Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Meeting Those Writing Deadlines

I'm trying to finish up a 70k screenplay to novel assignment. It's a super boring book and I think I'm more than halfway through and I can't tell you what it's about.
But that's not my job though, in this case at least. I'm just adapting the damned thing.
Well.
Deadline's comin' up.
I watch +Supernatural as I type and I'm watching the season finale of season three right now.
And I was thinking that looming deadlines feel just like when your demon deal is up and the hell hounds are coming to get you.

And you begin to hallucinate as the deadline approaches and you're just waiting for that 'how far have you reached?' email.
And you're just trying your best to get as far as possible even though you know you won't finish on time.
And your muscles are aching, you're sleepy as fuck, you have no inspiration or motivation. Your fanfic is calling to you, you haven't had any time to do any marketing for your books, your life is basically at a standstill just tryna get through this damned assignment. And it's not even the only work you have.
So what is a girl to do?
I guess the only thing left is to go to hell like Dean Winchester did.
Sigh.
I have no answers. Only work, tiredness and franticness.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Rihanna and Lupita Movie

So this picture came back from the archives and caused some excitement on twitter:
it was captioned: One for the History Books


p.s. My faves slay your faves.

And then somebody retweeted the tweet with this caption;
"Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and Lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans."
*scams I guess.
So of course Twitter jumped on that shit like Chris Brown on every song he can and it just started to snowball from there. Issa Rae offered to write it, Ava Duvernay to direct it, I saw someone else was down to produce it. Lupita was down to star in it if +Rihanna was. As of going to press, we still waiting to see if Rihanna is down.
So anyway, @XLNB wrote a dummy script for the 'movie' where Rihanna falls in love with the mark blah blah but they still steal his money. I was like, ugh, really? That script has been done 5769765431346476 times. I have another idea.
Wanna hear it?
Well you're going to hear it, whether you like it or not.
And +Rihanna if you're reading this, here are my references.
So here's my rendition of the Rihanna-Lupita movie.

Rain-check on the Last Dance

BACK ALLEY SOMEWHERE IN NEW YORK
Rihanna is walking slowly, smoking a blunt lost in thought. She's just used up the last of her savings from the last job she had. Since President Trump took over the country it's been hard for an undocumented immigrant from Haiti to find work. She couldn't go home. There was nothing there for her. All her family died in the earthquake. She can't face her own country. If she's gonna die, she'd rather do it here, in New York.

She hears a sound behind her and looks back, hand on the switchblade she keeps strapped to her thigh. She hears a scream, high pitched, scared but angry too. It's coming from the other end of the alley and she creeps cautiously forward to peer into the pitch dark.
There is a group of people massed together from what she can see. They seem to be agitated, moving around and struggling.
"Leave me alone you bastards!" a female voice screams from the thick of the group of people and Rihanna can't help herself. She steps forward. Coming closer, she can see that it's a group of five men, and one girl. 
Three guesses what they're trying to do to her.
Rihanna fishes out the 9mm she keeps in her bra and points it in the air.
"Leave her alone!" she shouted and let off a shot.
The cowardly men took off, leaving a small shape huddled on the floor. Rihanna stared at her.
"You okay?" she asked taking a step back.
The girl looked up at her with the most luminous big eyes Rihanna had ever seen, "I'm fine." She said, "Thank you."
Rihanna reversed direction stepping forward and reaching her hand down, "I'm Rihanna" she said.
"Lupita" the girl replied.
"Pleasure" Rihanna said helping her to her feet.
"Yeah, very glad to meet you as well."

Eventually the girls exchange stories; Lupita tells Rihanna about getting thrown out of home when her mother walked in on her passionately kissing her best friend...Amanda. Rihanna tells Lupita about stowing away on a red cross boat after the earthquake in Haiti and ending up in New Orleans. How she'd come to New York for a job but once Trump took over, the owner had tried to blackmail her into having sex with him in return for not reporting her to the authorities.
They live together, survive together; coming up with more and more creative ways to make money. As they manage to stop living from hand to mouth, they move up from petty theft, to breaking and entering, to scam artistes. Lupita is a whiz with a computer and Rihanna can talk anyone into anything. They make a fantastic team.
As their hit list gets bigger and bigger and several big shots are affected, a task force is formed to catch them because how dare the poor rob the rich. One of their targets, Anders McCaulicolkin, turns out to be a police plant. He was sent to entrap them.

Rihanna was really excited about this mark because unlike their average idiot, this one was bloody good lookin'. She approaches him at a party, gets his number and they begin the dance of seduction and manipulation. Lupita is inexplicably hostile to this guy. She doesn't like how much Rihanna is enjoying the job. Rihanna tries to find out what's bugging her partner but she won't say. Lupita channels her feelings into finding out more background on Anders and just after rihanna finishes clearing his account out and transferring the money to their holding account in the Caribbean island of Barbados...Lupita discovers that he's a plant.
She frantically tries to get hold of Rihanna but she's already left for the rendezvous point. If the money is tagged like Lupita suspects it is, it means one of their accounts is blown, and Rihanna is exposed.
Lupita always stays in the background but she breaks her cover to get to Rihanna before the cops do.
"Lupita this isn't the plan!" Rihanna tries to exclaim as she follows Lupita at a dead run through the maze of streets she's leading her through.
"Yeah well..." Lupita said, "If they caught you..."

"If they caught me what Lupita? We would follow the protocol" Rihanna complained.
"I couldn't let that happen" Lupita breathed as she rounded the corner to the garage which housed one of their cars.
"Why not Lupita?" Rihanna demanded getting in her face, "At least one of us coulda gotten away cle-"
Her words were stopped by Lupita kissing her, very hard. The darker girl moved back.
"I can't live without you Rihanna. Better to die together than-"
"Rihanna covered her lips with her hand before she could say it, "Don't even think it" she said her heart pounding, "Let's go."
They get in the car and drive. But the police find them and chase them over three states. Eventually they get to Texas and drive with everything they have, heading for the border. The police cut them off. They veer off and find themselves over the canyon with Trump's border wall dividing the river beneath into Mexico and USA.
Lupita and Rihanna look at each other, breathing hard.
Rihanna reaches for Lupita's hand. She takes it. Rihanna's foot bears down on the accelerator as the cops array behind them and they drive off the cliff.
...
But the car has undergone certain modifications....
Rihanna presses a button and voila, a parachute opens.
The car rises above the wall and goes over it.
They're in Mexico.
They set the car down on the other side of the wall and drive until they run out of fuel. Then they hitch hike their way to the very tip of south America where they live in a house on the beach in a non-extradition country. Slowly, they begin to siphon their money out of their accounts and redistribute it to others. They also contribute to local charities, planned parenthood and Chance the Rapper's bid for Chicago Mayor.
The movie ends with them holding hands as they walk into a fertility clinic where they intend to have a baby together using Jesse William's sperm.
And they lived happily ever after with their seed. Doing good and repelling evil with the power of their brains and their beauty.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Challenges of Ghost Writing and Other Stories

Ghost writing is hard.
Don't let anyone tell you different.
People approach me to 'show them how to freelance' all the time because they think that it's something you can just whip up in your spare time for some extra coins. But really, it's hard.
First of all you have to be self-motivated; there's nobody looking over your shoulder to make sure you're actually working so it's all up to you.
Of course deadlines help.
At least they help me; I hear some people feel nothing for them. More power to them.
But mostly the thing with ghost writing which sticks in my craw is the lack of freedom to take a story where it wants to go.
I miss my old client.
He used to ask me to propose a storyline, and then write it. No trying to control the narrative except for certain rules like, "Make it BBW" or 'It's a billionaire romance" but otherwise, knock yourself out. And still, it was stifling.
But now I have two separate stories to write; one involves converting a screenplay into a novel. Yeah I wrote that the right way around. Trust me it's a little bit of hell. Especially since the screenplay is superboring. I have to take that, make a story out of it and of course the deadline is tight as fuck.
The second one is a super hero story about a fifteen year old deaf Ethiopian girl. It might sound fun, but it's really not. Plus the client wants to control every single detail. It's making the inside of my brain itch.
The things we do for money.
 It also brings about the most severe case of procrastination I've ever had. I have to force myself to write 400 words; and that can take me all day. It's way below my usual daily word count.I can't seem to slap out of it.
Meanwhile, my own stories are languishing, neglected; while I get all these calls for submissions in my email. I haven't updated any of my stories since February and it makes me want to cry real tears.
Like from my eyes.
I feel like I'm just the worst organizer in the world. I feel like I should be able to do it all if I was a better time manager. I know I would be able to get at least some things done if I was. And I know, I know, time management is something you can learn; hone with practice...blah blah meh.

Eddie Murphy's brother died yesterday. His name was Charlie Murphy and he was a comedian too. How did I not know that? I remember him from that "Salute to Eddie Murphy" event when he said that he grew up with Eddie not knowing he would be the GOAT of comedians but that he should have realised when Eddie told him that his nose looked like 'A Black Power Salute'. Me and my son laughed for ten minutes straight because yeah, his nose did kinda look like that.
I didn't realize he was in the comedy business too.
Anyway, he died yesterday.
Of Leukaemia.
He was 57.
R.I.P.
He's actually the handsome brother.
Another person who is quite well known in the Kenyan public died last week of cancer as well.
Janet Kanini Ikua.
She was a TV presenter of this show a while back, called Out and About. In it, she visited various tourist destinations in Kenya. I visited vicariously with her on every episode. Then when she got cancer, she was this huge inspiration for survival. She was declared cancer free at some point and then suddenly she was dead.
She was just 39.
Her sister and I were in the same class in primary school and she and my sister were in the same class. It kind of hit me in a personal way because of that; how short life is. But I already know how short life is so I was also like, typical, of course she died. I only knew her in passing but I remember that she always had a smile for everyone. I guess that's just how life goes.
Remember that there's no time for existing. You better be living.

 Well today is the day that I stop procrastinating and get some work done. So Imma do that.
In a minute.
Y'all going to see Fast 8 this weekend? My son and I have seen every movie since the first so that's a yes from us. Life is too short not to enjoy it while you can.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

When They Ask Why You're Single

Man: Women only want a man because of his money. (This is an actual Twitter update).

Me: I'm not interested in your money, what else you got?

Man: ......

Me: Okay let's start small, you got good hygiene?

Man: Umm, I brush my teeth once a month. Shower maybe...once in two months?

Me: Uhh, yeah okay how about your looks, rate yourself?

Man: I'm a solid 4 and a half.

Me: Personality?

Man: What?

Me: You an intelligent dude?

Man: I can discuss Man-U scores like all day dewwd.

Me: How about jokes? You got jokes? I'll take jokes?

Man: Uhhh....

Me: How's the dick? Is it bomb?

Man: It's aight.

Me: According to who?

Man: Me.

Me: Can you at least kiss well?

Man: Kissing for what?

Me: hmmm, okay then...Imma go now.

Man: Women are such man-hating bitches!

Now go read Maureen's post.

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;