Lammy Finalist

I had a good time at the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards gala.  BMWIDCMMM

My book, Bury Me When I’m Dead, was a finalist in the Lesbian Mystery category.    I didn’t win this time, but honored to have my book recognized.

Thank you, Bywater Books, and the Lambda Literary Awards Board and Staff.

Someone Tell Me to Remove my Name tag.

Someone Tell Me to Remove my Name tag.

Make America Great, Please.

blog30

In the span of two days, this week in May of 2017, two incidents of racial hatred demonstrate that America’s race problem is far from solved.

On the brink of the NBA Finals, basketball superstar LeBron James’ home was spray painted with a racial epithet.   The very next day, authorities find a noose among the artifacts and exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Lebron James responds:

“Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day.” 

Response from the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

“Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face.”

~ Lonnie Bunch III Founding Director

Catchy Title?

Book Titling is the funnest part of writing a book.   Working on the title for upcoming books.   I have 44 choices.  BTW  Is “funnest” a word?

book title
Give Me a Good Reason
Keep Me From The Dark
Hold Me When I’m Bad
Kill Me With Your Kisses
Bring Me to The Precipice
Ignore Me At Your Peril
Protect Me in The Corridor
Trust Me to Save You

NMAAHC’s Letter to Black Americans

Dear Black America:
It was good to have you visit, and to lay eyes on you and give you a wide-open embrace. I love you in all your hues, and do’s and views.
I admire your tenacity, creativity, and innovation. I remember you, and I celebrate your valor, swagger, intellect, and style. You have done all of us honor, and made our country greater than it might have been. I am proud of you.
I hope you can see, from the care we have given in preparation of your visit, that we deeply appreciate you.
It is our privilege to welcome all visitors. But your company is especially cherished. NMAAHCPlease, don’t let too much time pass, before I see you again.

With all, due, fondness,
National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Writing Life

AWP Adichie-Coates

Full House at AWP 2017 for Chimamanda Adichie & Ta-Nehisi Coates

I attended my second conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) this past week.  It is a very well attended gathering of students, administrators of MFA writing programs, publishers, scholars, and writers of all ilks.

I love the diversity of this conference in both its attendees, and the topics covered.  Hats off to the AWP organizers for the breadth of topics covered in the more than 300 sessions.

Somedays, I learned a little bit; other days, I learned a lot about the craft of writing.  That’s why I attended.  But the most important thing I gained was a renewed sense of my power and goals in writing.

Poets ruled this conference (and the world, I’ve come to realize).  As a fiction writer, I am inspired by poetry.

The immersion in the life of writing:  reading, pitching, crafting, researching, collaborating, encouraging, reviewing, critiquing, teaching and learning were the gifts I received during AWP.

Thank you!

Book Review

Brokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a small book; a published version of the original short story. I loved the movie, so when I found this book on the shelves of Proud Books in Rehoboth, Delaware, I scooped it up.

Proulx’s writing is masculine, visceral, whittled down wood. Yet it has the long lines and strong thighs of a male ballet dancer. Short on punctuation, and long on just the necessary adjective, Brokeback Mountain allows the reader to feel the longing of its protagonists.

View all my reviews

 

Charlie & Mandy

Aside

Bury Me When I’m Dead is the first installment in a crime series, set in 2005 in Detroit, and featuring, African-American, private investigator, Charlene Mack.

Charlie, as she’s known, is decisive, prone towards being controlling, cunning—and she BMWIDCMMMhas a massive streak of empathy. The one thing that she’s not so clear about is accepting her sexual orientation.

In Bury Me When I’m Dead, Charlie is hired to find a missing person who has embezzled from her company, the search leads her to Birmingham, Alabama where she comes close to death and closer to a decision about her sexuality, with the help of a provocative, green-eyed, beauty, named Mandy Porter.

Mandy’s a decorated cop.  She’s always been an out lesbian which adds further tension to her new relationship with a closeted, Charlie.

Excerpt—Bury Me When I’m Dead

The two sat in an awkward silence. Charlie looked at her watch. Her plane didn’t board for another hour. Mandy took a sip of wine and savored the taste. They stared at each other for a while. Neither flinching.
“I really, really like you Charlie.”
“The feeling is very mutual.”
Mandy reached for Charlie’s hand and their fingers intertwined for a few seconds before Charlie pulled away.
“No one cares about two women holding hands, you know,” Mandy said with irritation.
“I’m not like you. I’m self-conscious about public displays of affection.”
“Would you be if I were a man?”
“Maybe not,” Charlie admitted. “I’m going to need some help with that.”

Mandy had accepted Charlie’s admission of bisexuality. She’d known other women who described themselves as bi, but she believed it had more to do with being afraid to come out of the closet than ambiguity. She took another sip of wine.  “Is it different, Charlie? To tell you the truth, that’s a surprise to me.”
“It can’t be that much of a surprise.”
“You’ve been distant lately. Not returning phone calls. I thought maybe you wanted to break things off.”
Charlie fidgeted in her chair, looked at Mandy, looked away, then held her in an earnest stare.  “I’m afraid of what I’m feeling. But there’s no denying that I’ve fallen in love with you.”

LibraryJournal blurb