Excerpt from my novel

Thanks to some good FB friends for helping me over my writer’s block last Tuesday. The following is an excerpt based on that brainstorm. The main character, Victoria and her boyfriend have just gotten into-and then out of-their first fight, and she decides to journal her feelings.

****
So I thought I knew what love was. Now, I realize it’s something you feel when you’re a little left of center. You’re paranoid, out of control, and second guessing yourself. Paranoid you’ll never feel this strange feeling for anyone ever again. Out of control as you rearrange your life to revolve around the one you love. Second guessing yourself when you decide to do things like talking and breathing, afraid that saying anything or exhaling will blow the one you love out of your life. Love is dangerous and strange,and once you’ve felt it—necessary.


Michael stirred in his sleep, and Victoria quietly slid the dust-speckled notebook under the bed. She stared at the wall listening to his even breathing until she fell back to sleep.

****

Jay vs. Conan vs. common sense?

Is it just me, or is the weird move NBC has decided to do in February not making any sense?

If Jay Leno doesn’t have the ratings why not just cancel his show? As  part of the viewing public, I don’t understand why NBC wanted to do this 10:00 stunt anyway. You wanted to take Jay off the Tonight show, I get that. It was the #1 show of late night, but …whatever. So I as a viewer, I watched the last shows of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. I prepared myself for Conan. I said my farewells and acknowledge the passing of the proverbial torch.

And then suddenly Jay is on at 10:00, and I lose my 10:00 favorites: “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”, and “Southland”. These are shows that because of their content are better at 10:00 when the little kiddies have gone to bed. And now, they are banished to cable.

In the real world, if people aren’t performing up to the company’s standards, they get fired. (And if they are they still get laid off.) They do not get traded or shuffled. But I guess NBC is not the real world. We’ll probably be seeing Jay until he decides to walk into a club with a concealed weapon and accidentally shoot himself in the leg.

What is the point of watching NBC anymore? Oh yeah, “The Biggest Loser” is pretty good.

A truthful look at the wonderful and neglected African-American woman

This is a very truthful and interesting look at African-American women in relationships. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCoI-B9AYjs&feature=youtube_gdata

Congrats, President Obama!

I am so happy for President Obama!

This man has been handed the US in the worst state it’s been in decades, trying his best to get everything back on track, and at the same time trying to create peace in the most volatile of situations (i.e. Iran, town hall meetings full of ignorant people, joint sessions of Congress), and he’s getting one of many just rewards.

I’m not surprised by the criticism. Being an African-American woman, I see other people do it all the time: underestimating my potential, be appalled that I can achieve, then expect that I must be perfect (otherwise why have a black woman around?) to be deserving. You work your ass off just because that’s what black people are supposed to do and when results are not as fast as expected or as utopian as desired, then we’re deemed lazy or inept. This is the crazy impossible thinking that President Obama’s critics embrace. And this is why they are short-sighted and keep people from progressing and succeeding.

Congratulations, President Obama. We can only imagine how hard your job is, but we are glad you accepted it. You deserve the Nobel Prize!

Jon+Kate+8=boredom

I know I’m not the only one who’s tired of hearing about Jon and Kate Gosselin –oh yeah and the eight kids.

I’ve never seen an episode of this show, and never want to see an episode. But now in entertainment news, they are everywhere!  Is it a ploy to make me think I want to see the show by immersing me in these people’s lives.

One thing that bothers me to no end is Jon flashing their bank statements all over the place. I was brought up not to tell everyone about your $. Of course in the same breath I think Kate was wrong for going on the Today Show (r) and blabbing about some $ she thinks Jon stole. That is ridiculous. Do not subject me to your money problems–multimillionaires with money problems, go figure– I have problems of my own.

And no, I’m still not going to watch the show. I may stop watching entertainments news shows altogether.

Healthcare = opportunity for control?

I am the last person to ask about what is in the health care reform bill. I have yet to even skim the bill. And this post won’t be a comment about supporting it or not based on what I hear.

But something has been bothering me for a while. As I hear those who oppose the reform speak in town hall meetings, I feel like one part of their argument doesn’t hold water. Some have said, they are opposed to health care reform because they don’t want government controlling their health care; they want to be able to control their own  health care.

To me, this view is out-of-focus from two angles. The first, from the fact that the government is not involved in health care.  Besides the health care funded projects and programs the government sponsors (Medicare, free clinics, medical research grants), the government is involved with every FDA-approved medicine you take, every hospital inspection, they even affect your nutrition (the Food Pyramid is a Surgeon General invention). I shudder to think where we would be if the government were not involved. People dying because they couldn’t fill a prescription, or the medicine is not available, because it wasn’t approved–and therefore not covered by insurance.

Secondly, if you think you are the only one controlling your health care, think again. your insurance has limits, and unfortunately your ability to receive care and quality of care is dictated by those limits. Get your head out of the sand, people. Yes, you ultimately have a choice how you wish to be treated, but trust me you pay for that choice. And don’t think that a doctor is not going to try his best to give you the drug from the pharmaceutical company that’s paying him, rather than the best medicine for you.

Don’t be so short-sighted–looking at the politics of this issue, or at your own welfare/responsibilities. Try your best to see the big picture; look at all sides of an argument before taking a side. I am still in research mode, and I look at each town hall meeting and televised press conference, as an opportunity to learn.

“Tell them that it’s human nature…”

I was about 5 or 6 when “Thriller” came out. I remember our parents bought us the album–my brother and me. It was the second record we owned-just us kids-and until we could work the record player we weren’t allowed to touch it.

But somehow that record was played and the cover handled so much it got scratched. If I knew who did it, I wouldn’t tell you to this day, but I don’t. Then we got the “Bad” album, one that even though it didn’t match “Thriller” in album sales, I loved it more. With songs like “Dirty Diana”, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, and “Bad” all gritty and raw and romantic; somehow it felt like Michael Jackson had grown up a little. And of course I had, too.  I mean, I was 11 for goodness sake! I was practically an adult.

Back then, Michael Jackson’s music to me was just cool. It was a guy singing and selling Pepsi(r). It was a sequined glove, a red jacket, a scary video you watched through the spaces between your fingers, but you just couldn’t stop watching it because you wanted to get those zombies’ dance moves down. It was begging your parents to stay up late, because Michael Jackson’s MoTown performance was going to be on right after the next commercial. It was just pure fun.

As my talent for writing grew so did my APPRECIATION for music–and the genius behind real music. The power of words combined with a melody to give them permanence is something I marvel. Somewhere someone is thinking of exactly how you’re feeling and is making a song about it. That’s why as a writer, music is my muse. Music pulls random words into phrases and eventually paragraphs. It causes me to think about what I’m saying in a different way.  Michael Jackson’s music became more than just a fun fad for me. There’s not one song this man created or performed that didn’t come from his heart, his soul. Real musicians, real writers, they create art-not just for sale, but for sanity–for spiritual survival. How? The only way is through their hearts and souls. The only way musicians and writers can create something memorable is by being inside their art: wallowing in the music, immersed in the writing. We inspire each other by sharing our souls with each other.

Michael’s music is not just a good time in a club. It’s not just a soundtrack to some great childhood memories. It’s the evidence that a great artist can do anything. It’s validation that music and literature are just as important to our lifeblood as math and science. It’s evidence that us “weirdos” who may use our right brains a little more than others can be treasured icons. It’s the evidence that great music can change the world.

I thought I wouldn’t get emotional over Michael Jackson’s death. After all, he’s not family. He isn’t a close personal friend.  I have never even met him.  But wait. Wasn’t he telling me about himself since I was 6? Hadn’t we shared some of the same feelings? Had I been humming  the refrain of his life experiences all these years?

I didn’t know the man. Or did I?