Sunday, August 30, 2009

The People That Were


I was at the Michael Jackson birthday party in Prospect Park. I did think it was a bit morbid and sad that they had a birthday cake. It made it real. Who was going to blow out the candles?


We're only a little more than halfway through the year and I'm thinking about the last week in December when all the network news and entertainment magazine shows do the "Year in Review" and remember all the celebs that have passed that year. 2009 has had major loss and upheaval. The People that Were; all very influential, loved. I've noticed that many were pioneers in their field, visionaries, real people with real problems and somehow hold a part in the public's heart. I've also noticed that the people who have been most affected by these deaths are themselves on the brink of transformation. They're being primed to take those spots left open by those that have passed. It's like a sick, dying parent who holds on until they know their children are gonna be all right before they go.


I truly believe it is the changing of the guards. My contemporaries and I are on the verge of greatness.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Write Stuff


I haven't been writing much on this blog, but I have been writing. It's been a little slow on the freelance non-fiction front, but my erotic short story collection is moving right along. I'm at the point where I can decide which stories not to include. So that's a good thing. I've been asked a few times what's the theme of the collection. I made a list of the commonalities--food, music, minor Pop culture references, Black/African characters (at least 1 in each story) and of course, sex. I'd like to have a little more "love" in my stories, but I've realized that when someone else reads it, they pick up on the "love" or emotion, even if I don't think I included any. That's my energy coming through on the page. I'm an emotional person. I feel everything and I have the ability to feel what you feel and make you feel what I feel (I know that's empathy, but I felt like being long-winded).


In mid-July, I went to the Harlem Book Fair (HBF), primarily because there were certain talks and workshops I wanted to attend. It was my first time at the event and I did enjoy myself. But I was turned off by all the booths and the folks manning the booths shoving "Urban Fiction" at me. When I see people reading those books on the train, my initial thought is, "Oh, they reading one of those ghetto books." Then I quickly rationalize, "Well, at least they're reading." I can only recall TWO (book) booths that weren't selling that genre of fiction (There were tons of other vendors). Two? In the panel discussion on making a living off your art the topic came up and what it boiled down to is that's what sells. And at some point your art/show becomes a business. By no means were the attendees of the workshop encouraged to write Urban Fiction but it was just an example of the obvious--what sells is what makes money and there will always be someone who will relate to (and buy) your art, so continue to create what works for you (special thanks to Mo Beasley, Mahogany Browne, Brad "Blue" Bathgate and Ebony Washington).


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