ear, giving him the signal to sit up.  He did so, giving me room to get to my knees.  I’m so glad my tub is deep; otherwise water would slosh everywhere.

2/09/2014

Dark Love, Part 1: Thriller

I’m a diehard, card-carrying, flag-waving, T-shirt-sporting fan of Stephen King.  I’ve been a fan since I sprouted breasts, which may explain a few things that I don’t care to elaborate.  Anyway, I own and have read all of his books, and my favorite book of all time is IT, read in 3 blistering, manic days when I was but a girl of 15.  This man has had the biggest, most hugest influence on my life as an author.  I absolutely adore him and that’s the black-ass bottom line.


In 1981, Mr. King wrote a nonfiction book titled Danse Macabre, which is a series of essays on the history, nature, quality, and substance of horror in media from 1950 to 1980 (and it is in need of a SERIOUS update, Mr. King).  He references novels, TV shows, and radio programs that he recalls from his early years and their place in our pop culture collective unconscious.  The book is heavily cited, and considering the influences the citations had on his work, I eagerly backtracked to get my hands on as many of the stories, books, and shows he referenced.  Thank God for the internet.

2/03/2014

Tangled Axon: Ascension

Sometime last year, JVNX sent me a link to an eBook by Jacqueline Koyanagi.  One glimpse at the cover and I KNEW I was going to purchase it.

Is this or is this not a bad-ass cover?
This is NOT something I see often, and I’m compelled to throw virtual money at any sci-fi/fantasy (any genre, really, except hood lit) story that features a sistah on the cover.  Especially a cover as nice as this one.

Now on to the story.  Alana Quick is a sky surgeon (aka engineer) who dreams of engines and desperately wants to serve on a starship.  She suffers from a condition similar to fibromyalgia, and cannot afford to get the treatment she needs.  When the story opens, Alana is working in her and her aunt’s junkyard when an old Gartrik vessel lands in search of her spirit-guide sister, Nova.  Alana decides to stow away on the ship, the Tangled Axon, on the suggestion of the ship’s doc, Slip.  Once she is discovered, the adventure begins. 

1/25/2014

Damn! Another One???

This will be brief.

Apparently, there’s another show on TV with a sistah heading the cast…as some man’s jump-off.  I’m not going to belabor the point, as you guys already know how I feel about this.  This network side-hoe trend that began with Scandal, continued with Deception (a show that was gratefully canceled after one limp-dick season), and is now manifesting with Being Mary Jane needs to die quick, fast and in a hurry.  It’s not cool.  And while I love the idea of sistahs starring in their own prime-time shows, I do not care for it coming at the expense of their integrity or sexuality.  This has got to stop, but until the ratings for shows like Scandal or BMJ (Deception suffered from a plethora of problems in addition to using Meagan Good as a Lure) drop into the negatives, it won’t. 

*sigh*


What is wrong with giving us a 2014 rendition of Clair Huxtable?  Or even better, how about giving us a sistah protagonist who’s happily single, living her life, and doing her thing without being encumbered with complicated relationship issues?  What in the hell is so difficult about that?  It is a life, a reality that a great many of us choose without an eyelash of regret.  I remember fondly a show called Living Single, and my two favorite characters were Maxine Shaw (played by Erika Alexander) and Regine Hunter (played by Kim Fields).  Max was the best-dressed attorney on TV, and her goal was moreso about mooching food off her bff Khadijah (Queen Latifah) than getting boo’ed up.  And Regine, a conceited social climber, wanted to get wifed by a wealthy man who could take care of her.  There was also Khadijah’s cousin Synclaire (Kim Coles), who was in a healthy relationship with Overton, the building super.  I don’t recall any of those fabulous women choosing to be a sideline hoe, and I do recall Living Single lasting several seasons.  Why can’t we have a show like this again?  

Suggested Reading:  Bougie, Flawed & Immoral

1/18/2014

All Hail the King

I don’t purchase music often.  Mainly it’s because 90% of the stuff on the radio is noise to my o’head ears.  Every now and then, a friend will recommend something and I’ll try it out, but this is not a normal occurrence.  I guess that’s how it is when you get older, but I don’t feel like I’m missing much.  I’ve never purchased an album without hearing a few singles, and with the way music is sold now, you really don’t have to purchase entire albums anymore.  That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, but I digress.

1/10/2014

When Love Becomes a Liability


Liability: a person or thing whose presence or behavior is likely to cause embarrassment or put one at a disadvantage. Source: Google.

Last year, I wrote a post called The Jump-Off, which was about the futility of being the other woman. In said post, I referenced the hit TV show Scandal, which at the time I didn’t watch because I didn’t like the idea of a sistah being a white man’s side dish. I didn't give a damn that he was the POTUS.

Fast forward eight months. After spending the holidays with my bff, who is a diehard Scandal fan, I’m now caught up on all 2.5 seasons of the show. I enjoyed everything not Olitz-related. In fact, I rolled my eyes and fast-forwarded through every "tender" scene they had together (which my bff thought was hilarious).

I don’t understand their relationship. I don’t believe their love. In fact, I need someone to explain to me just why he loves her and why she loves him. Clearly, they like fucking and Fitz clearly enjoys eating the chocolate, but good sex and bomb head do not a relationship make. He orders her about, stalks her, and obsesses over her…this is NOT love, people. Check the DSM-IV if you need confirmation. Fitz throws Olivia under the bus every chance he gets and she runs off like a kicked puppy to lick her wounds…until he does something to get her back. And to be honest with you…what he does isn’t worth much; it takes absolutely no effort on Fitz’s part to win Olivia back. “Earn me” indeed. She must not cost much.

1/01/2014

2013: A Year in Review

So this year was very eventful.  I finished my education and moved abroad to start a new life.  As far as my creative efforts go, I was not nearly as productive.  I guess that’s the name of the game: balance.  But I’m not upset about it.  Tainted was released in January, but due to a number of reasons, I decided to pull it.  It ended up being a good thing, because the book has been completely re-written, with new original artwork and a fantastic new cover.  I am so pleased with all of the new content.  It’s my plan to publish the novel in March 2014 and here’s hoping that things go very, very well this second time around.