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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Sneakers Chapter 1


The first chapter of my internationally best-selling short The Sneakers
It’s Friday afternoon and school is out. Me and my boy Trakaim are chillin’ in front of the Fordham Road bus stop waiting for the bus to go home. While we wait, we look inside the store window of the Dr. Jays to check out the sneakers on display. There’s this one pair that we both had our eye on for about a week now, the new Jordans. Jordans are the most expensive sneakers out there, and anybody who gets them gets a lot of respect in school and on the street. Girls will do anything to be with a dude who got a pair of Jordans on. That’s why I got to get me a pair.
“Yo Trakaim, I gots to get a pair of the new Jordans.” I say.
“They are phat Luis.” Trakaim replies. They’re also expensive.”
“Two hundred dollars ain’t nothin but chump change man. You got to come correct with your gear son. That’s the only way you gonna get the girls.”
“Maybe two hundred is chump change to you. But this brother ain’t got it like that. Looking is as far as I’m ever gonna get to a new pair of Jordans.”
“Don’t be like that man. Yo, I know I’ma have me a pair.”
“Man, you ain’t gonna have nothin’. You as broke as I am dude.”
“Yo, I’m tellin you I’ma have em’.”
“This I gotta see.”
“Yo, I bet you ten dollars I’ma have me a pair of the new Jordans in a month.”
“Yo, I want some of that action son. Easiest money I ever made.”
“You mean the easiest money I ever made.” I snarl. “Yo, whoever don’t have the new Jordans in a month is a sucker.”
“Bet.” Trakaim says giving me pound to seal the deal.
The bus pulls up at the stop and we get on. As we take our seats, we take another look in the Dr. Jays window at the Jordans. Them joints gone be mine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Year in Review


2011 is over and it’s time for another progress report. A progress report written on a Mac as my PC has a dead AC adapter and I’m waiting for the replacement to arrive in the mail. I’ve had more issues with this Dell Latitude D830 over the past year than I had with my Inspiron 2500 in the six years I owned it. Thankfully I’m A+ certified and can fix things.

In spite of computer issues, this year was a good year for. The good news is I sold a lot of books. More books than I did last year. While most of them were eBooks, I’m not complaining. It’s a start towards building an audience.

The Temptation of John Haynes was my top selling title this year. Combining paperback and eBook sales it’s the first title I had to do double-digit sales in a year. I just had my first UK temptation sale in December.

Isis still continues to sell ten years after it first saw print. In paperback and eBook the Isis series continues to get readers not just in the US, but in the UK as well.

The Summer YA eBook exclusive series on Smashwords was a huge hit too. Offering free titles this summer to teens and tweens helped spur some sales of eBooks at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

All About Nikki- Three Episodes from the Fabulous First Season was the most read book I’ve ever published. Counting Smashwords, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Sony and just about every other retail affilate I’d estimate over 1000 readers have  downloaded and read the first three scripts from the All About Nikki Series. Over the Christmas holiday, Nikki was #9 in children’s books on the Amazon Kindle and the top 25 overall in other categories.

All About Nikki-Three Episodes from the Fabulous first Season was also a huge hit with lots of likes on Facebook as well.

With the success of All About Nikki, I’m pondering publishing an All About Nikki Season 2. No promises.

The Sneakers saw huge business. It’s one of my best-sellers in the international market. It’s sold in Canada, the UK, Italy, Australia, and the Czech Republic.

Isis: Trial of the Goddess also saw blockbuster business. It was the most popular title on Smashwords during the summer, and very popular with its affiliates. I’d have to s ay close to 300 people have read this part of the Isis series.

And the repackaged Cassandra Cookbook A Recipe for $ucce$$ has been doing very well as an eBook. After a free run, people are showing interest in paying for an eBook version.

eBooks have also allowed me to access foreign markets, a place I never thought my work would have a chance of selling in. And that’s where most of my new readers have been coming from lately. Readers have discovered my work in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Australia.  

I did a couple of YouTube videos this year. Not that great at it, but I’m learning as I go. I’m still trying to get the hang of being on camera. I may do more depending on when I have time.

Also did some work for other authors to test the waters. I assisted in the self-publication of  Commencement.  And I did some eBook conversions for a national best-selling author. I’d like to do more paperback to eBook conversions in the future for other writers, as I do enjoy the work. If the job market doesn’t pick up I may make efforts to offer those services for pay.

With all that good news comes some bad news.  Outside of Temptation of John Haynes my paperback sales haven’t been so great.

All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season has been paperback flop. While the Three episodes sneak preview has done blockbuster business, and the eBook Version does great sales, the paperback hasn’t had a sale yet even with good reviews.  I don’t know if it’s the $17 price tag, or the 418 page count but I can’t move a single copy of the print version. I’d love to offer a lower price, but the page count and the formatting make that cost-prohibitive. This book cost a lot of money, effort and time to layout, and I'm praying to see a return on the investment. 

All About Marilyn paperback sales have flatlined as well. After a strong start, the critically acclaimed screenplay book hasn’t seen a sale since July 2010. It's a great book I wish more people would give a chance to. 

 In fact, paperback sales have been going nowhere since August. If it weren’t for eBook sales I’d have no sales at all.

I’m going to have to make an effort to revive paperback sales in 2012.  Maintenance costs at Lightning Source are expensive ($12 a year) and I need to sell at least a dozen copies next year to keep all my books in print.  If I can’t move any books, I may be forced to take some out of print.

In other news:

I’m halfway through writing a new book (Book #7) and I’m trying to find the time to finish it between blogs, book promotion and other stuff like sleeping and eating. It’s a YA title for older girls 14-17 about college age girl who pledges an African-American sorority/secret society. It’s still rough, (first draft) and I’m trying to keep it PG-13 so I can target 11-12 year olds as well. The language isn’t so coarse in the dialogue, but some could have an issue with the chapters where some characters talk about sex, pubic hair waxing, and masturbation. I’ll probably clean it up in revisions. This one is brand new and I have a long way to go on it.

I’ve rough outlined a Temptation of John Haynes sequel. It’s still gonna be a while before I have time to work on it. A long while.  I’m not a machine.

I’ve grown a lot as a publisher and a writer over 2011. I’m hoping to take a lot of what I learned and build momentum into 2012. Maybe I can finally make a profit on this publishing thing!

And as 2011 ends, I’m gonna throw a question out here to the growing Nikki audience: If it were possible for me to get the resources together to produce an All About Nikki sitcom, would you watch it? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Isis: Trial of the Goddess Chapter 3

Isis: Trial of the Goddess now available on Amazon.com

Half a day isn’t much time to prepare Isis for trial in the court of the Elder gods. I have a lot to do and I’ll have to work quickly. My knowledge of Heliopolitan law isn’t as extensive as Osiris or Thoth but Isis will be better off than facing the Elders alone. We can put an adequate defense together if she cooperates with me. Maybe we can even save her life.
I know Ra and the Elder gods hide their murderous intentions behind legal procedures. This trial is a legal formality so they can have the justification to do what they wish. They planned on executing Isis the moment they brought her back here. There’s no way Isis could have defended herself fairly; had the naive girl spoken just now she would have signed her own death warrant.
The Elder gods always felt that Isis would be a danger to all around her. They thought her human upbringing would corrupt her and eventually lead to her betraying us. The only reason they let her live is because Osiris loved her so much. However, Isis didn’t start out being a threat to mankind. She only became a danger to others because of our centuries of indifference. It was our fault that she killed those men. Had we not abandoned her she would have not gone astray.
The Elders were wrong to think I would go along with this farce of a trial and condone the execution of Isis because she’s the child of Osiris’ adulterous affair. I hold no ill feelings against Isis; I love her as much as my own son. I had hoped Osiris would care enough to have the courage to speak on our daughter’s behalf. Unfortunately, like everyone else at the trial he let the farce continue. I’m disappointed in him most of all. He could have stopped this before it all started.
Following me to my quarters, Horus and Anubis flank Isis’ sides. As we enter the royal bedchamber, I focus on the tasks at hand. We can plan a legal strategy later. Right now I have to get her out of those bloody clothes and into something fresh.
“Anubis unlock Isis’ chains.” I request.
“Mother, I don’t think that would be wise.” Horus protests.
“Son, as long as your sister is in my presence she is a guest.” I say. “I will provide her with the same generous hospitality you and your family would receive during a visit to the palace.”
“But mother, she’s a murderer.” Horus says. “She could-”
“Isis will not harm me Horus.” I reply.
“How can you be so sure? She tore people apart.” Horus continues.
“Horus, this is not the court of the Elders.” I demand. “Now I have much work to do and I can’t do it until Anubis unlocks those chains.”
Horus grimaces at me. I appreciate his concern, but he has no need to worry about my safety. Isis has no intention of harming me. She’s thinking more about those she’s lost and the upcoming trial, not planning the murder of us all. My son should not be so eager to take everything the Elders tell him to heart. Sometimes their stories are just stories.
Anubis eagerly unlocks the chains. He sees what I see, that Isis is no threat to me. “You’ll be fine sister.” He says. “Will that be all Mother?”
“That will be all.” I reply.
My sons take their leave. I clap my hands and two servants walk into the room. The women close the door behind them and await my instructions.
“Take Isis into the cistern and draw a bath.” I say to one of the women. “I will be there shortly.”
“Lay out my new kilt and short blouse.” I tell the other. “And lay out my white gown. Have them ready for us when we finish bathing.”
“Mistress, two garments?” One of the servants asks.
“Yes. One set of garments is for me and the other is for my daughter.” I say. “Have that- gown she’s wearing destroyed.”
As the servants take Isis out of the room, Osiris rushes in full of the anger he should have directed at the Elders. I don’t have time to argue with him. I’ve got to prepare to join Isis at the cistern.
“What do you think you’re doing interfering in the court of the elders?” He barks at me.
“What you wouldn’t do.” I order taking off my crown. “Standing up for our daughter.”
“Isis is a grown woman. She can stand trial for herself.” Osiris says.
“That trial is a farce and you know it.” I reply.
“It’s out of my hands. I can’t judge my own daughter. That’s the law of the Elder gods-”
“But you could have spoken for her.” I reply taking off my earrings. “The Elders plan to kill your own child and you sit there and allow it to happen-”
“I’m following the law. I can’t interfere in their court. Especially in the trial of one of my own family members-”
“You’re as bad as they are hiding behind legal procedures like a coward.” I snap yanking bracelets and armlets off my arms and wrists. “Sanctioning the murder of our own child-”
“What business of it is yours?” Osiris orders. “She lived her life the wrong way and now she’s paying for it.”
“We put her on that path.”
“With Isis’ life on the line this isn’t time for one of your maverick stunts.” Osiris demands. “You know Ra doesn’t like you. If your defense fails, Isis could die.”
“It doesn’t change anything.”
“Her death will be on your head.”
“Like I said Osiris, it doesn’t change anything.”
Osiris stands behind me to help me remove my pectoral collar. He may disagree with me but he is going to support me in helping our daughter.
“You are one stubborn woman. That’s why I love you so much.” He says kissing my neck. “Isis is lucky to have you at her side.”
“I hope I can adequately defend her.”
“I’m more worried about the Elders.” Osiris laughs. “Whenever you’re determined like this nothing can stop you. Not even them and they know it.”
“I got lucky back then.” I say. “I’ll need that luck again if I’m going to win this case.”
“If it wasn’t for your faith I wouldn’t be standing here.” Osiris says. “I know you’ll win.”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Isis Trial of the Goddess Chapter 2 and a Note


Bad News: My Dell laptop AC Adapter died on Christmas Eve. So  So until I can get replacement parts I can't write articles.  For now it'll  be sample chapters from my novels.  Isis: Trial of the Goddess will lead it off, followed by Casssandra Cookbook/A Recipe For Success, and The Sneakers. So without further interruption Isis: Trial of the Goddess Chapter 2:



Chapter 2





I get more and more anxious with each step as we approach the two golden doors. The journey down the corridor isn’t that far but it feels like I’m walking a mile with each step. I’d think being among my fellow gods for the first time would make me uneasy. It doesn’t. What makes me tense is not knowing what offense I violated or how they’ll punish me.
When Horus opens the golden doors my body tenses with anticipation about what could possibly be on the other side. It can’t be good if it took both of Osiris’ sons to escort me here.
I let out a sigh of relief as we step into the room. It’s not a jail cell thank God. Behind those large golden doors is a large room decorated with the same wall paintings as the corridor. On each side of the golden doors we passed through are several rows of wooden pews. In the center of the room is a large golden bench like the one judges sit at. Anubis did say that the elders would hear my case; it looks like they’re allowing me to have a day in court.
I take deep breaths as Horus and Anubis lead me down the aisle into the center of the room in front of the golden bench. Horus then leaves my side and walks through the pair of golden doors behind the bench. A few minutes pass before he returns. As he stands at my side I’m awe-struck. Dozens of deities I only heard about in childhood stories walk past me and take their places in the trial that’s about to start.
Five older looking gods take seats behind the bench. Two are old women; three are old men. The oldest looking man sits in the center of the bench. He’s bald except for a white beard that frames his dark face. He’s dressed in a red caftan and purple robe that make his tall strong frame look all the more intimidating. On his right side sits one of the old women. She wears a sky blue gown and her hair is as white as a cloud. Next to her sits a man with gray skin with a texture like a stone. He’s clean-shaven and the chiseled lines in his hard face make him look more rugged. The charcoal caftan and black robe he wears remind me of the ground. On the left side of the old man with the beard sits another woman who is a bit younger than the other three. She wears a white gown and black pectoral collar. The middle-aged man sitting next to her has gray hair cut short to the scalp. He wears a white kilt, gold pectoral collar and a white shawl. When he smiles at me I look away.
I watch as the other gods take their place in the courtroom. One young woman wearing a short blue dress with a large white ostrich feather in her hair takes a seat at the small table next to the judge’s bench with the scroll. A stout dark skinned man dressed in a white caftan and scarlet robe stands next to a pair of thrones across from the judge’s bench.
The room falls silent as two deities enter the room and approach the thrones. A tall voluptuous bronze skinned woman dressed in pleated white gown, jeweled golden pectoral collar, bracelets and sandals eases into her seat. The confident way she carries herself tells me that she’s Queen of New Heliopolis. She smiles at me as the Pharaoh flops into the throne next to hers. He isn’t dressed as formally as she is for court. The dowdy white caftan and green robe he has on are what a common man would wear. The only gold he wears is on his belt. When I look at his somber face I’m shocked. Could this man be my father?
The remaining gods take their seats in the gallery behind me. When the stout man standing next to the bench speaks the whole room becomes silent. The young woman at the small table pulls the feather from her hair and starts writing on the scroll.
“Court is now in session.” He says. “All are to remain in the courtroom until directed to leave by the Elders.”
“Thank you Thoth.” The old man sitting at the center of the bench says. “Present the charges brought against the goddess.”
“Great Ra, Isis the daughter of the Pharaoh Osiris and the Nubian Keer-Sheba is charged with allowing hatred into her heart. She is also charged with forsaking her Heliopolitan heritage and worshipping another God.”
Ra looks down at me. His intense glare pierces me to the soul. I put on my bravest face and make eye contact with him as he addresses me.
“These are serious charges goddess. How do you answer them?” Ra asks.
That’s a good question. I don’t know much about the law except what my late husband Joe taught me. And I doubt American legal arguments would be effective in a Heliopolitan court. Sure I can defend myself against murder charges, but how do I defend myself against hatred in my heart and my religious beliefs? What would I plead to such abstract charges? Would guilty or not guilty even be a valid plea in such a case?
I decide to risk it and say not guilty. Before I can speak the Queen jumps off her throne and rushes over to stand beside me.
“Great Ra, Isis has no understanding of our system of laws. She was born of a mortal woman and raised in mortal culture.” She says.
Ra cuts a harsh look at the queen. I don’t think they like each other.
“It is no concern of yours Isis.” Ra says. “A New Heliopolitan whether birthed by goddess or mortal is under the jurisdiction of judgment by the Elders. She will state her case.”
I’m about to speak for myself for the second time when Queen Isis gives me a stern look that makes me decide to remain silent.
“Elders, I only ask for a few days to teach Isis about our laws.” Isis says. “From my instruction she will be able to defend herself in our court.”
“Isis why involve yourself in this proceeding?” The stone-faced man says. “Out of all of us it should be you who would most want to see this goddess face punishment.”
Isis scowls at the old man before she speaks. “Elders, it would be unjust for us to try Isis without giving her an opportunity to understand the charges and the concepts behind the laws she is accused of violating. I only ask for some time to prepare her so that she can have a fair trial in our court.”
The Elder gods confer among themselves before Ra speaks.
“We will grant you the remainder of this day to prepare your case Isis.” Ra says. “Because the goddess is not educated in our laws, she will not speak for herself in these proceedings. You will be her counsel in this case. Whatever judgment the she receives will be based upon your defense.”
Isis looks directly into Ra’s eyes. The smile she gives him lets him know that she’s not afraid of him. That scares the crap out of me.
“Thank you great Ra.” Isis says politely.
“If that is all then court will be adjourned.” Ra says. “We will reconvene here tomorrow at this time.”
The gods get up out of the pews and walk through the doors I came through. The Elders leave the bench and walk through the doors behind their bench. Thoth and the woman with the feather follow them. In a few minutes the room is empty of all the gods except for members of the royal family and myself.
I wonder what they’re going to do with me. What do gods do with their prisoners? Are Horus and Anubis going to take me to a deep dark cell somewhere until court starts again?
“Mother, where shall I escort Isis?” Anubis asks.
“Take her to my quarters.” Isis says.
Horus gives his mother a perplexed look. He’s probably wondering why she’s helping me. I’d like the answer to that question myself.
“Mother, what are you doing?” He asks. “Why are you involving yourself in this trial? Gods have to defend themselves in court.”
“She cannot defend herself in these proceedings son. And since her father will not protect her I shall.” Isis says glaring at the man sitting in the throne.
Isis takes my hand and leads me around the bench and through the golden doors. Horus and Anubis follow us. As we go through the doors, I look back and see my father still sitting in his throne quietly with a forlorn look on his face. I wish he had said something too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Surprise #2! John Haynes Custom Action Fgure

Over the past six months I've made a lot of progress on the custom John Haynes Action figure::

Custom headshot
What? You ain't never seen a brotha in his briefs befo?

After being stuck for a long while on fleshtone and clothing issues this summer, I finally worked thingfs out. and I finally learned how to paint eyes. I got lucky and found a Barbie Basics Black label Ken set that had a nice watch, dress shoes, socks  an iphone and a cool shirt at Toys R' Us in Times Square to suit him up with.  Now I'm looking for a nice pair of 1/8 or 1/6 scale jeans to finish the figure. Until then, here are a few action shots with the other Isis action figures: :

Tempted! 


Watch out John! 
Ready for anything! 

Teaming up to overcome Temptation!
And a few pics of a possible future team-up of two heroes:
Terrific Team-up! 

Partners in Danger! 

The goddess and the gentleman

Work in progress photos
The Temptation of John Haynes is available in paperback and eBook at Amazon.com and other online retailers. It's five-star critcally acclaimed African-American fantasy people of all ages will enjoy.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Holiday Surprise- ISIS 10th Anniversary Art Commissions

Next year is the tenth Anniversary of the publication of Isis, and to celebrate it being in print for ten years I commissioned a pair of drawings by Eisner-award winning artist Terry Beatty. Terry’s work includes Return toPerdition and the classic independent comic mystery series Ms. Tree (I highly recommend you pick up the back issues of that series, because it’s one of the best comics to feature a female character in the last 25 years). He has also inked DC's animated comics such as The Batman Adventures, The Batman Strikes! and Batman Brave and the Bold.

I was surfing the net doing research on Ms. Tree this September and saw some of Terry’s work. I knew his bright, lively old-school comic style would be a perfect fit for my characters.

As a long-time comic fan I was extremely happy with the finished art. Terry did a spectacular job on these pieces and really captured the spirit of both Isis and E’steem in his work from the concept sketches I sent to him.

I love the way he depicted the cuteness and playfulness of Isis. His rendition of her Island of Solitude outfit is my favorite. The little nuances of her jewelry and kilt clasp make this piece pop.


I also love the sultry sophisticated way he rendered E’steem. She reminds me of the femme fatales of 40’s and 50’s Noir films. I can even see Salli Richardson-Whitfield’s likeness in E’steem’s face.

It’s always been a life-long dream for me to see my characters rendered by a comic book artist. Before I wrote it as a YA novel, Isis was originally planned to be a comic book graphic novel featuring the Osiris' daughter as an African-American female superheorine. It was supposed to be designed in the style of Marvel comics The Mighty Thor and DC comics’ New Gods, a big brightly colored adventure continuing the adventures of the Egyptian gods in the future.

I only wish I had more money right now. I’d love to see Terry’s rendering of John Haynes and Cassandra Lee. I’ve got some ideas for a Cassandra holding a birthday cake up  I’d love to see done! (Maybe I'll see if it can be done for my next birthday!)  




Both Isis and Isis: Trial of the Goddess are available at amazon and Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Invisible Black Men


Many in the Black community often wonder happened to “the good black men”. Those honest, hardworking intelligent responsible brothers our grandmothers and some of our mothers married. Black folks say they’re always looking for good brothers but can’t seem to find them.

“Where are the Good Black men of this generation?”

We’re not hiding.

We’re everywhere.

But no one is looking for us.

The “Good Black Men” are often ignored and overlooked by the masses in Black society. So many are looking for “good” brothers to have the flash and the swagger of the thugs, gang bangers, and drug dealers that they pass right by the good Black men living in their communities every day.

No, we’re not the guy in the Armani suit and alligator shoes wearing diamond and platinum jewelry behind the wheel of a Lexus. We don’t have the six-figure high-profile executive job. We don’t have McMansion in the suburbs or a Fifth Avenue Penthouse. And most of us aren’t six feet tall with rippling muscles.

No, that’s the dude on the S-Curl Box. Or Shemar Moore.

But it ain’t a good Black man.

So many Black women are so busy looking for the Madison Avenue and Hollywood image of what a good Black man is that they can’t see the good black men hiding in plain sight. These hardworking, kind, intelligent brothers are practically invisible to everyone because we are men of substance and character, not flash and style.

The internal traits we good brothers have aren’t visible to the world like an expensive car, expensive sneakers, designer clothes, jewelry and a glib manner of speech that the thugs, gangstas, drug dealers, Afrocentric playas, intellectuals, and jivetime hustlers have in their array of gimmicks to deflect everyone’s attention from their lack of character, and lack of integrity.

Yes, we good Black men are all around you. They’re the quiet mild-mannered guys behind the scenes most people ignore and don’t pay attention to. The guys working in an office or doing jobs in civil service, UPS or FedEx. The guys in the library. The guys in the church or the mosque praying quietly. The guys who are reading on the bus or the train. The men many Black people say are acting White and want nothing to do with.

They’re the guys people call nerds. The boring guys. The brothers no one wants to talk to. The brothers suffering in silence.

The Black community spends so much of its time focusing on fixing thugs, ex-cons and other “at risk” Negroes that it neglects its good Black men. And that neglect is having a devastating impact on the Black community.

Many good brothers like myself feel like ghosts. Being invisible in our own communities we aren’t seen and we aren’t heard. As we try to live positive lives and do the right thing, we’re often overlooked and ignored by the people in our neighborhoods in their blind quest to reform the thugs ex-cons and gangstas. We receive no emotional support and we get no encouragement to continue staying on the right track.

In the inner-city, a Black man who comes out of prison gets a party. A Black man who graduates college gets forgotten.

Black America pisses on its best and brightest brothers.

In fact it’s the only community in the world that spends more time investing in the men going to prison than the men going to college.

No one in the Black community sees the value of a good Black man in the Black community. No one in the Black community cares about the good Black man in the Black community. No one appreciates our hard work, or our efforts to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods because they can’t see the little things we do every day that make life better like getting up and going to work. Being fathers to our children. Being a role model for other young men in the community. Being the very example of what the “at risk” thugs, ex-cons and other niggers are supposed to aspire to.

Seriously, why should a thug aspire to be a good black man like myself when he receives more attention and support from his community for being a criminal than being a good Black man? Where’s his incentive to change if he’s getting all the rewards for being who he is right now?

In the face of so much apathy, indifference, and neglect from our own community many good Black men like myself feel abandoned and alone. We’re tired, frustrated, and angry.

It’s aggravating for brothers like myself to work hard towards doing the right thing like graduating high school, graduating college, and trying to start their own business and be told it’s not good enough to receive the support of our own community and to be criticized by our own women and families. We’re always told we have to do more while the thugs, gangstas and other assorted incorrigible Negroes are continuously rewarded for doing the same amount of nothing.

It’s more enraging for good Black men like myself to watch as the members of my own community embrace these thugs, pimps, criminals and jiveass hustlers who do half of nothing get all the praise, support and encouragement from those same people in the neighborhood for doing harm to them. Seriously, how much skill does it take to talk fast? How much skill does it take to sell some rock, or a some weed? How much talent do you need to break into a house and steal stuff or shoplift from a store? How easy is it to evade some cops? How easy is it to sponge off people instead of getting a job or the skills to start a business?

Is it harder than finishing High School? Completing the coursework of a College degree? Learning PC repair? Studying for and passing The CompTia A+ exam? How about writing six or seven novels and going through the query process with publishers and literary agents? Learning the craft of screenwriting or self-publishing? Is it harder than starting your own publishing imprint and promoting books?

Some good brothers in the Black community have become so disgusted with the lack of support they receive from their brothers and sisters that they’ve decided to move on to places where they are appreciated. Those tired brothers have joined White, Hispanic and even some Asian communities where they found something in common with people who have work ethics and want to pursue a better quality of life.

Others have become so discouraged they’ve turned to food, drugs and alcohol to numb their pain. It helps them get through the day so they can get up and face a world that forgets they exist tomorrow.

And more and good brothers every day are so tired of being invisible they’re committing suicide in record numbers.

A good Black Man like myself feels like he’s stranded in a void that’s between the Black world and the White world. Our world is an intangible place sandwiched between the worlds of White America and the Black America where Niggers, Coons and Uncle Toms live. It’s a lonely place that where we feel like phantoms. We see our people but they won’t see us. We reach out to the people in our communities and they won’t touch us. We try to talk to them and they won’t hear us. They won’t connect with us. We can’t get close to them, we can’t connect with them or form relationships with them. The pain and heartache are unbearable and the silence is deafening. The mental and emotional starvation we go through is slow painful torture that leaves our souls empty and kills our spirits.

While the good brothers like myself can endure racism from the worst of White America, we can’t take the indifference, apathy and lack of support we receive from our own brothers and sisters. It’s that cold reception we receive that hurts more than anything. Being abandoned by your own people makes men like me want to find the nearest exit, whether it be another community, narcotics, or even death. All of these alternatives are better than being treated as if you don’t exist.

Brothers and Sisters have to start investing more time and resources in our best and brightest Black men. If we want more Good Black Men who are hardworking intelligent and responsible, then the community has to provide them with the emotional support and encouragement to do their best. Oftentimes people in the Black community take our best and brightest men for granted and don’t acknowledge all the efforts they make towards making life better for brothers and sisters. It’s the little things that good Black men like myself do everyday that have the biggest visible impact on the Black community.

When a community doesn’t take care of its best and brightest men it winds up with the worst kind of males. Which is the Black community is producing so many thugs, ex-cons, gang bangers dropouts and other ghetto scavengers who destroy our communities instead of the scientists, doctors, lawyers, artists, artisans, engineers and other skilled tradesmen who can build up the infrastructure of Black America into a strong nation.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

National Bestselling author Francine Craft's Review of The Temptation of John Haynes Kindle Edition and a note

National Bestselling Author Francine Craft was kind enough to write another review for the Kindle version of The Temptation of John Haynes.


I posted a five-star review for John Haynes when the author first published it. I'm doing the same for the Kindle version because I like the book so much. John is a handsome, wholesome man, devout and smart - too smart and too devout. In fact, he incurs the devil's wrath and old Lucifer sets out to undo our hero. Who best to send but E'esteem, that ancient arch villianess who is sure to bring John down? But John doesn't have God on his side for nothing. After highly interesting depictions of the big city and marvelous treatment of the inner workings of a huge conglomerate where the devil gets John in as CEO, the author develops his love story. There are twists and turns and no small amount of humor. All in all, I think it's a winner that I hugely enjoyed. Write on, Brother. Write on!





NOTE:

eBooks for Under a Buck is Back!



All of my eBooks are 99 cents until February 2012. There are a bunch of great titles in genres like African-American fiction, African-American fantasy fiction, Young Adult, screenplays and teleplays.Pick up one as a gift for someone during this holiday season or just get one for yourself. My titles are available in for Nook, Kindle, ipad and other e-reading devices.

The Temptation of John Haynes for Kindle
Isis for Kindle
Isis Trial of the Goddesss for Kindle
Baptism of Blood - The Origin of E'steem for Kindle  
The Saga of MastiKatious For Kindle


All About Marilyn for Kindle
All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season For Kindle 


A Recipe for Succe$$ For Kindle (The Cassandra Cookbook)
The Sneakers For Kindle 

The Temptation of John Haynes for Nook
Isis for Nook
Isis- Trial of the Goddess for Nook
Baptism of Blood- The Origin of E'steem For Nook
The Saga of MastiKatious for Nook

All About Marilyn For Nook
All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season for Nook

A Recipe for $ucce$$ for Nook
The Sneakers For Nook



The Temptation of John Haynes on itunes
Isis on itunes
Isis- Trial of the Goddess on itunes
Baptism of Blood- The Origin of E'steem on itunes
The Saga of MastiKatious on itunes

All About Marilyn on itunes
All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season on itunes

A Recipe for $ucce$$ on itunes
The Sneakers on itunes

Readers can also find my ttiles on Smashwords and at the Sony eBookstore as well.

Articles will be back Monday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Softer Side of Black Women


There’s a Black woman we don’t see in American media. She’s the kind of woman guys want to date and the best friend girls want to hang out with. The kind of woman that makes people smile and want to know more about her. She lights up a room with her presence, energy, and charisma. She’s charming cute and playful. 

She is the Soft Black Woman.

I feel in the media we only see one or two sides of the Black female experience. It's usually the “Strong Black woman” and her “downtrodden miserable experiences.” or the "Ghetto girl" and her "loud mouth, belligerence and bad attiude."

Because these stereotypes are so popular in American media and correlated with the definitive Black female experience, readers rarely get to see the softer side of the Black women. The loving side, the playful side, the friendly side, the flirtatious side. The woman who likes ribbons, and bows wears pink, and is cute and sweet. The feminine female who has fun with friends or on a date. The girl who makes us laugh, the one we want to take home to mother, the one men want to marry. The Black woman we love and want to share our lives with.

I feel we rarely see this softer side of Black women in media because racists want us to see White women as the ideal beauty and the feminine female. In institutionally racist America It’s not considered acceptable for Black women to be presented as a feminine female because they fear most of America will consider a Black woman to be sexually attractive and desirable. And the racists who run Madison Avenue and Hollywood don’t want a Black woman to be presented as sexually attractive and desirable because they don’t want to offend the millions of White females out there who they make their money from.

According to Madison Avenue and Hollywood, White women are supposed to be soft, gentle, dainty, and sexually attractive to the world, while Black women are supposed to take on the stereotypical traits of the emasculating Sapphire, the whorish Jezebel, or the asexual mammy. Unattractive, unrelatable and undesirable in American society.

And that’s the way it’s been since the Antebellum South.

I have to ask: Why aren’t most Black women challenging these images of themselves in the media? Why aren’t sisters trying to explore their softer sides? Why aren’t Black women trying to present themselves as softer, gentler, and kinder? Don’t Black women see themselves as cute, playful or flirtatious? Don’t they see the positive aspects to soft feminine traits? Or have they been brainwashed to see this side of womanhood as weakness?

I feel it’s time Black women in America started exploring the softer, gentler, side of themselves.. I’ve always thought Black women should play up the things that make them a woman, what makes them attractive and what makes them desirable. Every woman has something about them that makes them stand out. But most Black women don’t bring that part of themselves to the forefront. Instead, they take on the identities formed for them by Madison Avenue and Hollywood.

As a writer, I’ve been making efforts to explore and present the softer side of Black womanhood in my writing. Since The Cassandra Cookbook I’ve been developing female characters who are cuter, more playful flirtatious and more desirable; girly girls. Women men want to date and girls want to be friends with. I feel by presenting the softer side of Black women in stories, it’ll inspire other Black women to start exploring their softer sides and learn to value what makes them attractive and desirable.

Moreover I feel writing the softer side of Black women will allow readers to be able to connect with characters, identify more strongly with the experiences of women in the stories and relate to them as people on a human level.

 I really want to see more black women take time to explore their softer sides. Sistas need to realize that they can be soft and  gentle too and that there's nothing weak about it. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Real Reason Why Some Black Women Choose Thugs, Gangstas, Ex-Cons and other Bums over “Good Black Men”

A lot of hardworking good brothers with good jobs often wonder why Black women often pass them up for thugs, gangstas, ex-cons and other assorted bums. The answer some Black women give them is that these kinds of guys are “more “exciting.

That’s a crock of crap. A deflection to keep Black men from seeing the truth.

The real reason some Black women choose these thugs, Ex-Cons gangstas and other assorted bums over good hardworking Black men is power and control.

Black women prefer thugs, ex-cons gangstas and other bums is because they feel they can maintain a semblance of control over these kinds of men. The truth is that most Black women raised in Feminist theories over the past 40 years are extremely insecure and have low self-esteem. So they pursue romantic relationships with men they feel are going to be beneath them. With these men in a subservient role they can maintain a sense of superiority in the relationship.

These thugs and Ex-Con brothers in many cases are dependent on these women for their existence. Because they can’t make their own living in most cases due to a felony record or lack of real skills, they’re forced to take an emasculated role that allows the woman to be the leader of the relationship. In these co-dependent relationships, the thugs, gangstas, ex-cons, are basically like sons, and talked down to like adolescents. If they act out they’re punished, manipulated and shamed into behaving in a way the Black woman finds satisfactory.

Want to know why some Black women always have so much drama with Thugs, Gangstas, Ex-Cons, and other Bums? It’s a form of emotional blackmail to maintain power and control in the relationship.
That arguing, threatening, screaming yelling, violence and drama are how Black women keep control over these kinds of guys. Because many Black women are insecure they feel the need to constantly test their relationships to make sure they still have the power in them. So they throw these fits and provoke these guys not to anger because they’ve done something wrong, but to get a reaction out of them. It’s that response to their tantrum that makes them feel like they’re still the dominant role in the relationship and the man is submissive one.

Want to watch these kinds of  Black women go CRAZY? Let her thug, gangsta or bum starts to grow in some way that she feels challenges her authority. If these brothers start making steps to get an education, get real skills or make any movement towards employment that has that challenges her authority, power structure and shatters her sense of superiority she’ll lose her mind.

A thug can cheat on a Black woman with another Black woman from the same economic power structure and she’ll take him back because she still feels some sense of power. She knows he still depends on her like a child for most of his needs. If other women become interested in him, no problem. He’s still coming back to her. But if he thinks about moving in with that other woman? No problem. She’ll get pregnant. Pregnancy allows her to keep her control over the thug and maintain her co-dependent relationship with him where she’s still in charge of him even if he’s in that other woman’s house.

But when a man makes these kinds of moves that will allow him to start growing out of her locus of control, The Black Woman becomes TERRIFIED. It’s only then when she starts doing things to sabotage her man’s progress. Usually it’ll start with passive aggressive stuff like dismissing his work, “losing” his homework, “forgetting” to make his dinner, “accidentally” burning the shirt he was going to wear to school with an iron, Not listening to anything he says, and getting in his way when he’s trying to do things that make him take charge of his own life.

And when the Black man begins to assert his independence, this behavior will escalate to emotional abuse and mental manipulations. Accusations of cheating if he comes home late from class or work, locking the man out or changing the locks if he works late, taking the keys to the apartment and the car, throwing his clothes out of the window, cutting up work clothes, burning stuff up, breaking things she bought for him or he bought with his own money, and if she’s extremely insecure even physical attacks of violence with weapons.

Their greatest fear the Black Woman has is that her thug (child) will grow out of his immature behaviors and become a “Good Black Man” who can stand on his own two feet and be a leader.

Why don’t these Black women want a relationship with a good Black Man? It’s not because he’s too nice. It’s not because he’s boring. Plain and simple these women are troubled. No matter how educated and successful they are on the surface, deep down inside they feel they don’t deserve the love of a Good Black Man or any type of spiritual success.

Moreover, these Black Women fear being the equal of a Black man in a relationship. A Black woman’s greatest fear is a Real Black Man, one who is independent self-sufficient and can take care of himself. She can’t belittle him, she can’t verbally abuse him, and she can’t humiliate him. She can’t manipulate him. She can’t control him. He is impervious to her psychological tactics. Why? Because he understands his own self worth and has a healthy self-esteem. This man knows who he is and is in total control of himself. Moreover, he understands that he has options and chooses other women to be his help meet over an insecure woman with issues and baggage.

A real Black man is ready to take his position as the leader God established. He is a man realizes his life is too short to spend being miserable with someone who won’t enrich it towards doing God’s work. He walks away from toxic women who won’t be a suitable help meet and doesn’t look back.

That’s something many Black women fear. That if the Black men in their community evolve into Real Black men they’ll rise to power and assert their authority overthrowing the co-dependent power structure that allows Black Women to remain in power as the de facto overseers of the Black community for Uncle Sam. These Black women fear that if Black men begin to take the leadership role God established, they’ll be forced back into a subservient position, or worse, they’ll walk away and leave them behind for women of other races.

What most Black women don’t understand is that Real Black men have the love of God in them and will forgive them if they are repentant and ready to be his help meet in the service of God. He is looking for the equal partner God made for him to share his life and share his love with.

Unfortunately, too many Black women are insecure and afraid to allow themselves to evolve into real women who are ready to help him lead the Black family. Raised with fear, doubt, and self-hate they’ve become dependent on the security of Uncle Sam’s government programs to trust God and the leader that He established to be her help meet to take her in the right direction.

Having no faith in God these lost Black women seeking out a series of unsatisfying co-dependent relationships with men like thugs ex-cons, gangstas, and other assorted bums that keep them from growing in Christ.

This enmity between the sexes in the African-American community can’t be closed until Black women and Black men acknowledge the authority of God. It’s only when both the Black man and the Black woman acknowledge the power and authority of God as their leader that they can come together as one ready to lead the Black family. Only when Brothers and Sisters have faith in the Living God and trust in Him instead of Uncle Sam’s government programs can they truly be the leaders who can be good stewards of the Black community.