Friday, May 31, 2013

I digress but what else is new? Politics, politics and Felig. Oh my!

From time to time I just have to voice my opinion on stuff that is not about things of a romantic nature. I must speak on the political antics going on in my hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And the state period. Let’s take this from the very top. Now, I know some progressives are very upset with President Obama and his “broken promises.” I wonder how they would be feeling about the “no promises” that Romney had in store for 'em if he had gotten in. Anyhoo, Obama faces an obstructionist, Republican-majority Congress who if he says the sky is blue they will say it’s purple simply because they refuse to agree with this man on anything. They cut their noses off to spite their faces and those of their constituents. The majority of Congress is Republican (and with the help of Bluedog Dems) will not find common ground on policies that would help the country in general if it were to help black, brown and poor people in particular. Sadly, a lot of the constituency tied to the Republicans is POOR,  very bigoted and very dense. They of the poorest health and least job prospects vote against their best interests by putting people in office that "will show that uppity N-word his place!" No, people. The South  (or the mid-West) will not rise again with that thinking. So, this brings me to the state level of politics. Issues that do not get voted on at the legislative level now are kicked to the states. Governors and mayors are now deciding the fates of millions. Why you ask? Because during the mid-term elections in 2010 in the USA, a number of Tea Party and rigid Republicans got in office. Not enough Dems or Independents voted to cancel out Republican voters. The country relaxed after Mr. Obama won in 2008. His base looked to him, all by his lonesome, to save the nation. NOT!

So on the surface the log jam in Congress really isn’t. Republicans in Congress are still having their way without playing nice because 23 states during mid-term elections voted in a mix of Republican governors and state houses. They are carrying out the austerity measures that Republicans and like-minded individuals love. Pennsylvania is one of those states. It has a Republican governor and a majority of Republican representatives in its house. Even though The Affordable Care Act is the law, Governor Corbett has decided not to participate. That is the loophole that 23 states have decided to use. It may be law but they can opt out. How freakin’ ratchet is that? Millions of people in Pa. will not be added to the federal health care program and millions who already have Medicaid will be dropped. These numbers include children. Corbett also is cutting food stamp rolls. So much for love thy neighbor. The same governor has slashed millions in aid for the school system in Philadelphia. About twenty-nine schools will be closed. The city’s mayor borrowed over 300 million (which led to notices going out to homeowners that property taxes were going up) to finance school’s re-opening in September. And then there will be only money for principals and some teachers. No textbooks, no music, no art, no sports, no field trips, no extended days. Nothing. So much for brotherly love.
These scenarios are being played out across the country. But Americans that can still eat and pay bills blithely play video games and fret about who will be judges on American Idol next year. Yeah, I think the Felig are here already except I don’t think Nate and Tina could get mankind out of this shit.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

An accounting of some great interracial film couples

Jim and Selena from 28 Days Later, Mace and Lenny from Strange Days, Kenya and Brian from Something New. Those are a few of my all-time great celluloid interracial couples. They can go toe to toe with any non-mixed couple, gay or straight, representing horror, the police thriller or comedy today. Except for the last couple, whose relationship came about because the heroine answered a dating dare, the others sprang from the intrinsic human drive to survive. It proves that no matter one’s color, self-preservation trumps racial difference every time one’s ass is on the line. And it doesn’t hurt to look hot doing it. Shock upon shocks, in all three films the white guy was attractive and had substance and was drawn to the heroine for something other than her otherness (Cillian Murphy, Ralph Fiennes, Simon Baker). Usually if any interracial love bonding occurs on film, the Black heroine gets a sorry to sad looking white guy to star opposite. That would never happen to Julia Roberts. In Closer, she got Jude Law and Clive Owen. Sigh. Wait a sec, Miss Roberts even got to star opposite chocolate eye-candy, Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief. Wait again. She didn’t even get a longing look from his character let alone kiss him. Oh that dirty Hollywood double standard!  Julia and Denzel didn’t even get to hold hands but Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton in Monster’s Ball make the beast with two backs, full nudity and all. Yeah, I know she got an Oscar for her performance but her real prize came in the form of being a Bond girl snuggling with Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day. 

Just my thoughts on good, interracial duos in film. I left out Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, didn’t I? But they don't count. Do you have any interracial (male-female) film couples you like?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Are you smarter than an 8th-grader? I hope so 'cuz school's out!

I ask the question because as a romance writer I am told not to use big words as they put a reader off and may take a reader out of the story long enough to discourage them from continuing. Damn. You mean to tell me that if I use any word other than what is in a reader's mental vocabulary list, they will stop reading the book? Talk about easily distracted. Publishers and editors say that the average book buyer reads at an 8th grade level. Is this true? Unless one has a reading disability or one has left school or one is impaired in some other way, why is one still reading at an elementary school level if one is no longer in elementary school?  No, seriously, why? If you are not afflicted by any of the above and read at that level, why? Are you the product of a school system that did leave its kids behind? A system that asked you to do just enough to pass the test and get by? No matter how comfy you may feel being in that big group of "average joes," remember this. "Average" or "normal" simply means you are floating along with the majority of folks. Not doing anything to stand out from, deviate from or distinguish yourself from the grazing sheep. You are in a safe, unexciting space. Please don't ask me or expect me to create in that kind of limiting space. I can't. So when a writer takes the time to create, don't give up on the creation because a few words stump you. Get a real dictionary. Expand that mental vocabulary list. You can always come back to where you left off in the book.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Apocalypse How?

Hi again. I had to take a break because I was doing way too much. I am on the fifth installment of my paranormal/sci-fi/interracial series starring my favorite, committed couple, Tina and Nate. Disdain at first sight turned to lust which turned to genuine love for them. Ah, Love. Ain't it grand? Anyway, while I wait for the editor assigned to edit installment THREE, I whipped out one and a half other installments! I know the editor is swamped but I've been waiting since October of last year for a galley. It kinda dilutes the reader's interest. One's audience can only re-read books 1 and 2 but so many times. But I digress.

Anyhoo, that brings me to my fav topic: Being different.

The bad-guy fighting couple of my series navigates in a post-apocalyptic America. Now me being me, sees post-apocalyptic as many things not just some bombed-out, eroded living space. An apocalypse can cover devastating a population's mind. Twisting a people's perspective of reality. When I dreamed up my series, I refused to write of an existence where people were grimey from lack of water or in the dark for lack of electricity. Not for me. So old hat. In my world my characters have the basics, what they DO NOT have is peace of mind. That is very crucial because since the invasion by the Felig NO ONE has that taken-for-granted luxury. Paranoia rules. (Read my early books to get the drift.) Having the THINGS you like means nothing if you are scared out of your wits everywhere you turn and any second of that needs-met day could be your last. I mean who cares if the store has your flavor of ice cream if going to get it could be the last time anyone sees you? So, yeah, my idea of the apocalypse does not involve scavaging for food or being a prepper or running from zombies. Which brings me to something a reviewer said about book one. She liked the book. I was very flattered. Except she doubted that 911 would be available after an apocalypse. True. That would be true if it were the kind of apocalypse that most writers describe in their books. In my version, you can have cell service, filet mignon and vacations, etc. You just can't depend on being around to partake of any of it.

Watch for UNION: THE FELIG CHRONICLES, BOOK THREE to be released by Extasy Books. SOON! Peruse the trailer.