Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Let's Talk About Sex

So before we begin, please go and read this preview if you haven't read the book.

We all on the same page now?
Let us discuss.
So, clearly, the sex in the excerpt is non-consensual yes? We are all in agreement about that fact. Today I was confronted not for the first time about the fact that Mya continued to interact with Leo in spite of the fact that he essentially raped her. Whenever people speak to me of Mya in this way there is this tendency to have a judgemental attitude about her. To denigrate her choices. There is the implication that 'If that was me, I would never have acted like that'.
That's fine.
We all have that hubris.
Especially when it hits us where we live right?
This is not a post about judging people or apportioning blame. 
Leo forced himself upon Mya.
 Mya wasn't expecting it. She kind of froze and didn't fight back. Does that mean she's complicit? As someone who has been in that exact same situation, I have to say no. Sometimes you just don't know what to do, how to extricate yourself. You're young, you're innocent, nobody has given you any instructions on 'what to do in the event of...' So you might just freeze inside and let whatever is happening to your body happen and then hopefully you get to walk away and deal with it in the privacy of your safe space.
Other times, you don't get to run away and deal because the guy doesn't leave you to it. He comes back. He wants to do it again. He figures if you're letting him you don't mind. Meanwhile, you have no idea what to do and nobody to ask.
It's kind of a major breakdown in communication.
Yes, I see you guys at the back side eyeing me and saying 'That would just never happen to me. I would speak up. I would absolutely be wonder woman and drop kick that guy into 1999.'
Like I said...hubris.
In real life - and I say that not just from personal experience but from conversations I have had with other people (both male and female) - that's not what happens.

So yeah Mya might dissatisfy you for not living up to your expectations of how her story should go. She lets you down by dealing with shit the way she does. She lets you down because she is you.
Isn't she?
Then there's Leo who comes off as 'Major Asshole'. But then you get a glimpse into his life and you realize he has no role models either. He has no one to show him how to treat a significant other. He's feeling his way as he goes. 
Who do we blame for this cluster fuck?
I have a question. How many of you have ever had a conversation with your parent/guardian and/or as a parent/guardian about how to treat your significant other? About how to handle overtures of a sexual nature when you're not ready for it? How to take rejection? How to ask permission? I mean you watch TV shows and read books and someone just suddenly kisses someone else, no, "May I?" no, "Hey can I kiss you?" 
Just leaning over and doing it.
And if they are rejected it's a whole other piece of drama full of tears, upset or abuse. It's like you're entitled to be kissed back if you kiss someone. Even if you didn't ask. So there's kind of a mixed message.
Nate Parker and them are punished for forcing themselves on women, but the message that is being sent out there is that if someone comes on to you, it is rude to say no. So in the harsh reality of the moment what happens when you're torn between this two messages.
Am I supposed to submit?
Or am I supposed to resist?
Can I even resist?
What should I do?
Meanwhile, as you hesitate, the other person is carrying on with the groping and the touching and the taking clothes off. Then it's too late. Now you really don't know what to do next.
There is a cognitive dissonance between what 'should' happen and what 'does' happen. And Leo and Mya are about what 'does' happen. And how people deal with it in real time.
I had a conversation today about this topic with a reader. She was supremely unhappy with how the characters were portrayed. And that's okay. You should be upset. You should feel dissatisfied. The question is, what are you going to do with that feeling?

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Imma Let You Finish But Ah...

Ugh, I do not like TayTay one bit. It pains me to put her in my space. I've muted her name on twitter so I don't get any updates on her and her so-called new album. Still, some things still manage to get through. And they're giving me thoughts and they demand analysis and since that's what I do, let's all try to be majorly objective and examine what makes Tay Tay so abhorrent these days.
A long time ago, when your fave and mine were still babes in the wood, Taylor was a country singer who performed in white cotton dresses and bare foot on stage. That was after she won that VMA instead of Beyonce and Kanye interrupted her speech.
By the way, the evolution of TayTay cannot be talked about without the evolution of Kanye being mentioned. They're like that zodiac sign; Yin and Yang.
Pun unintended but completely appropriate. They do seem to represent the battle between black and white art as well. Taylor is the quintessential White Girl. She represents everything that that demographic embodies for the arts (and life)...and more and more as the years have gone by since that fateful VMA, that representation has transmogrified itself into White Girl Victimhood.
And then there's Kanye, "typical boorish black man." Attacking the pure white as snow innocent guileless, kind, gentle white girl. Making her feel bad about something that is Absolutely Not Her Fault...
Anyway, we were chronicling history in order.
So she was performing barefoot on the stage with just her guitar and appropriate lighting. So forgiving, letting Kanye know that he was better than that. Everyone, including me, thought she was so gracious and grown up considering how much older Kanye is than her.We all called Kanye a massive asshole.
You know who else called Kanye a massive asshole?
Kanye performs Runaway at the VMAs
When the VMAs announced that Kanye would be performing 'for the first time since...!' well, I was expecting an apology song. You were too right? Something like an answer to Taylor's 'you're better than this' song.
Well, this was Peak Kanye so what we got instead was 'let's hear it for the assholes and the douchebags'. Depending on what type of day you were having, it could either sound like a 'sorry I'm an asshole' or 'fuck you'. 
Personally, I think it was the latter. 
Didn't know how to feel about it at the time. I mean you can't hate on a guy who's self-aware. That shit is just too rare nowadays. On the other hand...I thought we were playing nice.
Well time passed and Taylor's 'Kanye did me wrong' sad face morphed into John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, that Schwartzenegger kid (did she really buy a house next door to him? creepy), a Jonas brother, Calvin Harris...fest of these boys did me so wrong. 
*cue feminists saying we shouldn't victim blame*
white feminists.

The thing is she has time to compose songs about some boy she went out with for two weeks claiming he broke her heart. Really? Should you even be able to remember his name? That's not a boyfriend. that's a ship that passed in the night. How sad are you that you have the energy to not only write a song about it but perform it with drama queen level emotion?
Then there was the fake surprise at every award she won.
The "Taylor Squad" that was simply Taylor fulfilling some fantasy of being one of the "cool kids". Of course, the real cool kids had no time for her so-called squad and I think that was the real turning point for her.
Meanwhile...while all this was going on, the whole Kanye/Taylor incident had achieved Pop Culture Iconic status mainly due to Taylor's inability to let it go and exacerbated by everyone else also making a big deal about it. It started with Chelsea Handler hoping someone else would interrupt someone on her stint as VMA host. Then "Imma let you finish" just blew up, Kanye Shrug is a thing, and then 'Where the hell is Kanye when you need him?' became the mantra of people feeling that someone had gotten an undeserved award...
By the way real talk...In a perfect world, that Single Ladies video would have won hands down. Kanye's sentiment was correct, it was his execution that needed work. On the other hand, pop culture iconic moment.

She built herself into this thing that she could not sustain. She wanted to be seen as the nicest, sweetest most popular, coolest, humblest, girl on the planet who just seemed to meet the worst people who wanted to take advantage of her and make her life difficult.
And when all else failed, she could always milk that Kanye bit a bit more. Poor old me.
Meanwhile Kanye just tryna live.
So he calls her one day, and because Kanye is Kanye, the whole thing is being filmed and asks ever so nicely.
"Can I say some really rude things about you in my song?"
And she laughs and says "Sure! the gag is, the press will eat it up and think we're fighting again and it will be great and I'll have soo much attention and everyone will love me."
Kanye like "Cool beans."
So he releases the song and he gets bile for it and then Taylor did what Taylor does and...wait for it. Drum roll.
Plays the victim.
Now Kanye about to let her get away with it but his wife ain't having that shit because now she's seen behind the mask and she's determined to CSI that bitch into the ground.
"We have video," she says...
And the rest, as they say, is Snapchat history.
*cue snake emojis everywhere*
And now she's back, still playing the victim card, still coming for Kanye. "Look What You Made me do" she says. and then releases a teaser video which is apparently a Lemonade rip off.
(I have to put a disclaimer here: Haven't heard the song, don't intend to.)
Uh uh boo boo, ain't nobody made you do nothin' honey. You did it all yourself.
and that's why I personally do not like this woman. She doesn't own her shit.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Only One Came Back

I have to write a story about aliens and humans in a romantic relationship and I have writer's block AF. I have three days left to write it so I can't afford this shit much longer. I thought maybe writing something else might unstick me. Open a doorway to this story. Here's hoping...

There's a story in the bible about someone giving three different people stuff and only one came back to say thanks. A lot of stories in the bible use examples of threes, I wonder why that is.
I"m not here to preach, relax.
I can't even tell you where in the bible to find that story. I'm not proud of it. I used to be so devout.
Life man.
It makes you cynical.
Anyway, so this book down here *finger points down*

It is just about the most read book of my bibliography. Not a day goes by that at least one copy isn't 'bought' (it's free).
And yet.
Not one review has been written on it.
Not one.
It bothers me. Why do so many people read it and continue to read it but then can't be bothered to come back and tell me what they thought? Even if it's 'this book is aight.' Or 'man, I hated it.' Just so I know what y'all are thinking.
Otherwise, my imagination goes crazy and I start thinking about why people keep getting it. Of course, there's the fact that it's free. I imagine that's a good incentive...
But it's quite high in the best selling categories which means other free books don't move as fast as it does. So...
Why are y'all reading this book but not reviewing it? Was it something I said. Are y'all fucking with my mind? Because I gotta tell you, it's working.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Madness Everywhere

So we just had elections last week and surprise surprise, the incumbent won.

Whether Frick won or Frack won, Kenyans were fucked so I wasn't too concerned. Shit happens, elections are a control device used by those in power to make those they rule feel empowered. I get it. If it actually made a difference they wouldn't let us vote.
Which is why it makes me triply sad when people get themselves hurt or killed over these niggas. (I can call these ones niggas coz they're my people). Between 18 and 24 people are confirmed dead according to various reports. Frack would have you think that they're about a hundred but he is definitely Seth, God of Chaos in this analogy. It's not even analogy. The guy likes chaos as long as the result is that he gets what he wants. He's selfish like that. I don't know why people don't see it.
I almost prefer the petulant, vindictive, criminal baby that is Frick.
It's Joffery vs. Little Finger...who is worse?
I was just telling my beta how helpless I feel by it all and she said, you're not helpless, you're a writer.
True dat huh?
Of course, these are not the only horrible things happening this week. Inadequate and childish leadership is a worldwide problem these days. I blame your parents, clearly, they neglected to raise you. So Kim Jon whatever is threatening to bomb Guam with nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons.
And of course, Donald Trump gave the Chuck Norris response.
You know my book, The Post (working title) is about a post-apocalyptic world, where damage from an asteroid is compounded by nuclear waste set loose upon the earth. It's beginning to feel like my book might come true before I have a chance to finish it. Like.for real though.
I would really like to ask those people who allegedly voted for Trump to shake things up, is it going how you imagined or...? Like really, how do you even sleep at night?
Oh, wait, I know, with opioids.
I'm surprised nobody's made the connection between the opioid crisis and the current state of the union but oh well, what do I know, right?
Has someone tried to superimpose the drug map with the map of how people voted? Someone should try it.
This post was about Colin Kaepernick and the fact that him taking the knee has resulted in him being blacklisted by the NFL. Now while a bunch of old men deciding that Kaep is not good enough for them does not surprise me, what did - and I don't know why it did because I should know better by now - was the no-response response from so called...anybody. Civil rights leaders, Black Lives Matter, twitter one except Charlemagne tha God was speaking about this atrocity. Oh, and Shaun King. I mean really....

Worse than that, black men were at the forefront of condemning his actions and supporting the NFL blacklist on the premise that Colin 'brought it on himself'.
Black American people are their own worst enemies.

I saw this post on Instagram yesterday about Michael Rappaport condemning the #Charlottesville and I was curious about what would be said in the comments in response. Would people be happy? Supportive? Because also yesterday I saw a lot of posts from the Guardians of Blackness admonishing white people for not speaking up. So here is a white guy, really white, like pale, speaking out. Calling those demonstrators 'dorm room dumb fucks' and 'losers' and basically condemning them to the furthest pits of hell.
What do you think the most prevalent comment was?
"Isn't that the dude from higher learning? Didn't he portray a skin head?"
An actor, acting a role, in a movie...speaks out against white supremacy. But instead of adding your two cents maybe to that condemnation, or having some other positive, relevant response, you look for anything you can shade him for.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand the mindset. But I do know that the current status quo is taking us nowhere. Maybe we need to stop pointing fingers outward and just really work on ourselves? Be a better you? Start with the man in the mirror? All a' dat crap.
Also here's an excerpt from Child of Destiny which also deals with a lot of themes to do with discrimination and mind sets and seeing the other point of view.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

And the Winner is...

So I had this little promotion for;

The Post-Apocalyptic Demon Hunter’s Reintegration into Normal Society 

First of all, I gotta tell you about that name. See I was reading this fan fiction about Demon!Dean...or was it BoyKing!Sam? I'm old, it was a while ago. 

Anyway so in this story they were trying to get through the apocalypse and I think someone, my instinct is it was Crowley was making snide remarks about their ability to have a life after hunting....
And, he sarcastically said someone should write a book about it, with the above title.
So I did.
It's just a working title though. I'm not sure if it will survive final edits. I'd like to hear your thoughts about that. For one thing, it's a little difficult to remember no? Talk to me.
So anyway, I'm writing, and my beta reader is editing. And we're really enjoying ourselves as we race to that deadline at the end of this month.
Will we make it?
Will we fail?
Tune in next week...
So we had the small promotional competition where the reader was asked to reimagine what happened before the excerpt given in a picture. This picture.
The writing wasn't very clear, deliberately because I need to know that you love me enough to make the effort to read it. :)
I got a few replies. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to write something. Most of them were one-sentence type things. I get it, it's hard to go out on a limb and just give a blurb on someone else's story. Which is why Lesley Awino wins. This is what she wrote.
The sun seemed to be scorching the life out of everything they had passed. People had been dropping dead since long before Kevin and Alec even thought to pass this way. Even here, in the Acadia National park, rows and rows of bodies with malformed skin lay everywhere, and the stench was unbelievable. None of these poor souls would have passed for a melanated child of the sun. And so the sun scorched them out of existence.
Kevin and Alec's story was wildly different. They were simply trying to get back home to Kenya. It had been bad when all this started, but now there was barely any way to go straight home. Every form of land transport with metal or plastic or rubber had rendered unusable because of the heat. And so the two walked. From New York, all the way to Maine. They had made it this far on the hope, no, belief that there had to be a ship they could use to get home. For now, they were both exhausted, and needed rest. And then Kevin spotted one of those rare pools of clear water.
I gotta admit, it's very good huh? The description almost has me dying of thirst and seeing rotting bodies everywhere. And it fits in the story except for the fact that they're on the wrong continent.
Can we all give her a round of applause?
 I almost feel shy to post what ACTUALLY came before...but here it is for your edification and comparison. Oh and p.s. on my beta's advice, I changed the names.
“Tell me you see those, too!” she exclaimed, turning back to face her brother and Ben.Anders squinted. “Looks like an oasis,” he said.Zawadi whipped her head round to look at him. “So, you see it too?” she said, her tone urgent.Anders nodded slowly. “Yah, I see it.” They stopped, staring at the oasis, waiting to see if it was a mirage or not. Then Ben walked around both of them, at a fast clip, heading for it. Anders and Zawadi followed reluctantly behind. So thirsty.So ready for something good to happen. The oasis did not disappear.As they drew nearer, the sand under their feet gave way to tufts of hard yellow grass, which became greener the closer they came to the oasis. The more they saw evidence that they were nearing a water source, the faster they walked.
As I write, I'm also looking for the right cover for this pioneering genre. The first two contendahs are below. Do tell me which you like. Or even if they both repulse you terribly...

This post apocalyptic gay African romance, named 'The Post' is slated for release in September. Sign up for updates to receive other excerpts, news, and information.