Monday, October 26, 2009


Saw this novel yesterday while waiting to see Good Hair and it looked interesting.

Schooled, by Anishka Lakhani, features a teacher as the main character who takes on extra work as a tutor/paper writer/novel reader/ etc... for rich, prep students in New York City.

I quickly read through the first couple chapters while waiting for the movie and will be adding this to my "to-finish-reading" pile of books. That pile continues to grow and grow, but I'm looking forward to this one.

If you know a teacher who's dealt with highly snooty, privileged students and clueless parents, you'll enjoy the humor, sarcasm, and wit in the novel.

Now that you've been schooled for the day, time to get back to work. :-)

By the way, loved Good Hair. It was especially interesting hearing/seeing the reactions of non-black folks who, for many, this was the first time they'd heard/thought of the importance of the hair subject in the black community.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sherri Shepherd Sunday in L.A.

If you're in L.A., Sherri Shepherd will be reading and signing her new book, Permission Slips, at Esowon Books on Sunday, October 25 at 3 pm.

National Novel Writing Month 2009

In about a week, thousands of writers will start writing their hearts out during National Novel Writing Month.

The goal is to produce 50,000 words (about 175 pages) of a novel. It's more about output and productivity first, then revising after the month is over.

November 1 - 30. Up for it?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Clay's Waiting Game

I'm so excited for my friend Clay Cane, who has been patiently waiting for his book, Ball-Shaped World, to be picked up by an agent and then a publisher. Ball-Shaped World is a novel based on/in the black and latino LGBT ball world in NYC.

He got the agent a couple years back. Then waited for the yes's and no's as she submitted to publishers. A couple weeks ago, we talked and he had good news -- he's getting published and was just about to sign his contract with the publisher. Such good news.

Now, the waiting game continues as the book goes through copy editing, story editing, cover and marketing meetings, and publication date in late 2010, etc... It's all worth it for Clay, as he achieved his goal of being picked up by a publisher.

If you're not familiar with Clay's work, check him out. He gets great celebrity interviews, writes awesome commentary on pop culture, black culture, LGBT culture, and is an all around awesome guy. I love his What The Flick columns for BET.

I can't wait to read the book when it's in final form on the book shelf in just over a year. If you're a writer or a reader, you must have patience. The whole publishing world is one big waiting game.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Somewhere Out There

Lots going on out there. Here's what I'm reading on the net lately.

White Reader Meet Black Authors Blog provides a great list of potential holiday gift books.

Ever wonder how publishers decide how much to pay authors? PMN blog gives a four part series on author contracts.

Everyone is Dancing With Butterflies, Reyna Grande's new novel.

When Noel Alumit met James Ellroy... writing tips come forth.

That's all for now. Have a good one!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Push It Real Good

So I think it's kinda cool that Salt-n-Pepa's "Push It" is still bringing dancers of all generations together on the dance floor. Random thought.

Another demographic I've always thought has the potential to be great alliance -- gay men and straight women -- as I've written before in the entry, Kicking It, and the entry, Gay Black Men/Straight Black Women. I list a number of political and social reasons the alliance could work.

Then yesterday, while browsing my favorite Atlanta Bookstore site, Outwrite Books, I discovered yet another way the two groups may be able to help each other... in the bedroom... with the new book, Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man.

Definitely a conversation starter.

And reminds me of my friends and I and a karaoke re-mix we've made of the Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha, to be sung to straight guys who seem hot, on the fence, open minded, etc... "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a boy like me..."

Crazy jokes aside, hope you have a good Friday and a good weekend!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Books, Videos, Concerts... Hmmm, Anita or EnVogue?

Hey y'all.

We're using the novel, Push by Sapphire, as the focal point for a women's discussion group at my campus. Very successful, most diverse crowd ever for this program. We wanna do the same (novel as focal point) for a men's discussion group, and I need book recommendations... got any? Kindly let me know.

Gotta give it up to Harry Connick Jr. who recently put an Australian talent show on blast for featuring blackface artists on the show. On this link, feel free to skip past the "talent" portion to about 4:40 when Harry explains why blackface is not acceptable to the host and audience. Thanks QTC blog!

Whitney Houston's in Europe promoting her new CD, and gave a fabulous live performance of Million Dollar Bill... and interview in France. Thanks Rod!

Love this creative 1-shot version of I Gotta Feeling by University of Montreal students. Students have soooo much creativity... and time... on their hands. :-)

OK. The real deal... I gotta make a choice. Dinero, you know? First weekend of November in L.A... Anita Baker on Saturday, November 7 or EnVogue on Sunday, November 8? Will decide on Friday... payday Friday at that... how stereotypical? lol. Anyway, who would you go see live in concert?

That's all. I hope today (and tonight's) gonna be a good good day for you!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesdays With Writers

Some good news that I missed... the papers of the late Octavia Butler will be going to the Huntington Library in the San Marino/Pasadena area of SoCali. If you haven't read her novel Kindred, please get a copy today. Octavia Butler also wrote one of my favorite quotes on Choosing Leaders.

If you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, you might be interested in attending the Latino Book and Family Festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11 at Cal State L.A.

If you're a writer entering short story contests, you might be interested in reading Craft Tips Culled From Contest-Judging. Every tip helps when you're trying to win or place in a writing contest.

If you're an aspiring author, you might be interested in reading Should You Pay Someone To Edit Your Work?

That's all for now... have a good one!

Friday, October 02, 2009

For The Weekend...

If you're in L.A., check out the West Hollywood Book Fair on Sunday, October 4. Lots of fun, great people watching, and of course all the books and writers panels.

On the hunger tip, if you're in L.A. check out L.A.s global sandwich offerings. I've tried a few of these recommended shops/sandwiches... and yum-my!

For the authors... what happens if you're dropped by your label/agent, and you're a Previously Published Author trying to get back into the game? An agent chimes in.

For a new read, check out Swish: My Quest To Become The Gayest Person Ever by Joel Derfner.

Lately, I'm re-reading Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan.

I've become such a Food Network addict lately... but I've learned a couple things that can never go wrong with your food preparation, thanks to The Neely's and Paula Deen. Always keep apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and worchestershire sauce on hand. Soaking your meat overnight in any of them, plus your spices... yummy meat. And brown sugar/mustard glaze makes a good sauce for anything, including this delicious salmon recipe I've been doing lately.

Have a good one!