Sunday, 26 March 2017

What's Up With Y'all and Sex Trafficking Kids?

Hi! Tired of me yet?
Visited my book page yet?
Today I want to talk about human trafficking and human rights. In the last two years or so we've been talking about Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram. And now just this past week, we've heard about the epidemic of missing black and brown girls in Washington DC. At last count (that I saw), 28 girls are still missing from as young as 12 to about 28 and their cases are yet to be resolved.
You notice how their pictures all look like mugshots? Is that an accident?
According to police, it's not that there's been a rise in missing girls but that they're now using twitter to highlight the issue and therefore it seems like there's more. But some of the cases are old. There are also boys missing. The number is much less ( I counted five) but still, they deserve to be mentioned.
These are of course not the first girls to go missing. When I was in Uganda at the turn of the millennium, Joseph Kony and his rebels regularly took girls from their homes. It was a well known fact and nobody was the slightest bit moved about it.
Y'all the girl child just means absolutely nothing.

I also saw that movie/documentary about how girls are abducted from Russia and Ukraine with the promise of a "better life in America" and then they're trafficked as sex slaves. In India, girls as young as twelve are "married off" by CATHOLIC PRIESTS to sex tourists. When the guy is tired of the girl he just simply abandons her. The worst part is that, it's their parents who sell them off.
+Jada Pinkett-Smith did a documentary with CNN detailing how girls are trafficked inside the United States by men who lure them away simply by giving them the attention their parents or guardians can't give them. Of course I can't relate to this because I'm an African and African parents just don't do attention. That's what you have 2000 siblings for.

So, now that we've established that human trafficking is a worldwide problem and that slavery is alive and well, what are we going to do about it?
Human Traffickers are not ghosts, they live somewhere, store these girls somewhere, use someone's transport, get these girls across borders somehow...And their clients - they find them somewhere right? Jada's documentary showed that a girl's "pimp" had as many as 50 people in one day coming to take their turn with some hapless thirteen year old who thought he loved her. Where and how do these 50 people A DAY hear about this girl? Why isn't there a whole unit in every police force dedicated to going undercover, getting these girls out and finding them somewhere to go; hope for the future?
It's just a question.
but I'm asleep tho...
I feel like sometimes the obvious answers are in front of us but we choose to ignore them in favor of some convoluted nonsense that serves somebody's interest but is clearly bullshit. I saw on twitter that NYPD officers were arrested for being pimps...(Imma just leave that there as a point to ponder).
Speaking of things that are obvious I saw today on CNN that Saudia Arabia is financing the war in Yemen which has been going on for three years. That country flies under the radar huh? It seems to be involved in every little thing that's wrong with the Middle East but nobody ever turns the spotlight that way. Also it never features in travel bans...it's really what's-wrong-with-this-pictureish.
Okay that's enough politics for a Sunday. What you all up to?

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Trials and Tribulations of Being A Freelance Writer

So in February, I went two weeks with no work to do. It was a stressful time for me because I don't do well with idleness, however exhausted I was from working back to back jobs. It's one thing to decide to take a break, it's another to be forced to do it because you can't find work.
Am I right?

I tried to use my time positively, caught up on some writing. Made some progress with Cinderella by Any Other Name and my other, as yet really named gay African post-apocalyptic romance. I even wrote a bit of Child of Destiny: Marcus Devereux. It was fun, I enjoyed it. At the same time, I was experiencing terrible anxiety about not having paid work.

So I tweak my profile on my freelancing site, realize I'd set my availability to less than 30 hours a week so I immediately change that to 'looking for new work' and voila. My inbox gets full again. Which was a relief because I was beginning to think nobody liked me. Or that my work was bad which is a really unfortunate thing for a writer to think.
If you're not confident in the quality of your work, you can't sell yourself to potential clients/readers. You literally cannot function without belief in your work.So it was all internal lectures and 'You can do it girl' and trying to believe that that's true.

The opposite thing to wondering if no one likes you though, is not being able to say no to anyone who shows the slightest interest in you. It's like, "Oh thank God, you want me? Yay. Okay."
Even though you might be taking on too much or the work is not really something you want to do; or you just know this client is going to be a pain in the ass but money...or the deadline is ridiculous and nobody in their right mind... I might be doing that right now.
I vowed during my forced holiday that I would find a better work/leisure balance. But I can already see myself falling into the work 24/7 mode.

My friend just had a baby.
I'm so excited for her and want to go see her; but I found myself thinking, "Maybe I can push that to some time in the middle of April after I've finished this batch of work."
The gag is, there's always a new batch of work and you really can't take the time and...
So no. I'm gonna pick a day THIS WEEK, put the work down and go see my friend.
I'm also taking time daily to update my "What if" fanfic if you're reading that. I find it helps to pass the time until Shadowhunters season 2b starts in June.
And I'm giving my books some attention, trying to bring something new in front of potential readers daily. A tumblr or instagram post, an excerpt, something.
Would you like an excerpt?
Here's one;

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Benefits of Writing Fan Fiction

Do you read fanfiction? I love to write it. When I'm stuck in a plot hole, not knowing where to go, I put my work aside and write me some fanfiction. Not only is it super fun, but apparently it actively grows your creativity.
True story.
Your brain develops new neurons or some shit like that. That's the technical term beeteedubs. Quote me.
Anyways, I know I've been MIA.
Sad! Terrible.
But work is really kicking my ass.
So here's some fanfiction for you to read. After you've finished, visit my book page too and get you some more stories.



What If.... (4369 words) by amusawale
Chapters: 4/?
Fandom: Shadowhunters (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Magnus Bane/Alec Lightwood, Magnus Bane/Camille Belcourt
Characters: Magnus Bane, Alec Lightwood, Camille Belcourt, The Clave (Shadowhunter Chronicles) - Character, Madzie (Shadowhunters TV), Jace Wayland, Clary Fray, Simon Lewis, Raphael Santiago, Iris Rouse, description of dubious consent but not between Malec
Additional Tags: tries to break malec up, Power Couple, fear of power couple, Conspiracy
Summary:
So Malec are together, happy and in love. Magnus lives with Madzie 'until they find a permanent home for her', and Alec helps out, like a lot, when he can, which is often. It's not like they're a family or anything, except for how they are.
But every paradise has a snake and when the High Warlock of Brooklyn and the De Facto Leader of the New York Shadowhunter Institute get together, well...That might just be a little too much power concentrated in one place for some people's peace of mind.
How to separate them though? How to break up this alliance once and for all?

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Of One True Pairings and Politics

So I've recently become obsessed with +Shadowhunters TV .
Correction: So I've recently become obsessed with #Malec on Shadowhunters. For those of you not in the know, this is a sci fi series about half angel, half humans guardians of us all. So this is #Malec

I thought about just posting the one but I can't help myself.


They're just such serious EYE CANDY!


Just so cute.
But that's not why they're my new ultimate OTP. Oh no, the visual aesthetic is great but it's the relationship that just makes you feel all warm and mushy inside. I highly recommend it as a lesson in how to write romance in TV.
Well, in addition to sharing my new obsession, this post does have a purpose.
Yes, I do have a point.
What's my point again?
Oh, yah well this week, eonline is having a poll about TV's best couples and #Malec is nominated (go vote for them) and they made it to the final two (go vote for them); they actually beat out Jamie and Claire from Outlander and that is a real fete considering how rabid Jamie and Claire fans are. I hear that they are so convinced +Sam Heughan and +Catriona Balfe are together IN REAL LIFE that they're not above threatening anyone they suspect to be a significant other coming to spoil their fantasy.

Anyway, mental health issues of fans aside, Malec made it to the final two. And they're competing against another gay couple known as skam. Now this skam couple is like the whitest white boys who ever whited. Furthermore, they're twins.
Not in real life of course.
But in the TV program that they act in, they're twins who are in a relationship.
According to twitter that is, I haven't actually watched the program.
Anyway, so this perfectly innocent online poll has turned into a battle between "good" and "evil".
On the one hand, according to twitter or more specifically Malec stans, we have the Trump twins, who began their relationship by cheating on someone, who have an unhealthy, incestuous relationship and apparently whose actors are racists.
Versus
A healthy biracial relationship with the most beautiful looking couple you ever did see.

When the feud started, Malec was losing 30-70 which Malec stans were finding hard to believe was accurate. So the argument became that the other white boys' fans were cheating. I don't know how, but they were.
What bemused me was how seriously y'all take this shit.
Like, the online poll has somehow become a metaphor for everything that's happening in the world right now. There is no more entertainment or fun. Everything is serious as fuck, and an eternal battle of us vs. them.
I love Malec, and I'm voting like mad but I think everyone needs to relax.
Okay, I know, big mistake, telling people to relax.

It's been the week for that though hasn't it what with the +Oscars calling out La La Land instead of Moonlight. So the whitest cast ever, was replaced by the blackest on stage and everyone saw a metaphor. Was it a deliberate attempt to subvert the cause of black movie making or was that accountant too busy tweeting about wotsername from La La Land to make sure they had the right envelope? It didn't help that Barry Jenkins had to share his Variety cover with the director of La La Land just cause. I was simultaneously very pissed for Moonlight because it takes some of their unbridled joy away when you have to sympathise with the other movie that had to give you YOUR Oscar back, and just annoyed at how the whole thing was handled by everyone else. However, I'm also glad because Moonlight is getting a whole lot more attention and so are the three brilliant young men who played Chiron. This is actually the only best picture winner that I've ever actually seen (I saw it on the day after that Oscars fiasco).

In other news happening this week, have you heard #sheETHER yet? Remy Ma was kickin' ass and takin' names and Nicki was just annihilated. Now I'm a big advocate for using your words, as well as not a fan of bullies so I had to applaud Remy for using hers to very effective effect.

I ghost wrote a reply for Nicki since she seems unable. Probably she has no dirt on Remy and the one thing she could say about her (I do better numbers than you) Remy already addressed in her dis track. So here's some barz for you +Nicki Minaj.
Lounging in my gulfstream.
Sipping on my lean.
Listening to these bitches is my SONZ,
tryna come for me.
How you gon' hate from outside the club Remy?
You can't even get in?
Your money too low and your fans is ghost,
writer you say? let me see some receipts,
can you get receipts from Foxy's vagina,
you spreadin' rumors...,
I got figures, hourglass so what if it's
plastic surgeon, Nasiff...only thing poppin is my album bih,
Meek Mill stay taking L's you believe him?

Gotta go cause I got Beyonce callin'
me, the Queen of Rap.

I should probably stick to writing books.
Here's a preview.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Proof That The Book Series, Child of Destiny Is Exactly What You Are Looking For

Don't take my word for it; see for yourself;

Book one, Child of Destiny Series:

 

 Book two, Child of Destiny Series:

 

 Book three, Child of Destiny Series

:

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Let's Talk About Dubious Consent

When I was doing my Higher Diploma in Counseling Studies, I chose as my dissertation a topic that is close to my heart;
The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on the Adult Survivor.
It was crazy because I went into the topic thinking that it was just me who was molested as a child. As part of my study, I interviewed various women (and men) about any experiences they might have had to do with molestation and how they're coping as adults. My sample population were my friends, neighbors, friends of friends...basically anyone who had a childhood story they were willing to share. As students of counseling there might have been some cheating because a few of my classmates knew of suitable candidates for my study and sent me their way. But the majority of my subjects were just randoms. For example, this one day I was sitting down with a group of girls my son had introduced me to. He used to come home and say he was playing with f%^&*@ma and I thought this f%^&*@ma was another kid. Turns out she was a grown ass adult and we became friends too. So I was sitting in her house one day and so were various girls from the neighborhood. I told them a few stories from my study and you know what? Every single girl in that room had a story for me.

Let me be clear.
When I say child sexual abuse, I'm not just talking about full on rape. I'm talking being kissed by a full grown man when you're a kid, fondled, touched in the bad place, having your boobs squeezed, pushed down and being forced to make out by someone's who's "trying to be your boyfriend"....Every situation where somebody with more power than you has forced you to go further than you are comfortable with.
What I came to learn is that every girl, and quite a few guys, have a story when it comes to being sexually molested. I thought I was alone but it turned out I was just one of...everyone.
What happened to Mya in the beginning of Child of Destiny is a product of some of that painful reality. It's a realistic depiction of what happens with dubious consent. I've heard this same story more than once, happening in just this way. It's not my story, it's everygirl's story.
So I do understand sometimes when people say to me that it's too hard to read.
Nevertheless, I felt that it's a story that deserves it's own spotlight. Shine a light on that shit and maybe start a conversation.

Today I got an email from my publisher telling me that Kobo had banned my book, Child of Destiny, because it contains dubious consent. I get it, some things you just don't want to face.
It's still available on amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play and Smashwords.

Join the conversation.