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Friday, July 3, 2015

The 4th. the 4th, the 4th - Division, fireworks and apple

First of all, to all of those who celebrate Independence Day here in the States, have at it. Please do. The way I used to celebrate it as a kid is long behind me. Oh, I ate up my share of home-made strawberry ice cream, ate as much potato salad and cold chicken and fresh tomatoes and corn, and drained a lot of lemonade-filled glasses and scarfed down pie (whatever fruit my grandfather could scare up for the main desserts) with the best of them. Said fruit died happily in peach or apple or blueberry cobblers. My grandmother and my mother would cook for daaaaays; so would any other family member who had a "speciality" we craved and cried for like widdle babies. And they had JOBS too. So I don't get this "I don't have time to cook" mentality of today. Maybe, just maybe, step away from Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook for a couple hours and go SHOP FOR and COOK something! Anyhoo, these folks of the last century had responsibilities and still cooked. From SCRATCH. Now this here holiday was chiefly viewed in my family as a day off. From hearing the boss's mouth. From hearing the voice of ANYONE who had power over your life. Now before meditation and "raising your vibration" so you could float above the ish of others, there was the land of "shut you the eff down." Just plain ole tune you out. So the 4th of July, and other holidays were used by my family to refuel before having to jump back into the fray. That was their definition of freedom.

There were a lot of vets in my family, so I saw them salute and stuff to the flag but...it was more about honoring lost comrades. One uncle, who'd survived WWII, ALWAYS got blotto at all occasions and was the only one who'd let it rip about his "gubmint." No family get-together would be complete without his dressing down of his years serving under "idiots with connections" and the blatant racism run a muck then in the armed forces. As outrageous and tough as he was, I knew as I got older that his outbursts were his residual hurt made worse by his pride in serving and his small, hidden streak of patriotism. He needed help and never got it. He passed at 83 still hurt and angry at the country for which he'd put his life on the line for. With all the institutionalized push back and reproach, my family knew their rightful place in this land, claimed it. They NEVER, EVER questioned their right to be a part of this country. That was others' favorite dead horse to beat.

Which brings me to the sad state of affairs concerning racial matters in US of A this holiday. We have certain folk imitating us. We have us killing one another and others gleefully joining in to help, legally or illegally. I used to think that millennials were rather... useless. Sorry. That's how they came off. Self-absorbed, possessing the attention span of a gnat unless a topic concerned them, skeptical and naive at the same time, chiefly enterpreneurial, disconnected from their surroundings unless anything Apple was waved in front of them. But in recent months, millennials have found their purpose, in my eyes at least. They are the voice of accountability. I hope they stay that way. My Boomer generation was like that once, until they became bankers, lawyers, doctors and such. And got mortgages. And gave birth to you. We were lions once. Now, we are simply lying down. I added the link to an article in the Griot published last winter. It speaks volumes to me. it's about one of the new lions. His work is gritty and some will sigh "too harsh" it but he captures a moment in present/past American history in a single image. Make the acquaintance of Mister Patrick Campbell, Millennial.

And what will I be doing tomorrow? Besides passing the torch, this Boomer is gonna make herself a plate of sliced, chilled chicken with fresh broccoli and corn sides. For dessert, a scoop of strawberry ice cream AND a helping of peach cobbler. Then I'll lift several glasses of hard lemonade to all those absent and to this "messy" country because I belong here. Oh, and I'll be checking my email for the proofs of my next installment in THE FELIG CHRONICLES. It's called GAMBIT and is book 5. I'll read more research for my next historical tentatively titled, "SWORN." And, of course, listen to Old School 100.3. It's a Breakwater, Heatwave, BT Express kind of weekend. Yes. I need it.

http://thegrio.com/2014/12/06/new-age-of-slavery-painting-patrick-campbell



"New Age of Slavery" by Patrick Campbell




Monday, June 29, 2015

WRNB - OLD SCHOOL 100.3 - Playing the soundtrack of my life 24/7

Oldschool1003.png


My favorite radio station (yeah, RADIO STATION) WRNB OLD SCHOOL 100.3 FM broadcasts from Philadelphia.They play Motown, disco, New Jack Swing, funk, R&B, Hip Hop all from the 70s, 80s ,90s and beyond. I love this station and it is on at least 8 hours a day, or longer, in my abode. With personalities Chubb Rock, Lady B, DJ TouchTone(the only blind DJ in the business), Tiffany Bacon, Dianna Williams, Derek Sampson, and on and on, I am fifteen again.

I don't do mp3 players even though I have one. Hell, I still have a Walkman and a record player and a tape recorder and a landline. I find it funny ha ha that companies (out to get your hipster money) are now peddling transistor radios and turn tables and old fashioned cameras that need film and typewriters. Why buy one? Ask your grandparents for the ones they have packed away in their attic, garage or basement. Everything old is new again. So glad I saved my ish. But I digress.

So, if you love old school music and don't own a radio, listen online at www.oldschool1003.com and dance around your house to some Parliament Funkadelic.





The great Octavia Butler - SciFi writer and one of the inspirations for my writing race into Scifi and paranormal romance





This lady's work didn't get, nor does it get, HALF the notice or praise of mediocre people writing in her genre now. And you all know who you are. Yes, I said it and the truth shall set you free! She has been an inspiration for me because she dared to insert BLACK people into Scifi writing. Not just as a writer but with her characters. The world of publishing. Ah! That colorblind (more like blind period), benevolent, happy place that was/is still chugging along, content in depicting a future without folk of darker hue in the books they market. And in the ones they produce that do have POC? Big ole face palm. Decent depictions are still far and few in between.

Anyhoo, Ms. Butler wrote of people of color in her Scifi writing. Her Kindred, Parable of the Sower, Bloodchild, etc. Masterpieces all. Wow! what a concept! POC in the the future. And we were just as spectacular or regular as any Caucasian character in a Scifi book. Thank you. You gave me courage to pen a Black heroine who carries the paranormal series I created. You gave me the courage to place her front and center and make no apologies for it. She's not a sidekick. She's not the magic Negro voice of reason. She's not the oddly-hued placeholder for a member of a mock POC race. She is a Black, human female. Flawed as hell and human as hell while being it.

My talent is nowhere near Ms. Butler's hers but what I have created is mine and you gave me the power to do so. Thank you.

The sole current Scifi writer I can think of who is fit to wear her crown? N. K. Jemisin hands down. So, Octavia Butler may be gone but she lives on in all the Black female writers of Scifi. And maybe of paranormal.


Hey, Hollywood adapt some of her stuff.


http://blackamericaweb.com/2015/06/23/little-known-black-history-fact-octavia-butler/

info courtesy of Black America web

photo credit; http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/portals/0/NotableAlumni/octaviabutler.jpg

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Michael Jackson and the 6 year void that STILL can't be filled!



This is one of my favorite photos of Michael Jackson. Handsome, relaxed and before all the face- altering surgeries. Just an attractive Black man doing what made him soar. Gone 6 years today and I miss his talent terribly. My favorite MJ song? Impossible to pick but I am partial to "BUTTERFLIES." Sweet, light and heavy at the same time and full of passion. Like him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

R. I. P. James Horner - One of the best movie soundtrack composers since John Williams, Bernard Herrmann and Quincy Jones

You might not think this post has anything to with romance but guess what? It does. The man's work has been witness to many a manuscript written by me. He composed sweeping, engulfing, stimulating music. Perfect to accompany romance reading, writing or doing what behooves you while listening to evocative music. I just had to acknowledge this man because I adore, adored his talent. Movie soundtracks. I love them and own a number of them and keep searching for more (the really good ones). I write to them. I get inspiration from them. The soundtrack from "The Last of the Mohicans" was blaring when I was penning "Kindred, An American Love Story." Anyhoo, James Horner the composer of a lot of my favorites died in a plane crash yesterday. ;( The man wrote heavenly, moving music. Music that was memorable. Not just noise in the background to dialogue. I loved the Oscar-winner's work. "Braveheart" "Star Trek 2" Titanic" "The Missing" "A Beautiful Mind" "Avatar" "Legends of the Fall" "Apollo 13" "Glory", on and on. Oh man. If you like Orff, Horner's soundtrack for "Glory" will give you shivers. Oh man. Just sad to lose beauty.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/22/living/feat-james-horner-titantic-plane-crash/




JANET JACKSON! SHE'S BACK! THANK THE GODS AND GODDESSES!



This is a 49 year-old woman. Miss Jackson if ya nasty! Yes, she's had the best in life for a very long time so she can afford to look good. Yes, she is married to a guy with access to BILLIONS but still, she had a good framework. But more importantly, she's coming back in September to tour and to sing, and is back to collaborating with the masters of New Jack Swing, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. YES-S-S-S! Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, this will make Rihanna, Nicki, Igloo Australia and yes, even Queen Bey sit down and take several friggin' seats. BRING IT, JANET! SHOW THESE YOUNG'UNS HOW IT'S REALLY DONE! GAME ON!

ps Oh, and BTW, you look mah-velous, dahling. Welcome the hell back!