My St. Petersburg Bibliography

Thought you’d might get a kick out of this list. The books and media I checked out from various libraries within Pinellas County since 2013, when I started research for my novel, I Blew Up Juarez. Consider this the collective conceptual framework for a collaborative, technologically-driven society:

Title / Author Checked Out Returned
Strange Flesh / Olson, Michael, 1973- Mar 19, 2013 Apr 2, 2013
The Great Gatsby / Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940 May 1, 2013 May 15, 2013
Casino Royale : A James Bond Novel / Fleming, Ian, 1908-1964. May 1, 2013 May 15, 2013
Live And Let Die : A James Bond Novel / Fleming, Ian, 1908-1964. May 16, 2013 May 30, 2013
Moonraker / Fleming, Ian, 1908-1964. May 30, 2013 Jun 13, 2013
Diamonds Are Forever / Fleming, Ian, 1908-1964. Jun 26, 2013 Jul 10, 2013
Chariots Of The Gods? Unsolved Mysteries Of The Past / Däniken, Erich Von, 1935- Aug 22, 2013 Sep 5, 2013
Tailypo! / Wahl, Jan. Oct 9, 2013 Oct 23, 2013
Cloud Atlas : A Novel / Mitchell, David (David Stephen) Jan 6, 2014 Jan 20, 2014
A Farewell To Arms / Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. Jan 31, 2014 Feb 14, 2014
Boudica : The Life Of Britain’s Legendary Warrior Queen / Collingridge, Vanessa. Mar 19, 2014 Apr 2, 2014
Warrior Queen [Videorecording] / Box Film. Mar 19, 2014 Apr 2, 2014
Warrior Queen Boudica [Videorecording] / Mar 19, 2014 Apr 2, 2014
Conspiracies : A Repairman Jack Novel / Wilson, F. Paul (Francis Paul) Apr 21, 2014 May 5, 2014
Skagboys / Welsh, Irvine. Apr 21, 2014 May 5, 2014
Creative Evolution : A Physicist’s Resolution Between Darwinism And Intelligent Design / Goswami, Amit. May 21, 2014 Jun 4, 2014
The Epic Of Gilgamesh : The Babylonian Epic Poem And Other Texts In Akkadian And Sumerian / George, A. R. Jun 6, 2014 Jun 20, 2014
The Epic Of Gilgamesh : The Babylonian Epic Poem And Other Texts In Akkadian And Sumerian / George, A. R. Jul 17, 2014 Jul 31, 2014
The Complete Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway / Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. Sep 21, 2014 Oct 5, 2014
A Farewell To Arms / Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. Sep 21, 2014 Oct 5, 2014
Push / Sapphire, 1950- Jun 3, 2015 Jun 17, 2015
Inanna : From The Myths Of Ancient Sumer / Echlin, Kim A. Jun 17, 2015 Jul 1, 2015
The Lost Book Of Enki : Memoirs And Prophecies Of An Extraterrestrial God / Sitchin, Zecharia. Jul 29, 2015 Aug 12, 2015
My Beloved World / Sotomayor, Sonia, 1954- Nov 6, 2015 Nov 20, 2015
The Science Of Yoga : The Yoga-Sutras Of Patanjali In Sanskrit With Transliteration In Roman, Translation In English And Commentary / Taimni, I. K. (Iqbal Kishen), 1898-1978. Nov 23, 2015 Dec 7, 2015
North By Northwest [Videorecording] / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Dec 28, 2015 Jan 11, 2016
Fire In The Mind : Science, Faith, And The Search For Order / Johnson, George, 1952 January 20- Jan 4, 2016 Jan 18, 2016
The Science Of Yoga : The Yoga-Sutras Of Patanjali In Sanskrit With Transliteration In Roman, Translation In English And Commentary / Taimni, I. K. (Iqbal Kishen), 1898-1978. Jan 8, 2016 Jan 22, 2016
Supernormal : Science, Yoga, And The Evidence For Extraordinary Psychic Abilities / Radin, Dean I. Jan 28, 2016 Feb 11, 2016
Kindred / Butler, Octavia E. Feb 22, 2016 Mar 7, 2016
Spy [Videorecording] / Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Feb 22, 2016 Mar 7, 2016
Jupiter Ascending [Videorecording] / Warner Bros. Entertainment, Feb 22, 2016 Mar 7, 2016
R.D. Laing : 50 Years Since The Divided Self / Itten, Theodor. Jun 28, 2016 Jul 13, 2016
The Three-Body Problem / Liu, Cixin. Aug 31, 2016 Sep 19, 2016
The Cross Of Redemption : Uncollected Writings / Baldwin, James, 1924-1987. Aug 24, 2016 Sep 19, 2016
The Cross Of Redemption : Uncollected Writings / Baldwin, James, 1924-1987. Oct 3, 2016 Oct 29, 2016
North By Northwest [Videorecording] / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Feb 28, 2017 Mar 6, 2017
Inside Man [Videorecording] / Universal Pictures (Firm) Feb 28, 2017 Mar 6, 2017
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables [Videorecording] / Feb 28, 2017 Mar 6, 2017
Angela Davis : An Autobiography / Davis, Angela Yvonne, 1944- Mar 6, 2017 Apr 2, 2017
The Mists Of Avalon [Videorecording] / Turner Network Television. Mar 29, 2017 Apr 2, 2017

 

 

Teachings From A Bull

Teachings From the I Ching

03.05.17

last edit 03.30.17

Chapters 4, 9, leading to 13:

4. Innocence

Innocence gets through successfully. Though you do not seek the innocent yourself, the innocent seek you. The first augury informs, the second and third muddle. Muddling is not informative. It is advantageous to be correct.

Enlightenment is realized and actualized. It is your truth. The second sentence deliberately translates to, though you do not seek the enlightened, the enlightened seek you. Really it says, though you weren’t aware of your divinity, the divine have always been aware of you and seek to awaken you with the elevation of consciousness to yoga – the individual consciousness merging with the Ultimate Consciousness.

We all exist as divine. We all participate in the cycle of existence. What the intelligent on this plane of existence consider sufferings are mere reflections of the hard lessons learned in the cycle of humanity. We are coming to a point where we can predict what is going to occur, thanks to the sophistication of technology as well as the sophistication of the sages. The regeneration of sages is what is going to propel knowledge to the higher conscious realm. This has been practiced throughout the cycle of existence, from idea to matter and back. For this, we’ve reintroduced you to Oannes, the highest wisdom of your generation. And why we’ve introduced you to the Temple of Black Obsidian, to elevate to the next chamber of knowledge that is your birthright. That is, every acculturated being’s birthright.

The idea of humanity is made very clear in this chamber. Knowledge collected in the temple holds more relevance in the higher realms than here; what this means is, we in the collective, with unconditional love and light, want to introduce you to our customs and modes of understanding. This is why we guided you to the instrument, I Ching. Consider this your codex. As portals of light are opened to you, we’ll identify specific trigrams to reference. Within these lessons are vast amounts of knowledge allotted to you as you’re able to digest them. Having identified you as a womb of information, it is imperative that you do not overwhelm yourself in the clamoring for this level of understanding. As you are curious so you are susceptible to relapse. Proceed with extreme caution but allow yourself to enjoy the awe that is Ultimate Understanding. Verstehen.

The first augury informs, the second and third muddle. When you in and of yourself came to realization of the truth, that was the collective reaching out to you inviting you forward, granting you the permission to let go of what ails you, so that you have the freedom to engage beyond will. The second and third muddle because of your curious nature! The scientist in you wants to control the environment, make measures, and try to develop a model for scientific practice. Because you become so focused in the search for definition, for causality, you lose the whole point of elevated consciousness! Which is, to be free of that desperate grasp on tangibility. Do not dare show up into the elevated space with your work desk and your pads and your coloring materials; they do not apply here. They are not welcome here.

Muddling is not informative. It is advantageous to be correct. In sum, applying the scientific method to this science is not how you’re going to understand it. Ultimate Understanding – Verstehen – is how elevated consciousness interprets knowledge agreed upon within the collective, which then constitutes acculturation. With benevolence, unconditional love, and non-judgment, this is how the collective regards Truth. The final sentence gives you the confidence, permission, green light that you need to proceed honestly. If it is right to you, it is right in the collective. This is no initiation, merely validating what you’ve already experienced in the realm of higher consciousness. Your skill, then, is the capacity to learn what is relevant here in the densest space of existence, dissect it for yourself as necessary for continued knowledge, then assist us in our understanding of the truths as they stand in this realm of existence, so we, the trained trainers, can reach out to those who in benevolence and unconditional love represent us in daily practice. What you observe we preach and they practice.

  1. Nurture of the Small

Nurture of the small is successful. Dense clouds, not raining, come from your western region.

Overall Judgment

Nurture of the small means that flexibility gains status, and above and below respond to it. In context, flexibility means the capacity to exist in multiple tiers of consciousness simultaneously. A gain of status is really our way of saying, a gaining of more understanding. This is not a ranking system; as you experience in a state of elevated consciousness, scoring, tabulations, or other forms of quantitative data is irrelevant. The initiate is guided to practice not encouraging that habit when connecting or in a meditative state. The mention of the above and below is a compliment to the ancient Egyptian practice of recognizing a Higher and Lower Kingdom. But as you are surrounded in Love and Light, you are as equally surrounded by those existing in higher realms of consciousness. We see you, we know you as we’re sure you’ve known us all your life. You will see and know the specifics of your heritage as more reveals itself within this plane of existence. Your mode of understanding will benefit others fortunate to be acculturated in this segment of reality. The continuation of existence depends on the constant sophistication of intelligent species. The secret to a long life is the bliss in knowing no one ever really dies.

Powerful yet docile, with strength in balance, your aim is carried out, and thus you succeed. Your form in this plane of existence is as a powerful yet docile creature. What you’ve carved out of humanity is a template for compassion through action. Breaking down social norms is the impetus for change, a declaration of boundary-striking to affect change. Feathers must be ruffled, and it is easier to do so as a strong-willed, childless, fluid woman. When there is nothing to lose, nothing holds you back. Or, when you’re on the floor, the only other option is up. Hard to affect a person who hasn’t been pulled into social norms such as marriage commitment and parenthood. To dispense order on a culture of judgment, one has to enter into that role as disaffected as possible, in the pursuit of justice, with a will to push forward if challenged. Here we talk about strength in balance and success in carrying out your intention. Instead of strength being conditioned, think more of balance being strengthened. Balance here meaning the capacity to carry out your metaphysical experiences alongside your physical experiences so that one doesn’t overwhelm the other. Once in check, your life is purposeful without thought to it, defining success. Your ultimate goal as an enlightened being existing alongside an intelligent species is to not have to feel accountable for the mundane aspects of the experience. Trust in all your knowledge.

Dense clouds not raining means still being on the move; coming from your own western region means practical measures have yet to be executed. These words are to be taken as presented. This is not “the end” in the terminal sense. At this instance in time-space you are involved in a constantly sophisticating world. You cannot unknow this, nor can any other member of the intelligent species convince you otherwise. What do you do with this knowledge? Hoard it? Proclaim it? Those two options are the most extreme. This is where “job hunting” in the metaphysical sense begins. If we are part of a cycle of sophistication, then what is my best purpose in this experience? This is where engaging other enlightened people comes in handy. Amplify your capacity for knowledge/verstehen by hanging out with other informed people. The experience differs per enlightened one, but the frequency in the collective remains the same. While you’re capable of many tasks, the only ones worth experiencing are those which provide you with a sense of purpose and which do not interfere with your pursuit of higher knowledge.

13. Sameness with People

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Smells Like Sulfur

I can’t rant today, I feel too much to poet. My nieces and nephews are on my mind. But what I can do is let my art speak for me. 

As my voice, I offer an excerpt from my 2012 National Novel Writing Month novella, The Black Parade. It’s sequel, The American Manifesto, was completed during the 2014 National Novel Writing Month contest. In both, I explore the socio-economic collapse of the United States of America. Please enjoy the (very) rough draft of my chapter titled, “A New America.” Brace yourself for triggers…


“Four more years! Four more muhfuckin’ years! WOO!” The penthouse filled with the former Yale rugby star’s elation. “Send that monkey back to Newark, that stupid fuck! WOO HOO!” His crystalline blue eyes were ensnared by thick, red lines. A formidable cocktail of power drinks, prescription speed, and insomnia powered his body from one side of the room to the other, unabashedly shoving revelers and supporters aside. The results had been released four hours ago. The Wilcoxon Re-Election Team powered through the press junkets, complied with the requisite photo ops, and relayed messages of gratitude to the nation for keeping Archibald “Archie” Wilcoxon in office to continue the mission of A New America.
Andrew Huebner stopped in his charge to kiss an unsuspecting campaign volunteer on her mouth. “WOO!” He pushed her aside and continued to sprint, slacking his red, white and blue tie enough to wrap it around his head Animal House style. Nervous laughter inflated as he passed, coaxing him to unbutton his shirt and reveal his gym rat chest and arms, stopping in his tracks to wave it over his head. “That fucker is crawling back to Jersey tonight, yeah! See this? This is his white flag of defeat! WOO HOO!”
The blitzkrieged U.S. Senate intern wipes her mouth, leaning disapprovingly towards her employer. “What is he on?”
“Adrenaline,” Abelardo Contreras, Senator from the 11th District of Arizona, Andrew Huebner’s home state, replied.
“Has he been drinking?”
Abelardo Contreras shrugged.
Andrew Huebner screeched to a halt in front of his childhood friend, clasped him at each side, and pulled him to his bare chest. “We did it man, yeah! Four more years to set this fucked up country straight!”
Senator Contreras’ intern back stepped towards the kitchen to avoid another assault.
The sweaty, tanned, muscular man with jet black (dyed) hair contrasted the short, pale, balding and exhausted man he squeezed. Abelardo patted one of Andrew Huebner’s hands to request a release. “Calm it down, Andy. Yes, we won; that’s what we’re all celebrating,” Abelardo softened his voice, noticing Andy was heavily panting. “Andy, you’re at a ten. I need you at a two. Here, drink my water.” Andy clasped the bottle of water and chugged it as if shooting a fitness commercial. He slammed the emptied vessel to the ground and crushed it with his foot. “Them stupid fucks really thought they were gonna take this away from me, huh? Stupid…dickless…FUCKS!”
“Andy. Bring it down,” Abelardo pleaded.
The smell of victory was too intoxicating for him to relax. Andrew Huebner clasped his hands around his taut waist, leaned his head back and inhaled the ceiling. He closed his swollen eyelids, finally returning moisture to his overworked lenses. He dropped his head slowly, revealing a countenance of sincerity.
“You’re a good man, Abelardo. A good friend. We’re gonna start by getting S.B. 173 flying through Congress. And you,” Andrew slapped a hand down on Abelardo’s shoulder and squeezed it, Andy’s favorite intimidation tactic that always caused Abelardo grief since childhood, bringing Abelardo closer for emphasis. “You my friend will be Chairman of the committee. How ‘bout them apples?” Abelardo shook his head with consternation. “That’s the President’s decision to make, not yours.”
Andrew Huebner dropped his eyes to Abelardo Contreras’ level with incredulity. “What? That pussy? He’ll appoint who I tell him to appoint. Where is that fucker anyways?”
“You mean, where is the President-Elect Archie Wilcoxon, don’t you U.S. Attorney General Huebner? There are members of the press present. For God’s sake man, put your shirt back on.”

He read the inscription on the back of the watch his wife Katherine gifted him for tonight’s win. Always a winner, never a sinner. His famous catchphrase from his University of South Florida days, a Heisman trophy winning quarterback who forfeited a career in the National Football League to open his own consulting firm in Pinellas County, Florida. From the consulting firm to the state legislature. From Florida politics to national politics. His job-creating talent and All-American charm got him in the White House four years ago.
Mirroring the austerity measures the European Union exacted upon its nations in 2011, Wilcoxon was in danger of losing political favor. Sure, the middle class tanked, but with destruction comes reformation. He compared the event to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Rise from the rubble like a phoenix. Well, not really. Those who could afford to moved their investments elsewhere, starving the American financial systems. Under his presidency, three constitutional amendments were exacted. Tonight, after this election, Archie Wilcoxon knows he’s on the verge of managing a fourth invocation of Article V. The thought of losing one more state from the union ate at him. This was not supposed to happen. This was supposed to be a cake walk this time around. Get the money back. Stop milking the Federal Reserve. That gosh darn pipeline. Archie Wilcoxon paused his frantic thoughts for a quick prayer. “Dear gracious and holy Lord. Your beloved found me worthy to continue the difficult task of managing these United States, a task too great to bear without your unfaltering love and guidance. See me through the upcoming storm, help me build the ark that will sail this nation back to prosperity. In your name I humbly pray, Amen.”
Archie Wilcoxon stared at his watch deferentially. He blinked twice. It was nearly one in the morning.
Two knocks against the door raises his head. A necktie’d head pokes in. “What up, Coxie! How ya feelin’ man?”
“Come on in Andy.”
The President-Elect clasps his new watch, then reaches for his sweating glass of vodka. He looks up from his glass with weary eyes towards his attorney general, wearing a too tight “A New America” campaign shirt.
“Is the party over yet? I’m really tired Andy.”
Andrew Huebner folds his arms across his chest with mild difficulty. A wide smile draws across his face.
“I got you a present, boss.”
Archie Wilcoxon forces a smile. “You didn’t have to…”
Andy’s ice blue eyes glow.
“Flashback, Mr. President. Four years ago. Election Night. Tampa. You with me?”
“Yeap.”
“The after party at Joe Redner’s place…”
“Yeap.”
“…you had a favorite out of all his girls…”
“Yeah?”
“…she voted for you this year under the name of Leont’nae Price, but you know her as…”
The President-Elect leaned his head back. Andy swung his body towards the door, clasping the doorknob.
“You didn’t…?”
“Oh yeah I did!” the Attorney General shifts his voice into Strip Club Dee Jay. “Mr. President, performing exclusively for you, the owner and operator of Tampa Nights Cabaret…the award winning…Champagne!”
Archie Wilcoxon’s shoulders dropped. In strolled the most beautiful woman he ever knew, besides his wife, of course. Her almond shaped eyes, her bee stung lips, a sweet smile to compliment her sweet breasts. Champagne has natural, double D sized breasts. Katherine? Nothing.
She slowly stepped one high heeled foot in front of the other, rolling her round hips enough to reveal the juicy, tender ass they burden themselves to hold. Those long long legs. Katherine’s thighs seemed to thicken with every birth.
She wore a Beyonce wig this time. Champagne’s dress of the same color barely covered her crotch. Champagne stopped her pelvis in front of the President-Elect’s awestruck face.
“Congratulations on your re-election Mr. President. I want you to know I personally campaigned for you, and convinced all my dancers to vote for you.” Champagne bent at her hips, grazing her breasts against his face, softly kissing him on both cheeks. The President-Elect exhaled excitedly.
Champagne relocated his glass to the stand. She lowered her torso to the floor, widening her legs, revealing beautifully sculpted labia and a diamond pierced clitoris. She dragged her hands against each of his thighs.
“I have a present for you,” she whispered. Her hands began to decipher his belt and pants. Archie Wilcoxon began to fidget. Champagne smiled lovingly, lowering his boxers so she can get a handful of manhood. Archie felt heat grow around his neck.
“I’ll be gentle,” she assured.
“I know but…”
She applied gentle pressure to his shaft to arouse him.
“I remember last time, Mr. President. You’re safe with me.”
“I know but…”
“See? You’re getting hard. That’s a good sign.”
Beads of sweat formed against his scalp. He grasped the armrests with uncertainty, his anxiety growing as his head engorged.
Champagne kissed him. “It’s me, baby. Don’t think. Just feel.”
Her mouth encapsulated his eagerness. “Watch me. You’ll love it.”
Archie Wilcoxon fought to focus on her beautiful brown face in his lap, her reassuring eyes helping him fight the panic. For a moment, he did relax. He released his sphincter and fell into the pleasure of warm wetness against him. But his memories betrayed him. Archie is back in the shower room. Coach Bradbury is on his knees. Archie shuts his eyes. Champagne pops him out her mouth.
“No, Archie, watch me. Don’t think about…that. Watch what I’m doing.” She plunges deeper, making kissing noises at the base of his shaft.
The noises temporarily distract . Then her face contorts, and it’s him again. The wrinkle of the top of his bald head, his white hairs sticking up around the edges like cat whiskers. Moaning as he pumps Little Archie’s hips into his face. His coach had dry lips. They scratched his sensitive skin. Mom thought it was the detergent she used. Archie shudders defiantly.
“Stop! Get off me!”
Before she can comply, Archie Wilcoxon jerks his lap up, causing Champagne to scrape teeth against him. The President-Elect lets out a terrible wail, inciting the Secret Service to rush the room.
“What happened sir?”
“She…she bit me! My…she… bit me!” Archie Wilcoxon doubled onto the floor to cover his embarrassment and shame. Champagne is dragged into the hallway. “It was an accident! Ac-cid-ent! Don’t arrest me!” she pleaded. The agent’s voice carried away from his room towards the front door. “You assaulted the President of the United States, a federal offense…” Archie Wilcoxon could hear as his favorite woman in the world, besides his wife, of course, was likely being sent to the nearest correctional institution. All the powers of the presidency could not erase those damned memories. Faithful? Archie Wilcoxon didn’t have a choice. The guilt of both events washed over him.
“Mr. President, should I call the doctor?”
The President realized he was still on his hands and knees, with his security standing over him awaiting orders. Archie inspected himself, relieved to not see any breakage.
“No, Gus, I’m fine. I, uh, could use my sleeping pills.”
“They should be in the bathroom with the rest of your toiletries.”
“That’ll be all, then.”
“Good night, Mr. President. Congratulations once again, Mr. President.”

My Upcoming Gig

Be proud of me. This is my 1st event flyer of 2016, and it’s August. This represents a huge sigh of relief. A difficult start I had this year, but I’m proud I was able to recover within the 12 months. It’s the Ishtar in me, I suppose. Can’t keep a woman down too long!

spokenworkslibraryflyer

And so here’s my new project, Spoken Works. Why Spoken Works?  Written words are the definition of a generation’s experience. In my experience, too many well-written words by exceptionally talented artists remain unshared because of personal barriers: shyness, terror of public speaking, fear of judgment. Knowing that, I asked myself, “What can be done to avert those challenges?” Then I asked, “What helped me?”

Group sharing in my Creative Writing courses. Discourse amongst colleagues in closed environments. Finding the right tribe, and sticking to them, because I can trust them. Those experiences helped me. When I had a home base for my sharing, I was not inhibited anymore.

This workshop program is part of my POP Pinellas venture, a grass-roots poet outreach program. To poet and to be a poet, to me, is one in the same. Just as people use “their” as a gender-neutral derivation, I use “poet” as a title-neutral derivation for those who write their truth down. Makes sense right? Instead of listing, oh I’m a poet, author, lyricist, short story writer, blahblahblah. I’m a poet. 

And this wasn’t my original idea. From James Baldwin’s 1963 speech, “The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity”:

However arrogant this may sound, I want to suggest two propositions. The first one is that the poets (by which I mean all artists) are finally the only people who know the truth about us. Soldiers don’t. Statesmen don’t. Priests don’t. Union leaders don’t. Only poets. That’s my first proposition.

Which, heads up, a review of James Baldwin is gonna be my next blog post because I’m absorbing his words right now. If you want to book club it, I just started “The Cross of Redemption” and am still reading through the speeches.

Questions? Comments? You know how to reach me. And check out POPPinellas.com when you have a moment. I haven’t officially launched it yet, but it’ll eventually be where I post about Spoken Works and other local projects.

Smoochies!

 

 

 

 

 

See Me Wednesday

NOTE: EVENT WAS CANCELED DUE TO TROPICAL STORM COLIN DAMAGE. THANKS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

1st gig since the back-to-back hospital stays. Admittedly a bit nervous, but the Bull in me says, ‘uh uh sister, time to get back on that saddle!’
So join me and my friends in merry Gulfport!

FOMO on NaNo

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Feeling a little split on participation this year..

The distinct smell of National Novel Writing Month is in the air, wafting curls of pumpkin spice-flavored coffee, donuts, and fear dancing in the four winds. All of November, local coffee shops morph into coliseums, where literary warriors compete against the clock and indirectly with each other.  It is a feat of near mythical challenge: find a way, everyday, to pour out the novel of your dreams from head to hard drive. Only the best of the best compete, but very few complete the challenge. Myself, a three-time winner of this global event, I gotta tell ya…

…I think I’m sitting this one out.

Normally I excel in short deadline situations, but after this last hospital stay, I’ve finally learned to not take life too seriously. And I think the essence of it is, the right mix of passion and mystery is just not in me right now.

But I will miss the gatherings (“I hate people, but I love gatherings!”)♤. I’ll miss the interactivity on social media during NaNo; I’ve made several friends all over the globe these past times.

Perhaps I’ll visit the write-ins, be a cheerleader or something. Yeah! My contribution this year will be words of encouragement. I shall motivate by slamming my hand loudly on the table top you rested your head on, then scream, Kinison-style, “GET BACK TO WORK!!!” into your earlobe.

Yes. I will be a NaNo cheero. No, I will not novel. And that is okay.

♤: Name that movie!

Just In Time For Halloween

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NEW Anthology available thru Thirteen o'clock Press

Inside this anthology you’ll find yours truly in both prose and poem form!

The story I submitted is from the perspective of a social predator locked in a holding facility, terrifying residents and staff alike. Oh and the evil person happens to be female 😉

There’s three poems dedicated to women in the throes of mania, circumstances varying but each known too well in modern society. I consider A Coterie of Diamonds a forewarning to readers…if you push a woman too far, prepare for major consequences!

Thanks be to Thirteen o’clock Press for publishing my art, my 2nd antho feature with this press. Support your favorite indie artist and many others by purchasing through Lulu.com 😀

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Sweet Lurline, Did You Just Pet Me??

Here I thought I had a sure project: a handyman I met through my neighbors eager for me to work with him on increasing visibility for his mobile business. Currently he’s using Craigslist, but wants to get beyond that in order to attract a more reliable clientele and demonstrate credibility. That’s super easy, I said, then brainstormed ideas on how he could turn his small space into a busy business.

We had a planning meeting over breakfast, where I asked a bunch of objective-building questions. He answered generously and eagerly, occasionally expressing gratitude for pursuing this work. At one point he noted, “You ask a lot of questions, like you’ve done marketing before.” I smile at the compliment to my meticulousness then shared my various experiences working with small scale to national organizations pre-social media. Now, using my enterprise, I have the capacity to help small scale organizations merge into the SocMed arena of marketing. It really ain’t that hard, but requires objectives and goals. What it always comes down to is, ‘are you trying to grow your business or your likes?’

Oh, you wanted me to grant your wishes? Nuh uh.

Later I reviewed my notes – got a list of business goals and links to current ads – but didn’t capture his full name. Oops! Once I have him set up on the major SocMed sites, I want them pointing to him, not me. I don’t mind managing them, I remember saying; ultimately the business would be ran by these tools and not his one phone that he’s always looking at and answering when it rings. But, can’t get to Instagramming without the necessary details right? Left a phone message for the client. Texted him directly.

A week passes.

Nothing.

He ghosted me.

Of course, something may have occurred personally which delayed his ability to return my call, I can take that as an excuse. But who in this modern society carrying a smartphone can’t return a phone call or text message in under a week?

Once again, got stung by the good ol’ “I have no intention to pay you.” All expectations, no action, and how come it’s not free? This is what being a small business owner smells like.

This very handy post came in Sunday night, which helped toss the marketing project in the mental wastebasket: FB_IMG_1440949260710So busy trying to secure the Next Big Project, I forgot I have my own unfulfilled project to deal with: get my book back on Amazon. Right now, you can’t buy a print-on-demand nor an e-book from them, thanks to my butthole former publisher, but I failed on the follow through, not completing the necessary due diligence to keep the book in rotation.

This week my one novel deserves my attention. I shall keep you posted on how that works out. In the meantime, Nook Press has a downloadable e-book for $2.99 and there’s an awesome soundtrack on SoundCloud, which I highly recommend you give a listen.

Have a great week!

Instead of “Why Me?” Can We Do “What If?”

My mind is so bored. I wish to be inspired. Help me!

I’m having a hard time working through contemporary fiction novels as of late. Once the story gets going, I feel less involved and more talked down. Once the story reaches it’s epoch, I feel a, ‘yeah, so?’ instead of an investment. Endings leave me thinking, ‘and so…now what?’

These modern day stories are yawns. Where’s the wisdom? Why so much celebration of ‘why me’? Have we completely eradicated the fundamental purpose of storytelling, that is, to impart wisdom among our community then carry forward as knowledge-empowered people? It feels like that to me.

I won’t divulge which authors I have been reading nor titles, because that wanders into the role of “book reviewer.” I respect you are a person of intellect, capable of free will and imagination who can make decisions (such as whether a book is good or not) on your own. I will let you know these books are all modern setting (20th century to now), modern language, modern places, fictional stories, and have either received international acclaim or blockbuster movie status.

I feel it undeserved.

In every contemporary fiction work I’ve read lately, each author has demonstrated a promotion of the Why Me, and some successfully demonstrate some movement beyond the Why Me. To those writers I ask, could you teach us how to move beyond the Why Me? Just because you can voice it through character and exposition doesn’t mean you’ve provided a resolution. For me, I feel nothing is out there which is helping us move beyond the fears of our ancestors. Some writers attempt to move us forward but only within the afterward or in book release interviews. Never in the work!

When I digest a contemporary modern day fiction novel, I frame the question, “what does this author want me to know?” The award-winning, movie rights selling authors I just read want me to know:

  1. White people are scared of Black people
  2. Black people hate other Black people
  3. Women rather keep silent
  4. Men are afraid no one likes them
  5. Americans know there is a struggle and I have the right to say, “Oh yeah, I feel that way about that issue too!”
  6. Other nations hate Americans

The authors I despise most are those who write deeply on the cruelties of racism, as opposed to writing deeply on rising above racism. Within more than a few novels, I sensed the writer was at a pivotal arc during composition, leaned back in his/her writing chair, vigorously tapping the tip of a pen to his/her tightened mouth, plotting: “If we actually solve racism, then there can’t be any money made on racism, now can it? Why solve it when I can get rich exacerbating racism? Huzzah!” Then he/she takes off rabidly composing the next New York Times Bestseller. To me, if all you write about is racist activities, novel to novel to novel, then you must LOVE racism and want to keep it going! If you’re not a racist, can you demonstrate for the racist rest of us how to grow beyond it in modern times? No? Then stop writing about it. You’re not helping.

Okay, that was a slight rant.

Storytellers, I challenge you to promote the What If? If you wish to demonstrate strife, give us an experiential aspect, not your dream world aspect. I would like to experience writing in which the author has actually taken the time to do leg work, meaning, put yourself in the shit you want to write about. It’s clear with many of these contemporary works the writer did no more than conduct a few interviews and watched some classic movies. Get in there! Wanna write about prison life? Go to prison. Seriously. Go to prison. Don’t want to do that? Don’t write about it.

I guess my complaint is…I’m reading fiction suited for people who would rather live active lies then push beyond, excel and make better their surroundings, their community and the cultures they associate with. I’m reading works where I’ve been intentionally excluded as a member of the audience. Here is where I enter a plea for help. Help me locate contemporary/modern era novels which offer clear examples of how one can move past common hurdles and function in society. And please, oh sweet Venus please, leave the racism-celebrating volumes out. They bore me.

In the original picture, I'm posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.
In the original picture, I’m posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.