Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Thought I'd Won A Daytime Emmy...

But then I woke up. Just a dream. Wanna hear about it? Here it goes.

I was in the Kodak Theater, nominees section for the Daytime Emmy Awards, sitting with the production staff of Young and The Restless. I was nominated for Outstanding Writing, and I was the co-head writer.

I watched with a slight mist in my eyes, as the scenes I'd submitted were shown before the audience while the nominations were being read.

When the announcer read my writing team had won, I did the speech, thanked all the family and staff from Y&R, and then did my best to implore Victoria Rowell to come back to Y&R as Drucilla because the show really needed her.

Yeah, I know. My dreams can be over the top.

But then the funny thing, is the next scene of the dream, Victoria Rowell was a special presenter for a Lifetime Achievement Award, and before reading the script, she announced she had recently signed a new contract to return to Y&R.

She was happy. I was happy. Then I woke up. No Daytime Emmy next to my bed. Just the sunlight. And a desire to go catch up on the week of Young and Restless episodes sitting on the DVR. Or to listen to the Daytime Confidential podcast.

Your Whitness Is Showing

A good friend of mine in Vermont called me this morning. Implored me to read this fascinating essay by Tim Wise... Your Whiteness is Showing.

It's an open letter to Clinton supporters who are having a difficult time moving over to Obama.

My friend and I were on opposite sides of the primary season. Managed to stay friends. Mainly because he's not a "sore winner."

But it's a cool essay and I'd like to know what you think.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Kissed A Friend... And I Liked It

So I've had this platonic friend for about two years.

We actually met with the possibility of more-than-friends, but we went nowhere fast down that road. Which is cool. We talk a couple times a month, MySpace message each other once in a while, all that. Occassionally, I'll see him out on one of his rare appearances at a club or bar. Real casual. Cool friend.

But last night something was different. We were passing each other, each walking in our own direction to another end of the club, and we stopped, smiled, did the friendly gay hug, cheek-to-cheek thing, and then kissed. I mean KISSED. I was surprised. I think he was surprised. We stopped and kept walking our separate ways.

We have texted about it this morning. About how fun and surprising (and good) it was.

Is that weird?

Um, so this fits in to one of my favorite songs right now, I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry. Well, because I kissed a friend and I liked it.

And it also fits in with one of my favorite podcasts, Savage Love Podcast, and this episode talking about when do you finally break down and make the jump from friend to dating or dating to commitment. Episode 71. Lots of good and blunt advice on Savage Love.

Anyway, hope your weekend if off to a good start. Kiss a friend... start a good summer storyline for yourself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You Talk Like You Grew Up With A Father

We had an interesting lunch conversation at work today. Talked about what it feels/felt like to be raised by only a mother, and no father in the house.

I didn't have that experience, and shared that I didn't. But that I could somehow sense from those who didn't grow up with a father that it left a great void or longing in their life. I gathered that from past conversation with students who'd been raised without a father, for whatever reason, that there were some intense emotions around that situation.

One person at the table said to me they could tell I grew up with a father in the house. Said that I talked and said things like someone who grew up with a father.

Couldn't come up with any specifics... but someone else commented the same. That people who grew up with a mom and dad have a certain way of speaking, being, approaching situations.

It was news to me. But have you heard of, or thought of, such a thing?

Monday, June 23, 2008

People Who Don't Read

This is one of my faves... Family, by J. California Cooper. Moved me to tears... and cheers.

I'm always amazed when I run into people who don't read. Not that they can't. But they just don't.

The other day, I had some people over. In my living room is a huge book case with hundreds of books. Most of them I'd read at some point in my life.

One of the guests observed the books on the case, asked if I'd read any of them, and when I said most of them, he just about lost it. Thought it was soooooo amazing. To me, it's not a big deal, but then again it is... because each of those books represents a story that resonated with me, or a different time period of my life.

What I liked about him is that he was a non-reader who wasn't judgmental about reading. He was just in awe that I knew so much about different books. And then he lost it when I said I write, too. That's another story.

But then I've met some non-readers who are extremely judgmental about reading. The call it boring, nerdy, not exciting, etc... And of course I take that personally, because then I assume they're saying it about readers... and me. Maybe it isn't about me.

I am a life-long reader. Started out with the whole Dr. Seuss collection as a toddler. Bought those books in elementary school -- the whole order catalogue, getting parents' permission to buy, taking the money to the teacher. And I always read for pleasure, even when in undergrad and grad school.

When I meet someone who's a reader, I think this person is: patient, reflective, curious, open to new ideas and adventures, and able to be still and entertain him or herself. I never think boring or nerdy.

Still... it surprises me when I meet someone who's not into reading. But then it's exciting when I get an email from someone who says they'd never read a book before until a friend turned them on to me.

When they ask for a recommendation on what to read next, then I'm even more excited.

Friday, June 20, 2008

There Is Only One Mrs. Chancellor

And tonight, her portrayer, Jeanne Cooper won an Emmy (finally) for Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

That's Katherine Chancellor from The Young and The Restless.

Whether she's playing drunk and signing divorce papers... determined to beat Jill (her life-long enemy who turned out to be her daughter), or fighting with Jill over Phillip, Mrs. Chancellor is and has always been the bombay of Y&R.

I remember when growing up, how my sister and her friends would talk about how Mrs. Chancellor always kept her hair flawlessly cut, kept those manicured long nails, and stayed dripping in diamonds while lounging in that living room (and using that one long nail to open the curtains and peek out at her grounds and the grave of her husband, Phillip).

You all know I'm a huge daytime drama fan. And I'm super happy Young and Restless is back on track to how it used to be (with the slow building stories that lead to a huge payoff months or years down the road).

And I'm super happy that Mrs. Chancellor has her Emmy. After nine nominations! And she has a MySpace too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fiona Is Fast

Seems like it was just a year ago I was writing about Fiona Zedde about to put out a new novel. Yeah, it was a year ago. It was her third, Every Dark Desire.

Next week, Fiona's fourth novel comes out. That's four novels in four years. Hungry For It. Fiona's explained it to me in detail. And it sounds very exciting. Love the cover, huh?

So if you're in the Atlanta area soon, Fiona will be doing a number of promotional events. Hopefully you can check her out.

Meantime, let me get back to the keyboard so that I make my end-of-summer deadline. I'm trying to be as fast as Fiona!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Gay marriage is here, and here to stay.

People of the same gender started getting married in California just a couple hours ago. One of my good friends and his partner will be getting married on Wednesday.

To celebrate the occasion. Will You Marry Me by Paula Abdul.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Band Fags

So you gotta check out this new novel, Band Fags.

It's a coming-of-age novel, set in my hometown (the Detroit area) by Frank Anthony Polito, also originally from the Detroit area.

Set in the 1980s, Band Fags follows two young men and their friendship from middle through high school, as they navigate being in band, crushes, relationships, and all those sexual identity questions that all young people go through.

If you have a things for the 80s, or Detroit, or being in band, or just have a young person in your life who's going through it (just because they're creative and cool like that!), you gotta check out this novel.

I did orchestra, by the way... made it to first-chair violin by h.s. senior year. Quit all together by sophomore year college. Wish I hadn't quit. That's another story.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One In A Million

A couple weeks ago, I was able to pick up an advanced reader copy of Kimberla Lawson Roby's new novel, One in a Million. I'm so happy I did.

I've only read the first few chapters, as I'm feverishly in the midst of my own end-of-summer edict/deadline, but what I've read so far has me hooked.

The gist: imagine you've got some great -- and I mean GREAT -- news to share with your partner; but just before you break the news, your partner delivers some shocking -- and I mean SHOCKING -- news to you.

That's all I can say... but when you find out the great news the character was going to share (by the end of chapter one), it'll make you leap for joy wondering how this is all going to play out.

For those of you who've followed the author's career, you know she's had a series of fiction books following the trials and tribulations of a shady pastor, Curtis Black. This book is a stand alone, so you don't have to know all the history of the other series to catch on to this one.

This fun summer read will be out next week.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Accidentally on Purpose

There's something about one-night stands... that initial chemistry, the for-the-moment pleasure, the awkward but necessary goodbye. Aaah, memories.

In her new memoir, Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Pregnancy, and Loving The Best Mistake I Ever Made, Mary Pols examines a one-night-stand that resulted in an accidental pregnancy.

But it's not just about the accidential pregnancy. It's about being an independent, career-minded person. It's about not planning to be a parent. It's about dealing with aging and declining parents, while also enjoying new motherhood.

Sounds really interesting... and I feel like I saw a documentary recently on a similar -- if not the same -- topic. Hmmm... I'll figure it out.

I had a good friend in grad school who had a few one-night stands on one of our spring break trips, and she ended up pregnant by a stranger and keeping the baby. And one of my young relatives recently got a stranger pregnant on a spring break trip, and ended up staying with the kids and mom. The latter is now a crazy situation that the family is dealing with.

Anyway, we've all had them... or know someone who does. So it's only fitting that someone would make the topic a central theme of a memoir.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Echoes of the Past

So a lot of weird/happy things happening.

First, I am extremely happy to see that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee. Though I am/was/still am a Hillary Clinton supporter, and voter, I will fall in line like everyone else will. But I do think an Obama/Clinton ticket is the way to bring all of their voters and constituents together. The best of the past with the brightness of the future. My opinion. We'll see how it plays out.

But politics aside, I was thinking about my dad, who passed away two years ago, and ALL of our collective relatives and ancestors who've passed on... who probably shouted a great big "HALLELULAH" up above on Tuesday night... If you're a believer, I reveled in the idea of a huge black ancestor's party in heaven.

So, speaking of my father. Yeah, I was thinking about my dad this week. Of my whole collection of pictures and images, HIS kept popping up in my screen saver. All that jazz.

So this is when it gets weird. I have a new colleage who knows NOTHING about me or my family. But yesterday, she asked me if anyone close to me had died recently, because she'd been getting energy/messages from someone trying to communicate with me. I asked her what messages. And she said the person was trying to tell me to slow down with work... and to take care of myself.

Now, you don't know me that well... but my father used to end all his conversations with me and my sister with "Take care of yourself."

It freaked me out. It made me happy. I mean, I'm not a believer or a dis-believer in the idea that people can receive messages from those who have passed on. I'm open-minded to the possibility that can happen, but wouldn't rely or seek out messages.

But when she shared that with me, it was a total echo of the past, and it gave me a good sense that the people who have passed on are watching over, caring about, and celebrating with us.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I don't know.

Maybe it's the Carrie Bradshaw "Sex and The City" movie effect, since she's a writer.

Or maybe it's knowing the school year ends in just a few days, and I'll have two and a half months of down time.

Or maybe it's attending Book Expo America this weekend, the publishing industry trade show, and feeling weird that I didn't have a new product ready to promote, along with the thousands of other new books coming out. Like, my friend Fiona is on her fourth novel, Hungry For It, since 2005.

Maybe it's calming down on the Puma front for a bit... the 30/20 dating thing.

Or maybe it was the nice, yet professionally firm, conversations with some folks at my publishing house reminding me of the book-a-year pact, and that's how a published author's career grows.

But whatever it is... I've had one of the most productive writing weeks in months.

I'm even getting up again for my 5am writing sessions... and falling asleep at the keyboard every night. That's a good thing for me... and for the people who read my books.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Soap Academics

Who knew MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) had an academic class on the American Soap Opera?

I didn't. But learned a lot today listening to the Daytime Confidential podcast. An interview with Sam Ford, whose thesis focused on the history/genre/characteristics of the American Soap Opera.

Most people don't take daytime industry seriously. I do. And listening to the interview, and Sam Ford's academic take on the soap opera genre, gave me a new perspective. A more serious perspective.

Take a listen.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My Best Friend and My Man

"I can tell you a lot about a best friend honey... when it comes down to your man, you ain't got no best friend." -- Denise LaSalle song, "It Be's That Way Sometime"

First, I've experienced no such drama... at least to my knowledge. And if something like this happened, I don't know if I'd want to know. But that's a whole 'nother story.

But in her new novel, My Best Friend and My Man, author Cydney Rax explores the dynamics between friends as their men. The novel comes out in just a few days.

This is Cydney's third novel, and another with a provocative title and subject matter. Her first, My Daughter's Boyfriend, looks at a delicate love triangle between a daughter, her boyfriend, and her mother. Her second, My Husband's Girlfriend, explores "arrangements" couples make when things just aren't like they used to be, but they still want to be together.

If you don't know Cydney's work, you should. She maintains one of the top websites about black/African American authors, Book Remarks. And she's a fellow Detroiter, though now she's a Houston resident. But we still keep our love for the Pistons, through thick and thin, unlike some city's where the fans are kinda... fLAKER-ish, lol.

Oh, so anyway, back to the subject matter. Pick up a copy of My Best Friend and My Man.

And in the meantime, have you experienced a situation with your best friend and your man? Or how about your best friend's man? Did you tell? Were you told? Did you discover? How did it all go down?