Friday Fun Review: “Painted” (Deluxe Edition) by Lucky Daye

No, you are not in an alternate universe, I am reviewing an album. I’m actually just flat out recommending it.

As an author and creative I make playlists for every novel, I have a general writing playlist, and I play music when I’m crafting (and usually singing along, but that’s another story for another day). So, I’m always looking for music that influences or provides certain moods. A lot of times I’ve found new music from movies or shows that have some of the same themes as I’m writing. Or just good stuff.

I realized I found 2 songs by one artist–Lucky Daye–and put them on the same novel playlist (my current WIP Book 2 in the Accidental Series). One from a TV show, one from a movie I watched several months later. I had to find out who Lucky Daye was. Painted (Deluxe Edition) has both of these songs on it. It’s his 2nd of 3 albums, the most recent being Table for Two.

Listening to Painted is like taking a trip through soulful R&B from the seventies to now. “Real Games” is that laidback 70s R&B, “Paint It” and “Try Your Fire” evokes that fun 80s R&B feeling, “Shoulda” is an awesome remix of a popular 90s hit, and “Floods” is 21st century R&B with a little Houston chopped “icing” for street cred. Daye even gives us Mingus-esque/”Love Jones” vibes on “Misunderstood”.

It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to buy a soul R&B album and just listen all the way through. And as much as I appreciate those overseas efforts to move “new” R&B to the forefront (where it should be), I have a feeling of ownership for soul R&B. (This my opinion, and as an opinion, it’s as valid as anyone else’s.) The most authentic version of true soulful R&B to me is American, Black, and swimming in emotional ups and downs. And Painted by Lucky Daye has that.

Check it out on Spotify. Then go buy it.

And while you’re on Spotify, check out the latest episode of Nerdy Romantics Podcast!

TV to Inspire: Shows I Watch

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine requested  that I send her a list of all the shows I watch. At the time, I was watching a show that she fell in love with (can’t remember what that show was?? Anyway), and I guess she thought I had interesting tastes in TV.

Well, I finally got around to creating this list. I pick my TV mostly by what I like in general: I’m a superhero nerd, I’m a writer, I love love stories, I love to laugh, and I like dramatic action. The TV shows I watch give me inspiration for some of my stories, motivation to work on my crafting projects, and some great new music for playlists (I Soundhound a lot while watching TV) among other things.

Here’s a good sampling of many of the shows I watch right now, categorized by my interests/likes. Some of these fall into duplicate categories, but I’ll only list them once. These are in no particular order.

Regularly Watching

Dramas (aka “Good Stories” or “Good Writing”)

  • Ozark
  • Manifest
  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • For the People
  • Succession
  • The Good Fight
  • The Bold Type
  • Queen Sugar –from the book Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile: This is here, and not in the TV from a Book section, because I fell in love with this show for the show itself. I didn’t read the book or have an appreciation for the book before I watched the show. Also, the cinematography is amazing (can’t get that in a book).
  • Black Love –Love what I have seen so far, just need to add it to my queue to keep watching.
  • Ballers
  • All-American

Action Shows/DIY shows (My “Weekend DIY Girl” side)

  • The Rookie
  • Blindspot
  • Legacies
  • This Old House
  • P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home
  • Growing a Greener World
  • For Your Home
  • Design on a Dime
  • Ask This Old House
  • Black Lightning (Honorable Mention– interest waning in season 2)

TV From Books (The “Nerd Bunch”)

  • Younger –from Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran
  • You –from You by Caroline Kepnes
  • The Flash –from the comic book series (DC)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale –from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Marvel’s Runaways –from the comic book series (Marvel)
  • Marvel’s Jessica Jones –from the comic book series (Marvel)
  • Marvel’s Luke Cage –from the comic book series (Marvel)
  • Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger –from the comic book series (Marvel)
  • The Gifted–from the X-Men and EXiles comic book series (Marvel)
  • Outlander –from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
  • Supergirl –from the comic book series (DC)

TV from TV

  • Homeland –from Israeli drama series Prisoners of War (2009)
  • Charmed (2018) –from Charmed (1998)

Guilty Pleasures (aka “The Ratchet (the correct word is Wretched!) Bunch”)

  • The Real Housewives of Atlanta
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  • Vanderpump Rules
  • UnReal
  • Empire
  • Star
  • Claws

When I Need a Laugh

  • Grown-ish (Black-ish gets an Honorable Mention. I’m not really a regular watcher)
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Insecure

Reruns I Keep Re-running

  • Star Trek: TNG
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Star Trek: DS9
  • Scandal
  • House
  • Living Single

Sporadically Watching/TBW

Upcoming Shows/Shows on my “To Watch” List

(They interest me, but I have yet to really dive in and put them as my favs.)

  • Game of Thrones–This is kind of like The Sopranos for me (see below). I missed the initial hype, and it’s almost slipping away (last season). It looks like it might be my kind of thing, but I don’t know. The 1st book is in my TBR pile as well.
  • Black Mirror
  • Atlanta
  • Harlots
  • Pose— Only 2 episodes in so far
  • Bosch
  • Killing Eve
  • Good Girls
  • Dietland–I’m trying here, for my sisters (the BBW club)
  • Good Trouble–new series
  • Star Trek Discovery –on principle, I don’t like what CBS is doing with its All-Access platform, and this show had issues in production, but I am a Trekkie, so I have to check it out. Plus, it got a Season 2, so…
  • A Million Little Things –see “This is Us” (below). Trying to get past the 1st ep. crying spell.
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Also, I thought these two categories would be pretty cool:

Shows that a lot of people like, that I don’t/didn’t watch (& why)*

  • Stranger Things* — Aliens? meh. Trying to get convinced to add it to my queue, but I haven’t yet, so it stays here.
  • TrueBlood — The books are so much better and richer when it comes to story. HBO went overboard on the shock value and forgot the story. Also, one of the fun Easter Egg/tropes in the books couldn’t be repeated on screen because of fan response.
  • This is Us* — Watched 3 episodes, cried uncontrollably, can’t go back.
  • Grey’s Anatomy* — Got invested too late, couldn’t stay invested.
  • The Walking Dead* — I don’t do zombies. I don’t do much horror. (“Legacies” is hanging on by a thread with their latest episodes)
  • The Sopranos — Missed the hype. Not sure I want to go back now that it’s over.
  • Being Mary Jane (Is this one over?)* — ditto Sopranos
  • The Haves and Have-Nots* — Too soap-opera-y for me. Plus, I never got invested.

*still running as of Jan 2019

Shows that I wish weren’t canceled/that created a “ShowHole” even though they ran their course

  • Mistresses –from the BBC series Mistresses (2008): It was going off the rails, but the fact that it’s gone created a summer “showhole” for me. If they had kept the show in LA where Alyssa Milano could stay on, this might still be running.
  • Devious Maids –Created a fun-bingewatch “showhole” in the summer for me, but it was starting to lose it.
  • Sleepy Hollow –I wish this wasn’t canceled, but I totally agree with why. Google all the controversy about it. I’m totally with fellow fans on this one.
  • Fringe — Went off the rails, but I still miss it!
  • The Originals –obviously a vampire show can only go for so long, but I miss this one! Legacies can’t fill this showhole.
  • Reign –the CW didn’t really give this one a chance (same with The Coven–Although, I’m glad most of those actors got other roles in some great CW shows.)
  • Gossip Girl –I miss the drama and love-relationship aspects. And Ed Westwick. But if there was a good adult version of this, I wouldn’t mind–The show itself ran its course. (same for One Tree Hill and The O.C.)
  • The Client ListClaws fills this showhole nicely, but I do wish I knew what happened! I need closure!
  • Girlfriends –I still need closure.

What are some of your favorite shows? What more should I be watching?

Note: This is one person’s ginormously uncontrollable TV habit. It is by no means indicative of anyone sane.  Seriously though, I was not paid to mention, endorse (or disparage) any specific TV show, network, or TV streaming service. This is merely my opinion about TV shows and commentary on my personal choices.


#MyTinderSeries: Was it Worth it?

So, here’s my Tinder experience by the numbers.

  • Weeks on Tinder: 12
  • Total number of matches: approximately 30-35
    • Super likes: 1 (and that was an accident)
    • Highest number of matches at one time: 17
    • Matches who talked with me: 8
      • Matches who “yelled” at me at some point during conversation: 2
      • Matches who outright asked for sex/something sexual (and were refused, FYI): 2
    • Matches I met: 2
    • Dates had so far: 3
    • Matches I met that I liked: 1

These numbers are pretty dismal if you take them at face value.  I was unmatched by almost half the guys I was initially matched with, most of my matches did not even speak to me (from reading profiles, I found this to be a trend on Tinder–people don’t talk to you even if they match with you. Yes, that is weird and defeats the purpose of Tinder), and a couple had the nerve to be rude.

But then, today I received the cutest text from Tinder Guy B, we’ll call him TGB. It was a little gif of a guy making a list and TGB saying “Lemme add that to the list of things I like about you…” and I thought, this whole experiment on Tinder might actually be something more than a waste of my time. I might have actually found a new friend out of all of this. I may not have found love, but that was questionable, anyway.  What I did find was that I’m still a great match, and I can create a spark. And that was worth knowing.


#MyTinderSeries was not endorsed by Tinder or its affiliates. #MyTinderSeries represented 1 heterosexual woman’s experience (me) using Tinder to meet guys for approximately 12 weeks. Everyone’s experience, while it may contain similar elements, is different. This in no way has to do with Tinder itself, the app, or its affiliates. For a happier ending in love, check out my first 2 installments of the Owen & Makayla Trilogy.

#MyTinderSeries: Signs That it’s Not a Match

Now that I’ve “sampled” some of the Tinder offerings, I realize that sometimes people don’t know when it’s not a match. They keep attempting to make a connection for whatever reason, but it’s getting nowhere. Here’s how to tell it’s not a match:

  • If they say “you aren’t listening.” For most people, just being heard is a win, and when you remember what your match has said it’s an even bigger win for you. On the flipside, if your match has told you that you aren’t listening to him or her, then they are already disinterested, because they don’t want to invest in you if you’re not investing in them.
  • If you have no common interests. This isn’t going to work on so many levels: you have nothing to talk about, nothing to do together, so what would you do on dates? And if you have nothing to do on dates, where could this possibly go?
  • If you are angered or annoyed whenever they IM you. This is your sane mind telling you, get out now.
  • You love something that they hate (or vice versa). If it’s a big enough, it will break you up in the long run. People don’t really “learn to live with” things they don’t like. They simply learn how to tamp down their resentment/annoyance/anger until they can’t anymore.
  • If you want a different type of relationship than the other person. Again this is another sure breakup in the future, so ending it now is logical and leaves no hurt feelings. One of my matches asked me if I would consider being friends with benefits. I told him no. He unmatched us. No harm, no foul.
  • If your match keeps telling you “no.” If you keep getting a negative response to your suggestions, it’s probably because they want you to get the hint–stop suggesting that stuff. It’s not because they want you to wear them down until they say yes. It’s because they do not want to do whatever you are suggesting. It could also be for any of the reasons above–not listening, not something they’re interested in, etc.
  • If you feel you are being verbally abused. Verbal abuse is more than enough reason to stop talking to someone. But if for some reason you aren’t sure:  Verbal abuse leads to physical abuse. Unmatch. Now.
  • If they say any of the following: “wyd”, “send me a pic”, “let’s chill”, “where u at”, “don’t tell my [wife, husband, gf, bf, etc]” Um… yeah. That person is just straight up trash. Unmatch with a quickness and never look back.


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For some happier endings, check out my first 2 installments of the Owen & Makayla Trilogy

R-E-S-P-E-C-T and Tinder

I’ve been having a lot of morbid (read: self-deprecating) fun with my antics on Tinder, and it has been just that… fun. People are crazy, and silly, and weird, and I am laughing so much.

But today, I had to put my foot down and be serious. Tinder Guy X, let’s call him TGX, and I were having a conversation about speed dating–past experiences, being speed date buddies, etc, when TGX decides to ask–out of the blue and in the weirdest way–if we should go out . (Edited for clarity (!?) and because I am a grammar nerd). We’re in the middle of the speed dating conversation when he asks:

TGX: So you don’t want me, right? (I think this is when he deviates from the previous conversation. But I respond about speed dating, because at this point I’m not aware he’s asking about us dating in general. Then:

TGX: Then we can go

Me: Yeah we can

TGX: OK. We are supposed to meet before August? (The August thing is from a conversation we had last week about seeing each other. See how a girl can get confused?)

(nonsense back and forth I won’t bore you with, because we were referring to 2 different conversations the whole time)

TGX: What other options than speed dating?

Me: Like everything else

TGX: Like what? Dinner or drinks and when (This is where I get a clue he’s trying to ask me out. But again, who asks somebody out like this?)

Me: Like whatever. That’s on you. I was just asking about being speed dating buddies.

TGX: ok

Me: I wasn’t really thinking about actual dating at the moment.

TGX: Ok Dude be clear, u wanna meet me or not Final (This is where I get an Aretha “Respect” earworm. I am taken aback @ this point because clearly, this is not how you ask a woman out on a date. But I don’t go off. I should have, but I don’t. I’m thinking maybe I am taking this the wrong way. (I give the benefit of the doubt too much, sometimes.) )

Me: You’re talking about in general, not the speed date thing? (I ask this because I want complete clarity from him and (really) because I am mentally counting backwards from 10 to avoid cursing him out, not because I am dense. At least not here.)

TGX: Yes.

(I agree b/c I want to see where this is going)

TGX: Ok when and where

Me: You asked me, that’s on you

TGX: (names a place, but no time or day) Or u say if u have something in mind.

**At this point, I’m flashing back 15-20 years ago when I let guys talk to me like this. I thought at that time that by being agreeable,  1) I could experience social things I wanted to experience, 2) guys would be more interested in me, and 3) guys would realize what a wonderful person I was and cherish their time with me. What happened instead was that guys just realized they could talk to me any kind of way, and they did. I was not being agreeable, I was being a doormat.

When you allow behavior like this from anyone, they will keep pushing this behavior as long as you allow it. What they are doing is pushing down your demand for respect. While not everyone should be trusted upon first meeting, everyone should be respected as a human being unless they prove otherwise. Do not let people disrespect you. Ever. Auntie Aretha says so. I say so. And of course, we know. 🙂 So I said,

Me: If you want to properly ask me out, you need to get a plan together, and when you’re done, ask me in a complete thought. I deserve that. 🙂 I’m a respectable woman


Yes, it took me a minute to realize what was going on. And then it took another minute to compose myself. But I remembered who I was. Always remember who you are no matter where you are (Tinder, real life, wherever)– you are a person who deserves respect.


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#MyTinderSeries: The Online Silent Period

The Monday summer rain bathed me in little droplets of steam as I got out my car and headed into the office. I rode the elevator to my floor, pinning my access card onto my shirt then checking my phone as soon as I was in wi-fi range. Nothing.

This is what I call the online silent period.

The online silent period is the time between when you have agreed to meet a guy you’re talking to online and when you actually meet him. One day, you are having the best conversation—you’re on your game, he’s on his. You’re trading genius barbs, witty lines, and subtle flirtatious comments.

The next day, you agree to meet. Either he brings it up, or you do, or you’re both suggesting something and then you’re checking your schedules. You find a date and time that works. And then, there’s no conversation. At all.

As I’m writing this, I’ve been in the silent period for almost a day now, with 2 or 3 more days to go. As a woman who’s prone to brief moments of insecurity, this is an unnerving time for me. Part of me is constantly anxious. I wonder how he feels about meeting me. Are his nerves going to kick in? Is he going to look at my pics a second or third time then realize he isn’t attracted to me? And depending on how planned out the meet cute is, I could be worried that he’ll make an excuse and back out. Or maybe he’s realized he’s gone down a rabbit hole and the only way to get out is to never talk to me again?

There’s also the flipside to the self-worry. I worry if I have just agreed to meet someone who’s all wrong for me, despite our conversations that say otherwise. I wonder what I’m missing with him, and if that missing thing is going to turn me off him.

And then I worry about the date itself. Are we going to get along like we did online? Are things going to go smoothly? Are people going to stare (The answer to this is always, “yes, so get over it.”)

So, why the silent period, anyway? Here’s my practical common sense answer to this. Once a couple conversing online decides to meet, they want to save conversation for the actual date. No need to get to know each other any more right now because you’ll find out more when you meet. And that makes complete sense for someone who’s not a worrywart.

But since I am, I’ve found ways not to dwell during these times:

  1. Make every date prep appointment imaginable ( see “Now I have to date?” post.)
  2. Talk to someone else. It can be friends you haven’t talked to in a while, family, it can even be other prospects…I mean you haven’t even met the guy yet, you don’t have to be exclusive (unless you told him you were going to be, which is weird. Why would you say that?)
  3. Chill the heck out, and live life. This is hard for me to do. But it’s really not a big deal. Say “hi” to the guy, then leave it alone. Go do the mountain of work that piled up while you spent time chatting up the guy in the first place.
  4. Appreciate the fact that a guy wants to go out with you and revel in that warm glow of appreciation.


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#MyTinderSeries: Now I have to date?

So, I’ve swiped right and left so much I feel like a wheat harvester with a scythe. Or whatever horror story villain uses a scythe. (Please look up the definition of “scythe” if you don’t know that word. Don’t be stupid.) After a few weeks, I’ve found some decent (code: literate and responsive) guys to have a conversation with. And today one of them, we’ll call him TGA (Tinder Guy A), asked to meet me.


Are you serious? Why would I put myself through that? I don’t date! Wait, that was the problem. That’s why I’m on Tinder in the first place. Oops. So, I guess I’ll have to meet this guy.

Online dating is weird. It’s like a cart-before-the-horse kind of thing. Sort of. Let me explain.

Most of the time when people meet on their own, they discover each other somewhere (“I met him in the cereal aisle at Whole Foods” or whatever), you agree to meet for coffee or drinks or food, then you learn about them. Online (with apps like Tinder), you pick a person based on profiles and pictures, you talk with them to learn more about them, and THEN you meet. Cart before horse. It feels more like job search than starting a relationship.

This brings a whole set of what-ifs and questions. After TGA asked me out, I immediately wanted to go to the gym, my closet, and the nail salon all at once. It was a quick burst of almost painful panic.

First, I was concerned that I didn’t look exactly like my picture–one that I took three weeks prior. You know, it’s the “Objects may be bigger and flabbier than they appear” syndrome. Time for some OT at the gym and some new Spanx. Or a round of liposuction.

Then, I couldn’t remember if I had any date clothes. The last time I went out on a date…..oh, let’s not go down this road. Do yoga pants count? No? Not even with a cute top?

And don’t forget all of the maintenance stuff. What my granddad used to call “primping.” As in, “stop that primping in the mirror, and let’s go! The car is running!” These days, it’s a little more than what he thought. (It was always a little more than what he thought.) While we ladies love a good pedicure just for us, we don’t treat ourselves as much if it really is just for us. But when we know a guy might see any part of our body normally covered by clothes or shoes, we must exfoliate, polish, wax, paint, whatever is needed to make that body part shine. I have never had so many people touch me in my life in such a short amount of time. All for the adoration of one guy. Weird huh?

But now that the panic has subsided I looked at my picture, and I’ve gone over all my convo with TGA. I represented myself truthfully the whole time. And he still wants to meet me. I do feel better about this whole thing.

But what if he’s a dud? 😯😐 And the panic attack returns…..


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