Category: End of the World


So I see some readers have beef with the price set by my publisher for Drawing the Stud. So much so they feel compelled to post one-star reviews both on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, even though they haven’t read the book. They’ve got a regular little pile-on going on over at Amazon right now, and though I don’t think authors should ever respond to a review, in my opinion, this is not a review. A review requires actually reading the goddamned book in question.

In response I must say I don’t set the price for books I write through a publisher, but hey, my name is on the cover, so there you go. Personally I think complaining because a book is too expensive is tantamount of me standing in front of the Lexus dealership with a picket sign. Have I ever felt a book was too pricey? Of course, and I made a note to either check it out at the library or to check back later to see if the price came down. I most assuredly would not give an author a one-star review over something she has no control over.

Further, there are complaints that IR authors don’t write novel-length books anymore. I can explain that in one word; piracy. When you write in a niche like IR authors do, your book sales are severely limited. For the most part, you only make money the first month your book is out. Then someone uploads it to the pirate sites and bam, there goes your money. Well, if it takes you six months to a year to write a book, you have one month out of twelve to make money. Or you can write four books in that same timeframe and get paid four times. One book, Try a Little Tenderness, took me two years to write and was on the pirate sites within a week of release. It sucks for you as a consumer, it sucks for me as an author.

I realize there’s a mentality out there that authors should write only for the love of the work, and that sounds very nice, but I’m not one of those authors. I do love writing, but it’s damned hard work and no way in hell would I do it for free. I’m not sure why people have the mentality that artists should be happy that “someone read our books.” I call shenanigans. I am a professional author putting out a product for you, the consumer. The idea that I should somehow have no interest in making a profit is both absurd and insulting to me and to my books. Writing is hard and publishing and promoting is even harder. I realize these are not issues that readers care about. Y’all want as many books as you can get, for the cheapest price you can find. And I do understand that, but just remember, this is my job and while I love my books and I love writing, and adore my fans I also like to get paid. Thank you.

Those who read this blog regularly know I’ve been looking for a dining room table for ten years. You know what else I’ve been trying to buy for ten years? A goddamned swimsuit. I know. I know. We all have our ills in that department, but your blues aren’t like mine. What I really want is a two-piece, a tankini. At the pool I have to take my little guy to the bathroom with me, and getting naked to pee is less than comfortable when you have a toddler who was breast-fed. Boobs still mean lunch to him. So a tankini would be ideal, but as you’ve often heard me lament, my weight tends to congregate around my middle, thus resulting in muffin top. Ideally I’d like a high waisted bottom on my tankini. Well, I’ve only found one place with them, Land’s End. Right now they’re marked down to $40 from originally $54. I’ll probably get it, though I’m really annoyed, because seriously $54 is what I expect to pay for a WHOLE SWIMSUIT. And people wonder why I hate shopping.

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And I want to know why my life and horrific death is not worthy of media coverage. Being ex-military this story is particularly poignant to me. Five years ago four Marines raped and slaughtered a couple in San Diego, California, a major news market. What should make this story particularly newsworthy is that the couple killed was their senior officer and his wife. And given the brouhaha over the recent Cheerios commercial the fact that they were an interracial couple should have provided an even more interesting angle. There is much hue and cry about military rapes these days which should also have given the story legs. They were a young attractive couple. He a native of Poland who chose to serve this country in the Corps. She was actually writing thank you notes to the attendees at the wedding. This story is just brimming over with pathos. The type of stuff news organizations generally love. In fact this story had so many triggers that it should’ve been on a continuous loop on both Nancy Grace and Dateline. Yet, it was not and there are only two reasons: The victim was a black woman and the perpetrators were black men.

Instead there was absolute radio silence. The only place I’ve read about this case is on BWE blogs. It was an obvious hate crime whereby this couple was killed viciously and with malice aforethought for no other crime than being an interracial couple. I can understand why the prosecutor chose not to designate it so, but the news media failing to cover the story is chilling. Our deaths are not worthy of mentioning if the perpetrator is black and that’s got to change NOW. The media is complicit in their indifference and I want to know why.

Gina McCaulley of What About Our Daughters has declared Quiana Jenkins-Pietrezak Week on her blog whereby we will hold the news media accountable for this blackout. Do me a solid and follow up on her blog. The first step is to identify members of the media who routinely cover these type cases. We’ll be listing those  on Wednesday, then we will politely ask those reporters why they dropped the ball.

I got an email the other day asking if most women who write interracial books are interracially mating/dating. Now, obviously I don’t know everyone who writes interracial romance novels, but from what I’ve seen we run the the gamut. I know some who are with men of their own race, some are with men of another race, and some are happily single. When I asked the correspondent why she wanted to know she went on to say that she’d seen books encouraging black women to date interracially and wondered if the romance novels were a part of that “movement.” Well, if you’ve read this blog you know how I feel about the notion of calling who somebody chooses to pull cover with a “movement,” but I was intrigued when she said she was unaware of the existent of these books until a few months ago.

As you know I think that’s a MAJOR problem. So, here are a few questions for you, my beloved readers. Do you think interracial romances are propaganda? Do you think others might feel that way? If so, do you think that’s positive or negative for the genre? And when I speak of benefitting the genre I’m talking in term of sales. I want to make sure every black woman on this planet knows these books exist, but I am concerned that they might feel some of the same misgivings this particular emailer apparently felt. Could we be losing potential readers because they think these books are nothing but propaganda? What do you think?

Yesterday someone said that comparing marriage equality to the Civil Rights Movement demeans and lessens it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Civil Rights Movement, like all human rights movements, was always universal. Twenty years ago when I heard those Chinese students singing “We Shall Overcome” in Tianamen Square i was proud that my ancestors created a movement that resonated so strongly that these young people, born a generation later on the other side of the world felt its impact. The Civil Rights Movement, much as Lincoln said about Gettysburg, has already been consecrated; in blood. It cannot be demeaned or belittled unless, in a misguided attempt to honor it, we stand idly by while oppression continues. The oppression of one is the oppression of us all.

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Of Mountains and Molehills

Not sure why so many folk have got their panties in a twist over this doll. For one thing she is NOT a Barbie, and for another, do we even know she’s black? She looks like a Donatella Versace doll to me.

ETA: So rather than a “ghetto” or “hoochie Barbie,” this doll is actually a character doll. A high fashion model. Her expression, rather than mean mugging as some have said, is in fact a typical model expression. And she was designed by Jason Wu, who we all know through his poularity with the First Lady. I’m posting more pics of the same doll.

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Afrobella is one of my favorite blogs. I have it in my reader and have gotten good advice there on fashion and beauty. i especially love learning about the latest nail colors there. But when I saw this post yesterday I had to respond. There seems to be this mindset that professional cosmetolgists give better hair advice than bloggers or websites. That has not been my experience AT.ALL. When I first went natural back in 1998 it was BECAUSE of piss-poor advice and experiences with so-called professionals. So the notion of them debunking ANYTHING is nearly enough to send me into hysterics of laughter.

I started getting relaxers when I was eighteen. I spent more than a decade trying to find a cosmetologist who would relax my hair as I preferred. They insisted on relaxing my very thick hair bone straight. I never wanted that look and hated it passionately. I would go home afterwards, wash my hair and let it air dry to get more texture. After some research I realized what I was looking for was a texturizer and that I also needed to stretch my touch-ups out to about four a year. When I tried to discuss this with my cosmetologist whom I saw at least three times a month, she informed me that such things were for people with “good hair.” I knew then that I’d never see another “professional,” and have not been back to a salon since.

Of course, I’m grateful now that I never got that texturizer and instead eschewed chemicals altogether. I went from having to spend hours in the salon every week to not having been in one for nearly fifteen years. I’ve saved thousands of dollars not to mention endless aggravation. From time to time I wish that I could see a “professional” for a little pampering of my natural hair, especially for color, which I hate doing at home, but I’m too vain to go gray. This was especially true when I was pregnant and was so tired, but then I remember the aggravation of the long waits and how little “pampering” was actually involved and move on. I wish, oh how I wish this was something I could indulge in. The type of beauty treatments other women can take for granted, but unfortunately I never found after dozens of attempts. I’ve made appointments over the years to get my hair professionally colored, but have always cancelled after having what could best be described as a panic attack at the thought of suffering that abuse again. This is why I don’t assume that just because someone is a licensed professional that their word is any less suspect than a blogger. I think many professionals are mostly invested in keeping you in the chair for their services, at least bloggers are speaking from their own experience. If it doesn’t work at least it has cost you nothing.

When I went natural there were few, if any, so-called professionals who wanted to have anying to do with natural hair. If it didn’t involve lye and a flat iron they weren’t trying to hear it. My only recourse at that time was sites like Nappturality, a gold-standard resource I’ll put up against any licensed cosmetologist, most of whom have received NO TRAINING on natural textured hair. Now they see what a goldmine natural hair can be and resent that women have empowered themselves and broken free of their disdain and tyranny. When I first went natural I had to make my own products from coconut oil and shea butter I bought online. I learned about ACV rinse and the power of herbs like rosemary. I learned how to two-strand twist and the glory of spending time relaxing in my own home as I took care of my hair. There are plenty of poducts available now, but I still like knowing I can take care of my own. Did I learn any of this from the so-called pofessionals? Nope. This is information I gained from Nappturality and I’ll be damned if I’ll stand idly by while these “janie-come-latelies” put that site and others like them down.

Detroit prosecutor Kim Worthy is working through a backlog of more than 11k rape kits. Some of these rapists have gone on to kill while the rvidence to convict them has been languishing ina warehouse. Help get these perpetrators off the streets. Note, this is phenomenon is not limited to Detroit. It costs $1500 to process a rape kit and many of our cash strapped cities simply don’t have the cash. We must make this a priority. Get involved today.

Here’s a link to an NBC news story about the situation.

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On Doxxing

So some reddit lowlife got outed the other day. Apparently he was a legend and posted sexist, racist stuff as well as provocative photos of underage girls. He has supposedly lost his job and I give not a damn. Someone also outed Harriet Klausner, the Amazon reviewing doyenne who has supposedly “reviewed” 28k books in ten years. Not sure why anyone would be arsed to out Klausner; surely no one with a functioning frontal lobe takes her reviews seriously. There are allegations that she sells the books she receives on half.com or some fuckery. I didn’t really bother to read it.

There’s a lot of handwringing today about how wrong it is to out someone and that people should be allowed to maintain anonymity on the internet. I’m not here to argue that, because, again, I give not a damn. We can pontificate until our navels fall out about what SHOULD be. Personally I prefer to deal in what IS. And that is simple; the internet is not a democracy. If you have any expectation of privacy here, you need to step away from the computer. There never has been any privacy on the internet and there never will be. Every keystroke you make is trackable by someone with the time and skill to do so. And heads up; it doesn’t take a helluva lot of skill. If I can do it, anyone can.

Some of you know I had a crazy ass stalker for more than a decade, so I learned a few tricks to keep an eye on him. For instance, I get a lot of posts from headcases on this blog. Most I simply delete and put in my “crazy” file. (Yes, I maintain a crazy file.) I’ve only had to go to law enforcement once, but having documentation of the crazy certainly helps. I stilll live by the ‘”if you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it,” mantra I learned as a social worker. Some of them set off my “spidey” senses and I will go through the trouble to backtrack them. I’m frequently amazed by the information most of our friendly neighborhood trolls leave out there. If I wanted to I could expose their jobs, addresses, even their kid’s schools. I would never do that, of course. Mainly because I can’t be bothered, but also because I’m not a psychotic bitch. Free lesson to the trolls out there: Just because I’m not a psychotic bitch today doesn’t mean I can’t pull that trigger tomorrow. I’m perimenopausal with a toddler. You do the math.

This doxxing thing is nothing new. One of the first lessons I learned online came as a result of a really ugly doxxing. Back in the mid nineties we didn’t have blogs or even message boards. There was something called the usenet. And oh man, was it an ugly place to be. There was a particularly nasty white supremacist troll. I was personally convinced the man was mentally ill he was so vile. Someone doxxed him. Big time. Name. Photos. Wife’s name. Kid’s names and the name of his business. They even posted his personal address and his kid’s schools! Prior to this I didn’t realize how easily this could be done, and that was in 1996. God only knows what they can do now.

Bottom line is, there is no privacy or anonymity online. It doesn’t exist. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you turn three times, throw salt over your shoulder while saying “mama se, mama sa to matu sa,” with one eye closed while hopscotching backward somehow you’ll be protected. It’s not going to happen. Again, this is NOT a democracy. Everything you say or do will be used against you without due process.

I’ve said all this to say, be careful out there. Anything you wouldn’t want the world to know about probably shouldn’t be on your Facebook page. Yes, you can keep lists and maintain so-called privacy controls. Just remember two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead, and act accordingly.

Believe it or not, Ebony.com has a story on their site about convicted child molester Genarlow Wilson under the title “From Notorious to Glorious.” They also do quite a bit of obfuscation in that they claim that he was acquitted. No such thing ever happened. He was released early, but the Appellate Court refused to reverse his conviction. He was then, and still is today a convicted and CONFESSED child molester. Mr. Wilson is seen, on videotape, with a five other young men, running a train on a 15 year old. Further, he is seen, on videotape, having sex with an incapacitated, if not unconscious, 17 year old. But, actually, I’m not going to spend much time talking about Mr. Wilson today. Frankly this is much bigger than him, and despite his PR machine’s best efforts I am determined to let him fade into the ether much as he deserves.

I want to talk about the victims here. The victims that apparently Ebony.com never bothered to consider. In their celebration of Mr. Wilson’s “gloriousness” none of them took the time to wonder why he was acquitted of raping the older girl. Apparently, they’ve forgotten our history in this country whereas raping a black woman (girl) was not illegal and was done by both white and black men with impunity. This oversight is particularly shocking when you consider that much of the staff at Ebony.com is female. I find it troubling, but not unusual that the black community was once again so caught up in the alleged injustice to a black man that they totally overlooked the abhorrent miscarriage of justice the 17 year old girl in this case endured. Keeping in mind that just because he was acquitted doesn’t mean he’s not guilty. That this oversight was continued by a venerable magazine like Ebony literally turns my stomach. I often wonder about that girl, now woman. Where is she today? Did she see this article? How did she feel about the “glorification” of the man who is shown on tape using her unconscious form like a rag doll?

There is a tendency in the black community to dismiss men running trains on girls in a benign fashion. In fact, I suspect that many of the black men who’ve taken to twitter to dismiss these girls as “hos” were once train conductors themselves.

That was certainlytrue in the small Alabama town where I grew up too. Young men there habitually ran trains on girls from “low-class” families. Even one who was intellectually limited and still in leg braces from a childhood bout with polio. We were warned to “be careful,” but no one ever did anything about it. It was just how it was…until suddenly it wasn’t anymore. One Halloween night a group of guys snatched a twelve year old out trick or treating. The fact that they did this openly, in front of people that could identify them is telling. Only this girl wasn’t from a “trashy” family. The police were called and they went to prison. Would that girl have had to endure that trauma had our parents spoken up when this was going on?

And that’s why I look at you Ebony.com. Why are you complicit in this crime? You put a out a story claiming, despite the facts to the contrary that he “was never a child molester,” when in fact he was. Unless of course you don’t consider running a train on fifteen-year-old molestation. Never once do you question why he was acquitted of raping the seventeen-year-old given that the evidence was so clear.

Rape convictions are notoriously hard to win, which is why it’s so difficult to get a prosecutor to even pursue one. It’s bad enough that black women have to endure the fact that to many the rape of a black woman is still a non-crime. Now we have black women “glorifying” a convicted and confessed molester. What type effect do you think this is having on victims? Will prosecutors use it as an excuse not to pursue these cases? Will rapists use it as vindication of their crime, or even as a path to a full ride to Morehouse? After all, it worked for Wilson. Of course they will. You, like our parents over thirty years ago are complicit. You have blood on your hands Ebony.com, and like that girl from so long ago, I’ll never forget this. But unlike then, I’m no longer a child. I will not stand by while you throw black women and girls under a bus with impunity. At the bare minimum I will shine light on your perfidy. Again. And Again. I will never go away.

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