No Room for CP Time!

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The Academy Awards in early 2016 was ripped a new one for how white it was. The only person of color who was up for any awards (that I know of) was the Hispanic director, Alejandro Inarritu, of The Revenant. The following months from 2016 to 2017 was like Hollywood heard us and the options of quality movies and their resulting nominations and wins for black films (Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight, Loving) during the Oscars let us know that we were heard. This is fantastic.

I’m a part of the Romance Novel community, specifically the Interracial Romance community, celebrating Black women finding love in all shades. We talk all the time about wanting to see more examples in the media (film and television) of Black women finding love. A lot of us African American female authors dream of having our books turned into movies or TV shows. Now, I know that this community is a small corner of the world, my world. But I’m assuming that there are a lot of Black women who agree with us. If the success of Scandal and How to get Away with Murder is any indication. So I’m also sure that a lot of the lack of support for certain things is common throughout the community as well.

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post reviewing, well more like gushing over the movie Everything, Everything. And if you think I raved here, I really displayed my obsession on Facebook. I literally saw the movie FOUR times! One, because I loved it just that much. Two, because I noticed the lack of support people were giving it in my corner of the world. I even checked how it did at the box office the first weekend and it landed in the 4th or 5th spot, which was pretty good for such a small film up against Guardians of the Galaxy and other blockbusters. But it still wasn’t good enough. Because I know that the Black dollar is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone on social media was like, “Yeah, it looks good. I’ll have to go see it soon.” And that turned into nothing. Then during a conversation, yesterday in a Facebook group dedicated to authors who write Interracial romance with a focus on Black heroines specifically and their fans, someone brought up the movie and everyone was like “Oh yeah, I need to go see that.” WHAT?!?! It’s been over a month since the movie came out and more than likely gone from most theaters and you waited until the 11th hour to go see it? Movies featuring Black girls and women falling in love and being loved and adored doesn’t have any room for CP time (Color people time, for those who don’t know. Meaning always late). When they are offered, we are obligated to see it immediately and give it ALL the love we can. Hollywood needs to know that these stories can make money and that there is interest there. And for the very women who want their stories of Black women love to be turned into movies, their lack of support for this amazing film was disappointing.

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And that goes for The Bachelorette too. People have been complaining for decades to have a Bachelor or Bachelorette of color. They finally get one and I hear people complaining about how it’s being done. Seriously?!?! Who the f*ck cares?! Are we not paying attention to the fact that a Black woman…a DARK-skinned Black woman is surrounded by gorgeous men of all races and being adored and loved on??? That sh*t is beautiful and something I’ve been waiting for for years. Screw the details. It’s a reality show and they want ratings. So they’re going to do things that are a bit shady. The goal is to show the powers that be in the media that Black women finding love is marketable and damn well deserving.

So please, when you see something featuring Black folks that you know you’d more than likely enjoy (I don’t expect anyone to support something they’d normally dislike) WATCH it! Go out in full force and support it. They need to know that we aren’t all talk and no action.

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eLove: Not So Trendy in eBooks.

Sorry, I’ve been incognito for a while. I’ve written some posts, but none of them felt right to hit publish. Anywho, I’m back for now and armed with some thoughts. I’ve read quite a few of my peers’ novels recently and I noticed something that I want to speak on.
First, I want to point out that I’ve noticed that there has been a decline in romantic movies or RomComs over the past couple of years. A lot of things factor into the death of romance on the big screen, but I read one article, that I could not find to link here, that said a big reason for the decline is that Hollywood is having a hard time translating the new digital romance era. And it’s no wonder with the sad state relationships are in. All you have to do is go to a restaurant in the past couple of years since smartphones turned us into social dummies. To see adults out to dinner with the hypnotizing bluish white glow on their faces, that has turned them into digital zombies, as they focus on the bright screen of their phones, rather than on the company across from them.

Watching digital romance play out on social media is like watching a soap opera. ‘Single’ statuses turning into ‘In a Relationship’ to ‘It’s Complicated’ to ‘Single’ once more. Side Chicks and Side Dick (Is that a thing or did I just make it up?), Ghosting, Benching, deciphering cryptic texts and DMs or PMs in the new emoji hieroglyphics, navigating the Left and Right Swipes, Netflix and Chill, and Hookup Culture. UUUUUGH!!! Just thinking about it makes me want to punch something.

I’m sure somewhere Hollywood can come up with some clever RomCom that surrounds all this garbage and somehow make it cute. But when it comes to Romance novels and all of its sub-genres, I myself, as an author of Romance, am not writing eLove and I’m not seeing a whole lot of others doing it either. And the Romance genre seems to continue to thrive without a problem.

Now, I know I haven’t read every romance novel currently in circulation, but I’ve read enough to know that many of the heroines and heroes meet and communicate in a way that harkens back to the good old days. There’s barely any meet-cutes online or through dating apps. No communicating through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. It could be done and there may be a few out there who have already done it, but it sure isn’t popular. I think it has to do with women’s desire to have relationships back to the way it once was.

And besides, IT’S BORING! Who wants to read a novel where nothing happens in real life to the characters? That the hero and heroine only interact through their phones? I would throw my eReader at the wall if I had to read that malarkey.

I think Hollywood should take a cue from the authors of Romance and write stories about love the way they’ve always been told. There’s a whole audience out there that still wants to see a good old-fashioned love story. Lithium batteries not included.

Model Behavior: The Male Celebrity Cliche

So last night, my parents and I were watching Running Wild with Bear Grylls. His celebrity guest for the night was Mel B of the Spice Girls. She was talking about her children and their dads. One, being Eddie Murphy. My mom Googled him to see who he was married to now. He’s not married, but he recently had another child with some blonde bombshell. My mom checked her out and low and behold…she’s a model. *major eye roll that turned into massive side-eye that then surpassed Resting Bitch Face* Which got me to thinking.

Is there anything more cliche than the male celebrity and his model wife/girlfriend? Like, seriously! Every now and again, and I do mean every now and again, you’ll find a celebrity that will find love with a regular ol’ girl. But for the most part, actors, musicians, athletes, etc all have this problem. And I do consider it a problem.

I’m not saying models aren’t people and that they don’t deserve love like everyone else. But come on, I don’t think anyone needs to advocate for models finding love. I think they got love covered, better than most of us. As far as I can tell, they’re the only ones getting love. It’s as if they get passed out like hor d’oeuvres at parties none of us were invited to.

Anyway, I do see it as a problem, though. I mean, how many of these relationships have actually lasted? Aside from David Bowie and Iman. God rest his soul. It makes sense I suppose for actors to fall in love actresses. Especially if they worked closely together in a movie. Many people find love through their work. But I’m seriously gonna need these men to expand their horizons just a smidge.

I guess it has to do with the male ego. Maybe for many of these guys, they didn’t get the hot girl when they were younger. So now they’re basking in the plethora of pretty pussy surrounding them on the daily. But then every time I turn around these relationships fail. Well, duh! It was based on the physical, to begin with.

Let’s take a look at George Clooney. That man was swimming in a see of pretty pus. Models and everybody else were on his jock like it was the best thing since sliced bread. And absolutely none of them held his interest. Until he met Amal. Now I’m not saying she isn’t model beautiful. But that woman has so much more than looks going for her, it ain’t even funny. He couldn’t help but see her inner glow.

And you have a few others like Vince Vaughn that found himself a normal lady (Real Estate Agent). Matt Damon (Bartender). David Schwimmer (Waitress at the time, now photographer). Jesse Williams (Real Estate Agent).

And even still, all of these wives are very attractive and slender in their own right. I wanna see a celebrity really shake some shit up and marry someone plump and round or plain. Hint, hint. I’m not plain, but I’m definitely round.

Believe me, I’ve had fun with some fine ass dudes with ahhhhhmazing bodies and it wasn’t hard for them to find me attractive. My body was never a problem. Their problem was worrying about the outside world and their opinions.

And hey, even if it isn’t me that catches a fox, I’d still love to see a plump cutie snag one. And I’m not talking about some dweeby C-lister. I’m talking, smokin’ hot A-lister here. For once I’d like to someone the likes of my boo Henry Cavill, Chris Evans, Leonardo DiCaprio (the worst offender), Common, Scott Eastwood, etc fall for some kickass chick that has a dope personality and some extra lady lumps. Instead of always seeking out what society deems acceptable.

Quite frankly, it’s boring.

 

P.S. And I don’t want any commentary about “Well what about the not so hot celebrities? Aren’t you discriminating against them just as much as you’re being discriminated against?” I’d date Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, or any guy like them in a heartbeat. But these types of men date models too. So if celebrity DUFFs can date models, why can’t regular DUFFs date hot celebrities? Just saying.

P.S.S. In the grand scheme of things, this subject isn’t that important. But it is a subject that has always bothered me. A lot of these men are role models or just looked up to in general by their average joe counterparts. Maybe if they dated based more on insides than outsides, average joes may follow.

Ha! Who am I kidding?!

Movie Remakes: Hollywood’s Way of Saying ‘We’ve Run Out of Stories About White People’

So I read an article today about how it is projected that Ben-Hur is going to be a huge box office bomb this coming weekend. The article also went into detail about why it’s going to bomb. You know, the regular old ‘people are tired of remakes’ argument. But there was one other important reason why remakes are tanking.

I heard somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, but that the reason Hollywood keeps making remakes is because they’ve run out of stories about white people. I thought about that statement for a while. And you know what? It is absolutely freakin’ true!

Drama, action, thriller, horror, romance, RomCom, sci-fi, etc. You name it, it’s been done. Then redone. And then redone again. Hollywood keeps regurgitating the same tired and trite stories. With actors that all look the same. And just to silence the masses of bored minorities, they throw in Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, The Rock, John Leguizamo and that other Hispanic dude that they use when they need one, Michael Pena. That little splash of color ain’t cutting it Hollywood.

That Fast and Furious franchise isn’t doing as well as it is because it has the best storylines and acting to ever grace an action movie. No, it’s doing well because of the diverse cast. People tend to gravitate towards movies that have faces that kind of resemble theirs. Look how good The Perfect Guy did last summer. It was led by an almost all Black cast, but it wasn’t advertised as a “Black  movie,” it was advertised just like Sleeping with the Enemy was advertised. As just a good old-fashioned thriller. And why do you think TV is doing so well? Network, cable, and streaming channels are doing extremely well because of the all-inclusive shows they’re cranking out. Scandal, The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, Empire

This is not a fluke Hollywood. People want to see true inclusion and one black, brown, tan or yellow face every now and again, right before you kill us off, is not enough. (See; almost all horror movies and Sleepy Hollow TV series)

The amount of stories out there about Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Middle Easterners, LGBTQ is an untapped gold mine. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of writers out there with phenomenal stories. Straight white people aren’t the only people who fall in love or deserve to fall in love. I’m the first person to say I love Nicholas Sparks books and movies. The Notebook was fire!!! But Nicholas Sparks isn’t the only author cranking out great romance novels that deserve their moment in the sun and on the silver screen.

And when I say all-inclusive, I don’t mean zero white people. That’s not the real world. All-inclusive literally means EVERYONE. Hell, the stories I write and would love to see on the big or small screen are interracial with mainly black women and white men. But it’s not gonna kill ya if the main female protagonist in a RomCom is black and curvy with a slender white sidekick. I, personally think it would be a breath of fresh air.

So stop being lazy Hollywood. Stop being afraid. You’re already losing cash on huge box office flops that are played out storylines. Why not take a chance on something new. If it tanks, at least you can tank with integrity and a pair of big hairy balls of steel.

The Storm In A Black Woman’s Mind

 

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The Storm In A BLack Woman’s Mind I wish I knew the artist who did this! But I do not claim this as my own.

 

I’ve seen this artwork circulating around social media off and on for a while now. Every time I see it, it speaks to my soul. But no time, as much as right now. The recent events in this country and the world has me sad, depressed, and lacking motivation in all areas of my life. My fitness goals, which I’m proud to say that since the first week of January, I haven’t missed a full week of working out. But now, I’m lacking the motivation to go every day. My writing has also taken a hard hit and I’m finding it nearly impossible to immerse myself in the fictional world I was creating. I tried not to let it, but 2016 has been a beast and we’re only halfway through the year and it has officially burst my nicely insulated bubble.

As anyone knows or has gathered from my previous blogs, I’ve always felt like I was on the outside of the black community. My writing though has opened up a world of amazing black women that I can finally relate to, as well as causing me to spend a lot of time on social media in recent years, talking about and promoting my books. Which opened up the world I was trying to hide from. The ugly parts.

You see, purposely (and forced sometimes) staying in my bubble with my white and Latino friends, gave me a false sense of security. Where I could pretend that the level racism and racial bias that infects the world, weren’t that bad.

But with every killing of innocent and unarmed black men and women, being brought to light with videos from camera phones and the speed in which to upload them.

Every article about relationships and how black women aren’t wanted for whatever reason, by white and black men alike.

Every video or ad of some fashion magazine appropriating black and brown culture, renaming it and calling it trendy after telling black and brown people they looked ghetto, unkempt, and/or unprofessional with the exact same style.

Every time a black man turns up his nose at my natural hair. Brainwashed into thinking a black woman’s hair in its natural state isn’t beautiful. A natural state that grows out of his own head, by the way. 

Every troll that makes racist comments about a model’s big beautiful lips, while non-black women are praised for having “black features”, see Kylie Jenner for the lips and Kim Kardashian for the ass, just to name a few. Or they harass a wonderfully funny and beautiful black comedian. Or they attack the President’s daughter because she was accepted to Harvard, not unlike many 1st children that have been accepted to Ivy League schools.

Every Trump supporter that screamed, spit, and punched at black, brown, or Muslim protesters.

BLMEvery person dismissing our cries and woes by telling us to shut up with “All Lives Matter,” when it’s apparent they could give a sh*t about black lives, so, in fact, we don’t matter, which then turns into a vicious argument that circles round and round.

Every movie that comes out about the Kings and Queens of Egypt (a country in AFRICA) they depict them as tan white people or any other whitewashing done by Hollywood to other ethnic cultures. Yet, in turn, the minute someone wants to put a black man as James Bond or make Iron Man a little black girl, fictional characters I might add, people get butt hurt. FYI: sorry to burst your bubble, but Jesus was BLACK (hair of wool and skin of bronze and all that)!!! A real person who is always depicted as a white man. That goes for Moses, The Lone Ranger (Yes, the Lone Ranger was based off a real black man named Bass Reeves), Cleopatra…

Every blog post, I read about the publishing industry not being diverse enough, only for them to ask white authors to write about diverse characters, instead of actual people of color (ME!), only to get it so wrong that it’s offensive.

Every time only one… ONE of the thousands of literary agents is “woke” enough to see that there are little to no representation for children of color in YA novels and has to call out to authors of color for their stories because no one else will (I submitted my YA novel to her and she was, of course, inundated with queries because there are so many talented authors of color with stories to tell, for children who are thirsty to read them).

Every time we’re just trying to have fun, like everyone else, but literally get kicked to the curb because we’re not supposed to have that much fun.

Every famous black person who advocates for fairness and equality in this country (which is not unreasonable to ask for) who then gets called racist and a petition is made for him to get fired from his job. Essentially telling us we don’t have freedom of speech either.

Every black man who decides to fight violence with violence (which is actually very few) and everyone automatically assumes we all want to kill cops because we couldn’t possibly have our own minds. And then the day after the Dallas attack on cops, a cop trails behind me and then rides slowly along beside me, basically saying “Give me a reason.”

Every time my dad and mom leave the house and I have to not think about what may happen to them, or trying not to worry about my brother in Chicago or my nephew that is dark-skinned, tall, and muscular. By the way, none of us have any criminal records or are violent in any way, but that won’t matter to the wrong cop if we move too fast or not kiss enough ass.

Every article, I read about cities in Europe where black skin is welcomed (there shouldn’t have to be articles like that) and then one of those cities I was thinking about visiting gets attacked during a festival (can’t win for losing).

Every time a black athlete’s career is essentially ruined and endorsements lost because of mistakes in his private life(see, Tiger Woods). But Maria Sharapova gets banned from tennis tournaments for the next couple of years because of performance enhancing drugs in her system and then she gets into some Harvard business program.

Every time a black woman is viewed as so strong that her needs are neglected or she’s looked down upon because she needs help. But a white woman stubs her big toe and a battalion is sent to tend to her (See, Taylor Swift). Or when a black woman falters or is fighting depression, her mental health is ignored by her own community as well as others. Because “we don’t get depressed, we just need Jesus.”

With every single one of these, and keep in mind that I’m probably missing a ton, my bubble has burst. In fact, it burst so violently, it was like a tornado ripped my house right off of its foundation. And now I’m standing in the middle of this sh*t-storm brewing around me and in my head with no signs of letting up because these things keep happening over and over again, throughout history for centuries with no end in sight.

Does it make sense now? Does all of that finally outline some of the turmoil a black woman faces? And believe me, I’m just scratching the surface. Education, housing, employment, health care, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…

Yet, we’re constantly called angry. Did it ever occur to you that we have every reason to be? Here’s a pair of my shoes… Try walking in them for a few days, let alone 37 years. I bet you’ll be angry AF. And my suburban upbringing isn’t even close to what people of color in urban areas have to deal with. Wear their shoes and your head would explode.

***Post may be amended as other issues come to mind.***

Male Body Image

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This post is going to be terribly politically incorrect, but oh well. The truth hurts.

So, I hear that men are beginning to have body image issues. And quite honestly, I don’t feel sorry for them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I never want to purposely hurt anyone. But the thing is, men have been turning their noses up at chubby women for years. And I’m not even talking about just muscle bound and physically fit men. Even overweight men, guys with ‘Dad-bods’, and any number of other imperfect men have been turning a blind eye to average or plus-sized women for years. So turnabout is fair play.

bodyimage4Women have been starving themselves, throwing up in secret, going under the knife and killing themselves at the gym, all to fit this idea of perfection that the media perpetuates and men demand. But now, with the rise of internet sensations like Brock, Lasse, Travis, etc. As well as superhero movies, where the actors kill themselves in training to get superhero bodies. Starting, I believe with Wolverine, Captain America and Thor, guys are now starting to feel the heat as women swoon over these buff bods.

uglymanprettywoman4But the things is, and why I don’t feel bad for these men struggling with their body image, is because unlike them the majority of us ladies may drool over these works of physical art, but we still have no problems dating and/or marrying the average guy, the plus-sized guy, or the scrawny guy. But men will look at a hot woman in a magazine or draped over the hood of a car in a calendar, and then expect to get a girl that looks just like the models. And I see plenty of man-DUFFs passing up fellow lady-DUFFs to head straight for the hot chick. Men with ratings of 1-6 trying to get 10s. Basically, in DUFF-denial.

So sorry guys, sympathy for you is lost on me.

***I do not own the rights to these photos. They are the property of the owner***

 

Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Independence Day

Aside from my regular Insightful Saturdays, I have decided to add extra posts reviewing anything from movies to products. Today’s review is of Independence Day: Resurgence. This article gives the box office numbers of this past opening weekend and the opening weekend of the original in 1996. The Yahoo article called the movie a dud. They were not wrong.

My thoughts…

Now, I don’t know what Will Smith’s finances are like or how many movies he has in the works. But as far as I’m concerned, the movie needed him and he needed the movie. His career as had a bit of a slump. Independence Day combined with The Suicide Squad, would’ve been a nice little summer for him. Raising his stock and giving him a couple of nice blockbuster smashes that he’s been lacking recently. The movie also desperately needed him. They needed his energy and legendary comedic brilliance on the big screen.

I loved the original cast. The old school pros did what they came to do. Jeff Goldblum was hilarious as usual. Judd Hirsch that plays his father was adorably funny, just like the original. Bill Pullman also did well. Brent Spiner who played the crazy scientist, gave plenty of comic relief. And Vivica’s character was killed off too soon to know what she could’ve brought to the movie. But the seasoned veterans couldn’t be the only ones to carry the film. And that’s where the young and fresh-faced cast failed epically.

Liam Hemsworth did the best he could, poor baby. But he doesn’t even have experience carrying major blockbuster movies, let alone the smaller ones he’s been in. Jessie T. Usher was no Will either, but then again, he was the more serious character in the movie. And Maika Monroe fell flat for me. She only had one face during the whole movie. Annoyed. I’m actually kinda pissed that they didn’t use the original girl, Mae Whitman, that played the President’s daughter in the original. Mae has shown her acting chops on the show Parenthood and The DUFF, with a ton of other work added to her resume. Her sass and spunk would’ve been an added boost to the movie. But knowing Hollywood, they probably thought she wasn’t slim enough to play the character all grown up.

The special effects were incredible, as usual. The storyline was so-so. I don’t doubt that they had a better storyline developed for a script with Will in the movie, but had to adjust when his price tag came a little to steep for Hollywood’s tastes.

All in all, I was just super disappointed. I was really excited for this movie and I tried so hard to like it. Unfortunately, that never happened.