Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Night... All I See

When I got Kylie Minogue's X last year, this song All I See was one of my favorites. Sexy, mid-tempo groove that reminded me of Janet Jackson. Maybe it'll be one of your favorites.

Other favorite videos of the Kylie playbook:
The One (so 80s fab for the 2008)

Love At First Sight (such a happy song!)

Slow (great song... sexy boy candy for the eyes in the video!)

Wow. (reminds me of a crush I had on someone this year)

Happy Saturday night... in or out!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Reason I'm Not Voting For McCain

Watching the Obama/McCain debate right now... and surfing blogs.

One of my favorite people, Alisa Valdes Rodriguez, just gave me and the world another reason not to vote for McCain/Palin.

They've got characteristics and behaviors that are reminiscent of abusers. Read her blog entry: McCain/Palin and Abuse.

Obama looks so presidential tonight. Funny watching that old man McCain getting worked up with that old-people stubborness at the debate.

It's time for a change from old folks running things for a while. And with our young generations being more and more diverse AND open-minded, we will definitely see change in this presidential election, and hopefully in institutions across the country in the next few years.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

700 Billion and Nothing

$700 billion.

If the government can come up with that to bail out supposedly smart, MBA types who run our corporations and banking systems, it shows it can come up with that money to invest in education, social services, people, restitution/reparations if it wanted to.

But the big lesson here... no surprise to most people I work with or know... it doesn't want to. Those things don't matter to politicians/government.

Because if those were priorities, someone would have said, "How about $1 billion each for Detroit, Newark, and the Appalachians (and all major inner-cities) to develop and rebuild?"

Someone would have said, "How about $1 billion to share among all currently-enrolled college students?"

Someone would have said, "How about $1 billion to cancer or HIV research?"

Someone would have said, "How about $1 billion to start to level the playing field for women, people of color, etc...?"

Someone would have said, "How about $1 billion for arts and sports programs for young people?"

All this... just because. No strings attached. No reaction to a crisis. Not because it scores points. Just because it's a right thing to do? I'm sure someone has... and we just don't know?

This is long before any financial crises occurred, all this could have happened... if it mattered to anyone in politics. And it would have left $695 billion for other "Invest in People" projects. Can you imagine?

Maybe I'm sarcastic and cynical at times. I'm still voting Democratic in November. I know we're a capitalist society and money makes everything turn in the U.S. For me, it's like once you know what you're dealing with you can adjust and plan accordingly. And for the record, I have no desires for handouts or freebies personally. I don't have a sense of entitlement or that I'm personally owed anything. However, it would be nice for the People In Charge to take initiative.

But it's got me wondering if all this change talk is just talk... or can/will anything really change.

More book stuff later :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Abstinence Teacher

This has been on my "To-Be-Read" list for a while... I hope to get through it before Election Season is over. It's quite timely and fitting right now.

The Abstinence Teacher, written by Tom Perrotta, follows what happens when a progressive high school sex-ed teacher in a suburban pearl-clutching suburb comments that oral sex can be enjoyable. It's a novel.

It's the culture wars at best, when the teacher, whose motto is "Pleasure Is Good, Shame Is Bad, Knowledge Is Power," is required to add an abstinence lesson in her curriculum after local community and church leaders complain she's corrupting the suburban town's youth.

Sounds like a juicy read, but also one that could mirror what's happening when "blue state" people live in "red state" communities in the U.S.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

West Hollywood Book Fair

If you're in the L.A. area, and you like books, writing, and people watching, then you've got to attend the West Hollywood Book Fair on Sunday, September 28. The event takes place in West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente.

At this year's WEHO Book Fair, I'll be participating on a panel-- We Are Everywhere: New and Unique Voices in LGBT Literature. It'll be moderated by Christopher Rice, and will feature Alistair McCartney, Vanessa Place, Jess Wells, and me. We're on at 11 - 11:55 am.

I've always enjoyed the event, even before I was a published author. A number of the panels are like classes, and I know in these times when money can be tight, anything that resembles a "free" class is something to attend. And it's an especially great place to network and make contacts you wouldn't have the chance to do by sitting at home.

As well, I've gotten to meet many authors up close and personal, because of the intimacy of the space. Imagine walking past Jackie Collins while you're on your way to see Victoria Rowell while you're hanging with Fiona Zedde? It's that easy to see and meet people.

Finally, it's all about L.A. at the WEHO Book Fair. The authors, subject matter, location, and ambience all celebrate what makes up West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

Anyway, make a date for you and your friends, significant other, or family members to stop by the West Hollywood Book Fair on Sunday, September 28.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I. Can't. Sleep.

This could be straight out of the My Best Friend and My Man storyline, which I told you about back in June.

A friend of mine was with his partner two nights ago. Around 2 am. His partner's phone alerts that a new text message has arrived.

My friend picks it up and finds the message, "I Can't Sleep." The message was from a friend of my friend.

My friend's partner was asleep, so my friend called me with one of those "WTF is NoName texting my man at 2 am?"

I could only think two things. Naive, innocent Fred thought, "Practical joke." Experienced, jaded Fred thought, "You don't text someone at 2 am I-Can't-Sleep unless you've been given reason to do so."

Then naive, innocent Fred thought, "A friend wouldn't text another friend's man like that."

Then experienced, jaded Fred thought about that Denise LaSalle song where she goes, "I can tell you a lot about a best friend honey... when it comes down to your man, you ain't got no best friend." -- Denise LaSalle song, "It Be's That Way Sometime"

What would you think if someone text you or your partner with an "I Can't Sleep" message at 2 am? What would you do if you saw the message?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In The Midnight Hour

A little after midnight and I can't sleep.

That phrase/cliche, "Deep in the midnight hour" is popping in my head. Does anyone know the source or origin of the phrase? Besides the church pulpit?

Anyway, a weird science tip, deep in the midnight hour, someone is possibly having a sex-related stroke. As soon as I saw the headline on the CBS News website, it caught my eye and it became water cooler conversation for the co-workers who talk inappropriate science stuff with each other.

Someone, somewhere is also reading deep in the midnight hour. In a few weeks many of us will be reading Midnight by Sister Souljah. Midnight is the sequel to Sister Souljah's bestselling novel, The Coldest Winter Ever, and it will be released in late October/early November 2008.

It took me forEVER to finally pick up Coldest Winter a few years back. I was reluctant. One of my professional colleagues at the school said I HAD to read it, that it was one of her favorites of all times. I'd noticed it was one of the most frequently checked out novels from my department's library. So I picked it up... and couldn't put it down!

Midnight will be a book release I won't sleep on!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Is Short, Wide, and Can Tease You

Was searching on Amazon for some stuff and came across the most exciting book release news.

J. California Cooper's new novel, Life Is Short But Wide, is coming... in March 2009... But you can pre-order it today on the site.

She is one of my favorites. I've written about how I got hooked on J. California Cooper's writing, thanks to a bookseller's recommendation that I read her short story $100 and Nothing.

Shows the importance of booksellers, hand selling, and knowing the books in their stores. I'm a fan for life. And to this day, I don't even need to know what the book is about... I know I'll be satisfied with a J. California Cooper book.

Now, if only I didn't have to wait six months for Life Is Short But Wide. Such a book tease. Thanks Amazon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Election Proposition

Went to a No on Proposition 8 house party last night. The marriage equality proposition in California. Funds were raised. People were watched. Food and drink were consumed. Conversations were had.

I believe everyone should have the right to marry if they want to. Personally, I don't know if I'll ever partake of the right because I'm very independent-minded... and there's that little thing called finding someone, but that's a whole 'nother blog.

If you're not registered to vote, Rock The Vote can get you started.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Favorite Daytime Diva Speaks

If you're a fan of Victoria Rowell and her portrayal of Drucilla on Young and the Restless, you'll absolutely LOVE her interview on Daytime Confidential Podcast.

She discusses her first book, The Women Who Raised Me, and also shares the highs and lows of working on daytime's #1 soap for the past 20 years, Young and the Restless.

Some good stuff!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Links For Writer Types

Hey... I know times are tight for some people, and taking writing classes isn't the extra thing to fit in the budget. I always found attending book signings at book stores, even for writers I didn't know about, was like a free class.

As well, here are some recently discovered links that I've found to be helpful to my writing life.

Practicing Writing. Free and low-cost contests and other writing opportunities.

The Book Deal. An insider's view of publishing business.

A grant opportunity from Poets and Writers for those of you who'd like to host a writer event in your area for underserved populations.

Marcela Landres. Consults with all writers, but especially provides information for and about writers of color in the publishing industry. I met her at a VONA conference about five years ago, and her advice was the BEST I'd ever received about publishing.

Backstory. First-person accounts from published authors on how their most recent novel came to be.

A Newbie's Guide To Publishing. Always informative entries. And if you haven't downloaded the 700+ page collection of publishing, writing, marketing tips, here's your chance.

Finally, early in my blog life I listed a bunch of writer resources I found helpful. Here is one entry called Writer Resource Library. Check it out.

Of course I check out some of my favorite writers and their blogs, just to see what they're up to: Tayari Jones, Tess Gerritson, L.A. Banks, and Alisa Valdes Rodriguez.

OK. Happy writing!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


To find more information and posters like this, visit the Men Can Stop Rape website.

I've been thinking about the idea of being safe, or having a safe world, lately. I'm an idealist and believe we can all do small and large things that add to the overall safeness of the world and our neighborhoods.

Safety is one of the themes running through Pearl Cleage's novels, Some Things I Never Thought I'd Do and Baby Brother's Blues, in which a major character, Blue, follows his life and personal mission to create a safe space for the women and children in his Atlanta neighborhood.

Do you feel safe where you are? Are there ways you contribute to helping others feel safe?

I know I'll get asked, so what are YOU doing Fred? Well, in my small way I contribute to a safe space with my day job. Working with students. Planning events where young people learn how to challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and other forms of opression in society. Creating a space where dialogue, not debate, is encouraged and can bring us closer to the truth. Big, deep answer. Yeah, not what you wanted! :-)

Anyway, have a good day. Hope it's good and safe where you are!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Night... Reminisce EV3

Saturday night. Reminiscing, trying to figure out what to wear. The mask is drying. The cocktail is taking effect, lol.

So got to thinking. Before Rihanna's Disturbia video, which the kids think is all groundbreaking and cute (which it is), EnVogue had a similar video style with Whatever. Check it out.

So of course after checking out that video, and locating the song on my iTunes, I found one of my favorites by them, Too Gone, Too Long. The ultimate "I'm not taking you back" song.

Then, I remembered when Terry Ellis went solo for a split second, and did Wherever You Are. Always loved that song.

I started wondering what EnVogue's EV3 would be like if they re-recorded it with Dawn singing with them... hmmm. I loved the cd.

And I hope that wherever you are tonight, that you're having a safe and fun time. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Which Superwoman?

Remember Superwoman, the song?

I always liked the version by Karyn White.

Then the version by Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Dionne Warwick came out, giving it an "I've lived life" twist.

I like them both. Glad the Karyn White version popped up on my iTunes this morning. Learned Karyn White is running a successful interior design firm in Sacramento, California now, and raising a family. Keeping up those superwoman qualities.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Random Questions

Happy Tuesday! So hard to wake up and get back to the world today. But got a couple random questions on my mind.

I went to the mall yesterday to hunt for a men's bathrobe. Couldn't find a robe anywhere! Are bathrobes a thing of the past? An old school clothing item that people no longer wear? Geez. The ONLY robe I found looked like a Hugh Hefner boom-chika-boom-boom robe. Not my style.

Another random question. I'm not picking on the family of the Republican VP nominee. Because we all have family drama and issues. But with the media and the Republican talking heads... they're taking this whole thing like nothing. Now... had it been a black or latino candidate's teenage kid having a kid, I'm sure we'd have heard all sort of "personal responsibility social welfare state eating bon bons" type commentary. Just my take.

And speaking of Republican VP candidates... whether you agree with her politics or not, wouldn't Condoleeza Rice have been the most strategic and qualified VP pick for the Repubs? Kinda makes you wonder... and looking forward to hopefully an easy Obama win in November.

Monday, September 01, 2008


So Coe Booth's first novel, Tyrell, was an award-winning success.

And even though it was an award winner, it wasn't a snoozer, as some award winners can be. It follows the life of 15-year-old Tyrell, who's coming of age in the midst of poverty, tough choices, and temptations. Fabulous read and highly recommended for readers of all ages. Here's one review for you.

So I'm looking forward to Coe Booth's upcoming novel, Kendra, coming in October 2008. Here is one review for you. Kendra is fourteen, the same age her mother was when she was born, and coming of age in her grandmother's home. Of course there's more to it, but I haven't read it yet.

Anyway, as we head back to school season, both might be good books to add to the backpack... or on those holiday shopping lists. That season is on the way, too.