Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Khadijah At Harvard

A few months ago, I blogged about Khadijah Williams -- homeless in L.A. young woman who finished high school and was Harvard bound.

She's at Harvard now and apparently adjusting and doing well. Check out Khadijah, which will provide occasional updates on her life at Harvard. The site also offers opportunities for you to contribute toward costs associated with attending college away from home for her -- remember how college was for many of us, and we HAD some resources or family support, compared to what she's coming from. Everyone struggles/ed.

In the meantime, when I first blogged about the story I mentioned I thought her life would make for an inspirational story, movie, book one day (aka something that Oprah would probably love and turn into a project.) Well, Khadijah will be on Oprah this coming Monday, October 5, and apparently there are lots of grand surprises in store in the episode. Sounds like a must-watch episode.

In a week when we're hearing so much bad news about kids, big cities, and how scary it is to go to and be in school, Khadijah Williams' story might help put our minds at ease that things can always get better.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dance With Butterflies... and Links

The weekend flew by so fast. Geez. Good times though. Many more to be had, especially if I take something from the links I'm sharing with you today :-)

Looking forward to Reyna Grande's new novel, Dancing With Butterflies, which comes out in a few days. L.A., folklorico dance, friendship. Already getting good reviews. Publication party next Saturday, October 3 in L.A.

The food-lover in me is looking forward to trying these: 25 delectable dining deals in L.A. Show me a food bargain, and good flavor, and I'm there!

Hot. Handsome. Cute. We all make those snap judgments about people we meet, and I just love the way Call Me Chief put it in his blog entry last week: 2 Tenths of a Second.

Don't forget, West Hollywood Book Fair is coming next Sunday, October 4. My goodness, next weekend is October????

Finally, congrats to fellow author Carleen Brice. Her novel, Orange Mint and Honey, is not only being made into a movie to Lifetime, but Jill Scott has been cast as lead in the production!

And on that positive note, have a great day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Reading Lineup

Oh hello again! With all the fall new beginnings, I almost forgot I had a blog. Anyway, much of fall focuses on new school year and new television season.

But there's also the fall reading lineup. I posted this question on my Facebook page... does anyone have any good novel recommendations? I've gotten through many of the books I wanted to this summer. Now I'm looking for something new (or new to me) to read. Share your recommendations below, along with a brief why it's interesting to you.

E. Lynn Harris' final novel, Mama Dearest, releases soon. In L.A., Esowon Books will be having a celebratory reading and remembrance of E. Lynn Harris' work on Friday, September 25 at 7:30 pm. See if there is something similar in your area.

Another Friday evening reading event, The Promising Series curated by Noel Alumit, celebrates emerging LGBT writers. It also takes place Friday, September 25 at Skylight Books in L.A.

Finally, the West Hollywood Book Fair is coming soon. Sunday, October 4. Great reason to get to WEHO early on a Sunday and then stay after all the book stuff for some happy hour fun at the local bars and restaurants. And then the Latino Book and Family Festival comes to the east side of L.A. on October 10 and 11.

Another site I've often learned about interesting books and authors, White Readers Meet Black Authors site.

But what are you reading? Looking forward to reading? What excites you for fall?

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'll Look

Looking forward to Monday and Tuesday's Oprah featuring Whitney Houston. You've already seen the video for I Look To You, right?

Last week of Guiding Light this week. 72 years gone like that. In honor, Daytime Confidential discusses the Top 5 GL characters.

Next week, the latest by the late E. Lynn Harris releases, Mama Dearest.

Looking at the clock. Gotta run and get ready. More later. Have a good one!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Otherizing Obama

The students and I are having some lively discussions about President Obama. College freshmen/women are born in 1991 and 1992, have absolutely NO memory of Civil Rights movement (their parents, born late 60s/early 70s are first post-Civil Rights generation), and grew up with MTV-ish reality show representations of diversity.

I've tried to argue that civil discussion about any politician's policies is a healthy part of a democracy. However, I've also tried to argue that the opposition we're hearing to President Obama is louder and more disrecpectful than ANYthing I've heard any U.S. president face in my lifetime (and I have vivid memories from Carter to present day.)

I argue that this opposition is part of mainstream America's "otherizing" people of color, in this case a black man, which makes it "easy" for people with opposing views to show blatant disrespect. We all otherize people -- we do it to women, Asians, Latinos, people with disabilities, immigrants, and gays/lesbians. So black men don't have a monopoly on being otherized.

I can only imagine the kitchen table discussions happening in the households of those who are "othering" President Obama. Imagining the "n" word being used (or thought of) frequently, while in the same sentence saying/thinking, "I have black friends... close black friends. I'm not a racist." I'd love to ask, "Well, have you asked your black so-called friends if they consider YOU a friend? Have you asked what they think of your opinions?"

Some good editorial pieces are emerging that I'm finding interesting.

He's President, He's Black, Get Over It

Is Conservative Obama Backlash The New Racism?

The Racial Context For Joe Wilson's Outburst

Joe Wilson -- This One's Too Easy

The Others

OK. Back to books, writing, shows, music, etc... later this weekend. Have a good Friday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Golden Gays

If you're in the L.A. area over the next few weeks, you might want to check out The Golden Gays, a new musical spoof of The Golden Girls classic comedy show which ran on NBC from 1985 to 1992.

The Golden Gays is playing through the end of September over at the Cavern Club theatre, which is inside the restaurant Casita del Campo in SilverLake neighborhood.

Haven't seen the show yet. Haven't read any reviews. But other shows I've seen in the space have been very fun experiences.

And it doesn't hurt that you can enjoy Casita's most excellent margaritas before and during the show.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sunday (Relax in Bed) Links

Hope you're having a good weekend. Get yourself some coffee and sweet bread. Some first Sunday of the month links I'm enjoying.

Anxious about time to write? Start with the 2-hour a week plan for now.

72 years of continuous, serialized writing gone like that. Goodbye Guiding Light.

Gone too soon. Outwrite Books in Atlanta remembers E. Lynn Harris today (Sunday, September 6 at 7:30 pm).

Getting chills. Good writing/trailer. September 17 Young & The Restless.

What do you think? Good books don't have to be hard?

Who's your diva? A new favorite examines gay men and their fascination with larger-than-life women in entertainment.

Nothing too laborious here today... so enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!

P.S. I'm a Diana Ross and Whitney Houston lover, by the way. You?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Goodbye Summer...

Hate to see you go... it was such a great summer, too! Can't believe it's September... the year is rolling downhill fast to the fall/winter holidays, then New Years 2010. Your favorite summer memory?

Anyway, India.Arie sings it best in her song, Summer.