As If You Don’t Already Know

I’m smiling coyly, or however one smiles when they’re shamefully absent for six months. I just want you to know you’re not innocent in this, either. Every time someone subscribes to this dormant chamber of broken promises, I feel guilty, which of course sends me into a shame spiral, which is what I call it when I tweet non-stop for days at a time.

And then yesterday someone followed the link from my website here, and I was like WHY AM I SENDING PEOPLE TO MY ABANDONED BLOG OH NO. So I tweeted about it. But I have fortified my courage with tacos and iced tea and am here now to tell you all about the past six months. Just kidding, but here’s some stuff that happened or may yet soon and whatever.

First of all, the final jacket design for MEM was in my inbox yesterday and I can’t show it to you but I’m all,

Hell Yes

Like, I might actually cry when I hold it.

And then, wow, I made zero mention of my trip to Winter Institute, my first reading, my first signing, meeting amazing folks – I mean, outside of my FB author page, twitter and Instagram, so basically it’s been a secret. But what I haven’t posted is the amazing video that Tami Charles recorded of said first reading! (Mostly becuz you have to turn it ALL THE WAY UP to hear me – you’re almost there when the intro applause pops your eardrums.) So… I guess when I add captions, I’ll post that?

gotcha

And gosh, with MEM debuting in less than two months now (!!!!!!!!!), there’s been so much stuff, and I am super excited for launch events in LA and NYC (I’d say watch this space for more info but if you believe my lies, you’re just as much to blame, and clearly you’d be better off checking my twitter). But the thing I cannot believe I didn’t immediately blog about is thiiiiiiis:

DEAL ANNOUNCEMENT

My YA debut landed with Tor! Specifically with Diana M. Pho, which is just a wild, amazing thing, given how long she’s been supportive and willing to read my work.

So S&S is about a Portland that’s legitimately weird, we’re talking eloko/gargoyle/sprite weird, and two play-sisters who are the kind of weird that’s still not allowed. Tavia (s/o Octavia Butler) is a siren in a world where only Black women are, and so of course it’s no longer romantic or desirable, and sirens are hidden and protected by the Black community. Effie plays a mermaid in the Renaissance Faire, and with weird shenanigans happening to and around her again, it turns out she might really be one.

Basically it’s a story about the harm of self-proclaimed progressive states who don’t interrogate anti-blackness, it’s about the radical life-saving joy of Black sisterhood, it’s about young Black girls finding love, and building safety, and using their voices, and needing support, and loving the water, and how I always want a Skyline burger, and never laughing harder than I do with my sister and

Ahem.

Anyway, so all you have to do is wait til Winter 2020. AND add it to your TBR!

AND pre-order MEM!

AND….I’ll probably never see you here again just kidding.

 

 

 

 

When I Come Around

Ezra was eating a banana. Whilst peeling it, he observed, “Peeling a banana is like saving the banana. It’s like something eated it and I’m saving it from the guy who ate it.” ~ Feb 1st, 2011

That was my peace offering. An Ezra-ism from two years ago. Poor little language-confused seven year old that he was. Adorabeezle.

So it feels like I owe you guys some big announcement. Or diatribe or rant, at least. And I have a few in mind – I watched After Earth and the super hainty attempt at covering up its M.Night connection was misplaced effort. The movie told on itself, IMMEDIATEMENT – but those are for another day. Just like, possibly, my ideas on Sleepy Hollow, Nicole Beharie’s apparent distrust of hair that originates in her own follicles (I’m increasingly judgey about this, given the alternatives she chooses/allows to be chosen), and the Ichabod Holmes attempt. Or the life being sucked from the Mindy Project and the way they almost lost me with that ridonkulously offensive “Christian pastor” boyfriend. I can’t even.

Come to think of, what have I been *doing*, people?? We need to talk, f’real, f’real.

For now, I leave you with a bit of wisdom from last night’s seriously serious dreams: You cannot quit at parenting; you can only fail.

O_O

Huh. I wonder if last night’s Nashville had anything to do with my dream’s subject matter.

Good questions, all.

Go Home, The Following!

I wish instead of being able to capitalize all of the letters, I could instead make them so tiny that you could SEE MY RAGE. (Through squinting.)

Are we still doing this, The Following?! Early morning call after late night prison break?!

“We need you back.”

“But I’m not an agent anymore. I’m drinking myself to sleep every night to escape the nightmares associated with everything I’ve seen in my celebrated career that ended badly!”

“I know things didn’t end well with the Bureau,” said every caller ever. “But you’re the only one who can PFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

STOP. STOP IT. No more! Oh and you were seriously injured in the line of duty, too? HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?!

::ahem:: Pardon me. I’ve lost my head. Where are my manners. ::shuffles papers::

I’m sorry. I’m upset the way one can only be when one has hoped. And I did, friends. I truly tuned in hoping – nay, DESIRING – to be *destroyed* by this show. You heard me right. That’s what I was signing up for. I didn’t realize it would be death by cliche, with moments – snatches of milliseconds, rather – of possibility.

….we’ve gotta stop meeting this way! This blog is quickly devolving into that place where I just yell at people who are innocently continuing their daily lives with no consideration of my irrational anger, and rightly so.

Okay, quick, here’s something I like!

Wait. That probably…didn’t make me seem any less craycray. Hmm.

Please Do Not Encourage The Bear.

So, I was totally not going to blog today because I’m lazy and also because … no, wait, it’s just the lazy thing. I did mention something about this into the internetz and Cat (whose first and middle name are Just Write) asked me which movie I’d review. It’s between The Squid and the Whale and Steel Magnolias. Let me explain.

I live in Quebec. I guess – to some – that would be Canada. That’s another conversation for another blog post for a time that will more than likely never arrive. Anyway, the point is that I am cut off culturally. This is what America does to its patriotic expatriate children. It cuts us where it hurts the most. In the television. Or laptop, as the case may be. I’m like an HOUR outside my home country, people. GIVE IT. But anyway, they won’t and Canada has this thing that’s supposedly the equivalent called Globaltv.ca which – I’ll be honest – has at this point given me hours and hours of “entertainment” but let’s never forget that I make due under duress. [Aside: I feel like I have some sort of slow spreading tv cancer though because I have watched every episode of Rookie Blue. Do NOT ask me what that is. You will regret it. It’s not turning “good” by any means but after a year of not getting to watch Law and Order but those seasons I already own…*breaks down* it’s getting to me. I’m chuckling right along with them and I DID NOT CRY last time but if I did, it’s because I have a child and therefore anything about harm coming to one’s child even if said child is now grown will upset me and I DO NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU.]

Wait. Wait. Where are we? OH! So the Canadian Hulu Alternative. They have these movies that they swap every week or so and they’re all ridiculously old. In the past two weeks I’ve watched Prince of Tides and Bad Boys. (And obviously now Steel Magnolias and The Squid and the Whale, which I shall have henceforth call SW because come on.) And you’re like, why don’t you just watch one of the movies you own? Funny story/true story. The husband and I used to go to the movies about three times a week before we had the child-god and after that we used to buy movies 4 or 5 at a time at Blockbuster. So the other day, in Cote-des-Neiges en route home from someplace, we decided to swing into Blockbuster (remember. it’s. not in the US.) to check out what was on sale. 5 for $20 when you have seen all your own movies a batrillion times was just not something we could pass up. So in we went. And down we tumbled. For you see, there were about seven movies to choose from (multiple copies of each, bien sur) and the movie I can remember was All About Steve which was apparently that super stupid looking Sandra Bullock/Bradley Cooper flick. So. I guess we coulda bought five copies of that?

I’m pretty sure I’ve never experienced clinical depression before the moment I had to sulk out the door with nothing.

SO. That explains why I have these two movies from which to choose, review wise. Can I just make a note about each and call it a day? I’m so far off the road right now…

S.W. – Okay, this movie immediately grabbed me. The immediacy of the characterization made me pause it and twitter that I was in love with it. So you know it’s good. #Twitterinducing

All wonderful performances. If anything, I’d ask Billy Baldwin why his thing was “brutha”. I love slice of life, particularly when it’s coherent. *cough*Sideways*cough* <– As in, you weren’t and you were pointless and you suck. But this isn’t about sucky movies. *cough*Sideways*cough*

I absolutely loved Jeff Daniels. For the same reason I thought the others were so good – it was never overdone. Somehow, without introduction, it never seemed like a caricature. I’ll definitely be watching this again soon. And the authenticity of Walt recognizing the flaws in his hero, particularly because of the way his reconciliation with the other parent doesn’t immediately follow but you see that longing – and yes, Cat, this is in regard to your wondering. 🙂 I just loved it. Even though I immediately and for the duration of the movie was thinking, “Hey, I was gonna watch The Royal Tenenbaums.” Which may be why I so quickly fell in love with SW. It filled the interest I had at that precise moment. And when I saw the producer credit at the end, I wasn’t exactly surprised.

Loved the cinematography, also. Clumsy, intrusive but not noticeably after the first few introductions. Just enough to make you feel a little self-conscious for watching these people so closely.

That. Was my one comment about that movie.

SM -> Why didn’t anyone tell me Julia Roberts was mediocre in that movie? And why did Shirley Maclaine have a thing for movies where a mother with a daughter with poor judgment in men loses said daughter to an organic disease after daughter’s had child with not-best-pick man and then mother had emotional tour-de-force breakdown which is absolutely the best part of the movie? To be fair, Terms of Endearment was a much more poignant movie for me. And I already loved the characters because I’d seen The Evening Star like seventeen times before I ever saw its predecessor. Steel Magnolias was okay, I guess. I loved Shirley, Olympia, Sally and Dolly. The guys were pretty one-dimensional, if that. Oh, but Dylan. Nomnomnom.

Again. This is Cat’s fault.

This Is The End

Goodbye, June.

And I know what’s gonna happen, too. We’re gonna get all comfortable with the mild weather, thankful for basically anything that doesn’t involve a humidity that makes me feel like I’ve hopped into someone’s mouth. And then July/August are going to melt my chocolatey goodness and there will be crying and gnashing of teeth.

You heard it here, first.

So, tomorrow brings the month of Morrowpalooza and possibly a blog entry on word count (imposition of).

Fare thee well, my pretties. (That means you, Andy.)

The Yahoo! Conspiracy

As of late, the yahoo headlines on the main page have been quite confusing. Not so much the ones hailing every animal or toddler that makes it to youtube as the newest “web sensation”, but the ones that give advice. Now far be it for me to disdain the passing out of wisdom, but erm. Who is yahoo again?!

First there’s the proliferation of titles related to employment: Top 10 Resume Musts, How To Shine In An Interview, Career-Killing Facebook Statuses… If you judge the employment/economic crisis based solely on these titles, it makes it seem like we’ve completely recovered and everybody’s on their way to an interview for their dream job. Which leads me to believe that yahoo is the opiate of the masses. Conspiracy theorist that I am, I figure they’re somehow making gain off of instilling in people a false sense of “Just Around The Riverbend”. Like, hey don’t worry about the fact that unemployment is wherever it is for the first time since whenever that was – let me distract you with preparations for a job you’re not getting! Diabolique.

Okay and then there’s the crop of relationship related titles. How To Know If Your Partner Is Still Interested In Their Last Partner And Just Biding Their Time With You Because They’re Not Sure Their Last Partner Is Interested In Reconciling. O_o Or The 10 Mistakes Every Woman Makes Every Time She’s In A Relationship. (Why does everything come in 10s…..oooooomg, they own the number 10, don’t they?!) Also, I realize that my first title has issues: partner = singular; their = plural. I’m just so up in arms about this undeciphered conspiracy that I can say with absolute certainty IS happening, despite my not knowing what the possible gain or reward would be. And there’s always a picture of a couple that looks happy but they must not be as happy as you think or their picture wouldn’t be used to warn you about The 10 Reasons Guys Should Start Talking More To Their Girlfriends Who Have Had It With Noncommunicative Stereotypical Men And Have Already Started Looking For A Roommate.

I’m on to something here, people. Who’s with me! *looking around, feverishly*

What’s Really Hood

I have random swatches of movie-songs in my brain. Mostly because I watched The Hangover the last two nights in a row… what am I doing. These have to be included. Too much.

(If the embedding is disabled, click another video entitled Stu’s Song.)

Followed closely by:

Aaaand then I also keep singing “To shave-a da face” (Sasha Baron Cohen’s character in Sweeney Todd) and “Outdoors” (Spongebob Squarepants). O_O I love it.

Anyway, my unbiological Mama is visiting – as I mentioned whenever I spoke to you last – and we’ve been sleeping and watching movies a lot. O_O That’s a vacation, what can I say. So, she brought a bunch of movies, including but not limited to 2012, Law Abiding Citizen and Precious.

2012. This is what happens when you cannot afford to wait five minutes to come out with a movie. It’s like the recent literary mash-ups but without what I assume is the charm and amusement? In this case, you take Poseidon Adventure, Independence Day … I mean, seriously, I was like. First of all, the whole first 20+ minutes was irritating because, guess what? We came for the carnage, yo. Speed it up. Now, amazingly in what is one of the most confounding movies of this week, they somehow managed to make John Cusack not be obnoxious and self-important. I’m like. They had victories alongside failure bordering on retardation and I just did not know which side was up, you guys. I just. Wow. Then when the movie was still going after a while and we’d gotten that whole here’s another character who’ll die or lose someone in the next fifteen seconds, I was like, Did you guys forget to turn off the camera or is this important? Oh and then it kinda was and they managed to get one or two legitimately engaging sentiments squeezed out of me, but man. Go head and write a script next time instead of using industrial strength lazy all over existing scripts, mkay? Mkay.

Law Abiding Citizen. Good. Troubling, but that might be a personal sentiment.

Precious.

Precious.

Lemme get a few things out of the way. The following are a few things you may already have heard by way of criticism. It’s poverty porn. Lee Daniels’ identity crisis ran all up and through. Everyone involved seemed to be color struck. It was embarrassing that another Black person made another of these and cringe-inducing that White Americans heralded another one of these. None of this turns out to be the actual problem with the movie.

My response to this movie is that it is worse than irresponsible. It’s…almost so incomplete as to not legitimately be a story. Ask me what the arc was. Go ahead. (1) Laziness. Lee Daniels got wrapped up trying to harp on the unthinkable. The problem is that if you keep harping on it, trying to bedazzle the heinous with your inevitably farcical and heavy-handed methods – which actually reminded me of the things Spike Lee has done that have taken me entirely outside of the story – you end up gutting the film of its tension. Which is precisely what happened. Okay, that all kind of refers to (2) Insistent “artistry”. The laziness is in putting far more time and energy into that slathering act than in the actual character development. I mean. In a tale about a girl so mentally preoccupied with her fantasies, how exactly did she suddenly build relationships and why the devil wouldn’t you take the time to actually demonstrate the process by which this occurred? Right, because the social worker who just mentions that they’ve been seeing each other for a year – among other things I didn’t realize had occurred and then wondered how they had played out and wished we’d been, you know, privy to them – I’d only seen her once before. Lazy. Oh and the nurse who’s suddenly just a buddy? Saw him once before, kiss on the forehead didn’t even make sense let alone the rest. Lazy. Just. Character development. Didn’t happen.

Best parts were without artistic shenanigans. Precious looking in the mirror, taking out her curler. Well done. Strong presentation. Final scene with the mother – let the performances (which were the saving grace of the movie and were wonderful enough to do more than just save it) speak for themselves. Get out of their way, basically.

Final thought: I was expecting an intense movie-watching experience. Didn’t happen. Little too unintentionally lightened throughout. Strong performances. I’ll probably eventually watch it again, mostly for the final scene.

Kindred Spirits

(Oh, Prince Edward Island…how thou art but a stone’s throw from me now…save yourself for me!) Okay, so my sister was talking about the gospel truth – ie. movie trailers , how they are an art form and delivery mechanism all their own, etc. And of course, this inevitably came to the unfortunate disconnect between the quality of a trailer and the crapenfest of the movie it was meant to capture. That’s how you know the story was lacking. Trailer summed it up perfectly; movie was 60 minutes too long to be sustained on said thread of a story.

So, I just wanted to see if I could just share with you two trailers that had me SAL.I.VAT.ING. You tell me if I was wrong to fall so hard, so fast.

You know what’s sad? I’ve seen the movie. I’ve seen it. This trailer…makes me believe….it would somehow be the movie I expected if I would only watch it again. This trailer STILL has the power to make me wanna see a movie that has already PROVEN to be garbage! How is that POSSIBLE? The plot expectation, the Christian Bale we’ve come to expect,…the Trent Reznor of it all! It was perfection. And then I saw the movie. [gunshot]

Now, this next trailer. Seriously. I downloaded it. I don’t know – or care – if that’s normal or not. But I did it.

And. Lemme try to wipe the tears. That movie did not disappoint. I mean, come on – look at the trailer. (Remembers Terminator Salvation.) Nvm. But I was on a plane with a choice of like fifteen other movies that I had never seen – many of which I would be entirely interested in seeing – and then I saw that they had The Soloist. And I watched it again. Jamie Foxx. I’ve been watching Collateral and Ali to stave off the desire to see that movie again (which translates to, I haven’t bought a movie in like six months and it’s killing me) but when I want to see him as a particular character, it has to be that one. Le sigh.

And I can’t wait for Hot Tub Time Machine.

I want it to be called Matheson and the Bear.

Screws Ups? Yes, We Can!

Today’s stories come out of San Diego. (Insert Anchorman jokes…..nnnnnnow.)

Now before those rightfully rejected thousands who mistakenly received an acceptance email from UC San Diego think to ask: no you can’t just get in based on “emotional trauma”. You just get a really funny story to tell at the community college.

And in a story where just about any of us can imagine the LOSER who truly thought it was his moment to shine: an already injured dog is beaten in the head with a hammer by a motorist, despite an offer from another motorist to drive the dog to the vet. This dude’s name was probably Curtis. You feel me, Jen.

And finally, if you’d like proof that you can commit suicide by cop without posing a legitimate danger to a single person, here it is. As a matter of fact, the fact that they first used beanbags to try and stun the guy makes it worse to me, not better. Not evidence that they tried less drastic measures first, as I’m sure they think. Unless something happened in the time between shooting him with bags and shooting him with live ammo – say, his threatening to kill anyone – I’m fairly certain you coulda tasered him. Pretty sure. What the hell, dude. Prolly coulda dialed back on the killing.

Dang, I didn’t even realize it was April Fool’s. Toooooo bad these are true.

Aaaaand sleep.

Maybe I’m Lay-zay

Yeah, so instead of trying to force myself to write a blog… I figured I’d just change my header. So. Enjoy that, would ya?

I will, however, leave you with the cutest story ever: Ezra ripped a nice one today. Really loud. Grown man loud. Okay, maybe teenage boy loud. When I demonstrated my shock and awe, he got up from where he’d been playing (and by playing I mean going through the alphabet sounds) and came over to me, placing a hand on my arm. “My booty said sorry, Mama. It’s just sorry.” *crying* It was hilarious.

I’ll totally say something amazing tomorrow.