Monday, June 29, 2009

The Ill Doctrine

Heard about The Ill Doctrine blog while listening to NPR's All Things Considered today. Thought you might like it too, if you haven't discovered it already... you know how I can be a day late and a dollar short sometimes.

I especially like the entry How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist and the entry A Beginner's Guide To No Homo. And there are many others to listen and learn from. And the host, Jay Smooth, has been called one of the sexiest men alive by the Foolisht blog. Hmmmmm....

Enjoy. Oh, and tune in to All Things Considered as well for more discoveries and news you may not get on your local 6 o'clock news.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Your Day Job And Your Writing Dreams

Now that I'm on summer break, I'm making a concentrated effort to use the days revising and finishing up my third novel.

And like most writers, I have a day job that I love.

So I found this article, How To Keep Your Day Job From Killing Your Writing Career, most insightful. For all of you aspiring to finish a writing project, you'll appreciate the link I found via Practicing Writing.

For my first novel, I used time after work/gym and some weekends to write. For the second, I was faithful to a 4 am wake up time to write a couple hours before work.

But as I advanced in my day job, and needed to do more planning and managing the work of others along with longer work days, I began using morning hours for gym and evening hours for planning day job work or sleeping. Those are no-no habits for someone managing a day job and a writing career.

So, I'm doing the summer break catch-up now. But if I had my way (and just putting into the Universe my intention), the 4 am writing wake up is the best and most manageable plan for me.

Other dual-career folks... what has been helpful for you? Or those of you aspiring to finish a writing project... what can you do more of to make your career dreams move forward?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Harvard Bound

This story will make your day... and inspire the young people in your life to know they can do ANYthing positive, even in the most challenging situations.

From homeless to Harvard. Khadijah Williams will be leaving L.A.'s homeless shelters to attend Harvard Univerity this fall. L.A. Times story here.

I have a feeling this will become the basis of a book or film one day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Queen

There's only one Queen -- the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin -- and I'm so excited to be seeing her this coming Friday evening at the Hollywood Bowl. It's her first concert in L.A. in 35 years at the bowl.

So of course this week is about ALL things Aretha. Let's start with an old favorite, I Ain't Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)... a newer favorite, Pride (A Deeper Love)... and a gospel and church favorite, Never Grow Old.

What's your favorite Aretha Franklin song/performance? (And don't just mention the fabulous church hat at Inauguration.)

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Husband Habit

Confession. There was a period about three years ago (maybe two) where all the guys I thought were potential dates had long-term partners. This was in between on-again/off-again rounds with the ex I call Last Call.

I didn't go into these friendships-turned-crushes deliberately seeking someone with a mate. It just happened. What's that saying about the Universe attracts the energy you put out? Well, I wasn't seeking men with boyfriends. In my mind, they were crushes. In their minds, we were friends. But, somehow I always felt guilty for crushing on and spending time with men with partners... though nothing romantic ever happened.

That phase is over.

But of course there's a novel coming out in a couple weeks with a heroine who finds herself always attracting married men: The Husband Habit by Alisa Valdes Rodriguez. It's getting good reviews even prior to its release. And if you've read AVR's previous works, you know you're in for a fun and fulfilling read. Trust me.

But on that note, have you ever found yourself in a "attracting partnered people" phase? Or have you actually gone full-throttle in a relationship with a partnered person? Did you ever think about or run into the partner?

Or ever wondered if the rule that the straights follow (married people shouldn't have single friends of either sex) should go for the LGBT community (people with partners shouldn't keep/go out with single friends)?

Or should there even be rules on this anymore? Hmmmm....

Monday, June 15, 2009

The First Day Of...

Summer vacation. Down time. It's so quiet, I don't even know where to begin. Had a fabulous and problem-free graduation weekend.

But I know for sure I will make good use of this summer break to get my third book manuscript edited, done, and ready for publication. That's resolution #1. Everything else is just icing on the cake... Aretha Franklin concert, Beyonce concert, the yearly pilgrimage to Detroit in August, and I may go car shopping.

In the meantime, some exciting links for you, including...

A 91-year old black romance author, who proves the point that it's never too late to start writing your book!

Book Group Buzz is one of my favorite sites for discovering new books and how to keep a book club group interesting. Good stuff here!

Yes, I Google myself. And tonight I found this gem of an interview I did during 2007 Atlanta Black Gay Pride with The Myne Mag . Sometimes I shock myself with the somewhat smart things I say, lol.

Hope it's a good day for you. Summer is here... let's make some memories, and let's make the most of this time!It's not too late to get started on those 2009 Is Mine Resolutions we all made :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Late Week Links

Busy week for me, with prepping for graduation weekend and all at my day job. Looking forward to summer break and finishing up that manuscript I told you about. But in the meantime...

Are you dating yourself? New blog I just found, Don't Be A Slut, discusses the idea in the entry, You're Only Dating Yourself. Other great entries in the blog, too.

I'm holding back commentary on the Praise Song and Dance video that miraculously re-appeared on YouTube... you've gotta watch from beginning to end ;-)

Entertainment Weekly column. The Book That Made Me Cry. What book(s) have you read that made you cry?

Congrats to our friend Rod 2.0 for making Advocate's Top 15 Gay(ish) Blogs.

Noel's blog reviews Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal, and it sounds like an absolutely delightful summer read. And I predict a Lambda Literary Awards finalist for next year's awards.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rewind, Refocus, Remember

So you all know I'm a big fan of Tayari Jones's novels, Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling. Was super happy to see on her blog that she's finished writing her third novel, The Silver Girl. Congrats! I'm sure it'll be as awesome as the first two.

It's no secret that I've been a few minutes in between books. I finished a not-too-great first draft of my third novel, which I've been tinkering with (i.e. re-writing/editing/getting just right) for over a year. I'm looking forward to refocusing this summer on the book and getting it right. A week from today, my summer vacation begins (graduation will be over), so I'll have all the time in the world.

Because I definitely miss the excitement typing the words, The End, the whole publication process, and getting to talk to people about it. It's fun work. I was re-listening to an interview I did on Feast of Fools podcast and remembered how much fun it was. And then last week someone sent me a link to a recent review of Down For Whatever. Exciting when a review comes, even when the book is four years old.

Anyway, I'm so excited for Tayari Jones. I hope to have the same excitement she's feeling before the end of this summer, when I get to type and feel confident about... The End.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Food For Thought... And The Body

Was listening to KCRW's Good Food show this morning, and heard the most fascinating feature on the In-N-Out burger secrets. The story featured Stacy Perman's book, In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-The-Counter Look At The Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All The Rules. Loved the story so much, that that's where we're heading for dinner tonight... been a good six months since I've been there.

Check out Noel Alumit's recommendations for LGBT summer reading in the latest Frontiers In L.A. Magazine. Definite food for the mind.

Finally, what would my weekend be like without The Splendid Table... more great stories about food, dining, and there's even a guide with splendidly cheap eats & recipes on the site. Take a look.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Entwined Destinies

People (or rather, high-brow critics without a clue for the masses) often cringe at the idea of paperback romance novels, although it is this area of publishing that keeps publishing afloat and able to keep high-brow (and maybe kinda boring) books published. Paperback romance is the most profitable market of publishing.

Anyway, the pioneer of black romance novels is a journalist named Elsie Washington, who wrote under the pen name Rosalind Wells. In 1980 she published the very first paperback romance that featured two African American star-crossed lovers. That book was called Entwined Destinies.

It was her first and only novel, though she went on to publish a non-fiction book -- Uncivil War: The Struggle Between Black Men and Black Women.

The author died in May, just a few weeks ago. Read and listed to the story on NPR: Trailblaizing Romance Writer Remembered. Remembrance in the New York Times.