Saturday, January 07, 2006

January 26, 2006: THERE IS, INDEED, KARMA!

Before I begin, I have to apologize, yet again, for my unduly lengthy absence. I wasn't dead, obviously -- just sick as a DAWG with cold viruses that must've been engineered in someone's lab. Again, I'm ready to give Winter the gas face.

Speaking of the gas face, like everyone else, I'm commenting on the James Frey/Oprah smackdown that happened today. I was pissed, because the selective memoirist got not one, but two bites at the Oprah apple. Some writers I know or know of -- Jonathan Frantzen excluded -- would give their left nut to be on Oprah. I, too, am guilty as charged. But I was even more pissed when I read about the January 11 Larry King appearance, when Oprah defended old boy's actions in her phone call. I was like, "Say it ain't so, Ope." And now she has.

For folks like me who try like hell, and leverage their futures, and cripple their finances to get the exposure they need, the question of selling out raises its ugly head. Frey had initially tried to sell his book as fiction, and publishing had given him the gas face. I ask myself, does one have to lie to oneself by being someone she's not or lie to potential book buyers in order to have success at this game?

I love writing. It's cathartic, and it's a challenge that I'm always ready to accept. When I'd written Back to Life, I'd done so on my own schedule and for my own enrichment. Then I signed that contract and realized that this a business too. Polonius, the fool in Hamlet, told his son Laertes, "To thine own self be true." But I have to wonder. Do I and my own true self write what I want to and toil in obscurity, or do I write to a market so that I can leave my dreaded day gig and make a grip of money? On most days, I remain conflicted. On more days that I want to admit lately, though, this is a no-brainer...

January 8, 2006


Please forgive my absence from the blogosphere. I was vacationing down in the sunny Bahamas with my family. It was just what I needed -- a break from twelve-hour days and trying like mad to make the world aware of my new joint, What You Won't Do For Love. I did, though, take the time to appear on Island 102.9 FM in Nassau, hanging out with morning radio personalities Krissy Luv and Eddie Carter on The Morning Boil. We got into a spirirted discussion about how Bahamian artists do not support their own.

As you know, I spent my childhood in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is my muse and informs really every piece of fiction that I write. So, it's very disheartening when the muse doesn't love you back, when the only place you can buy my book -- about women of Bahamian descent, mind you -- is the Logos Book Store at Harbour Bay in Nassau. You can order it online and have it shipped to the store and pick it up there. That's all right, my people. Like Tupac, I ain't mad at ya. But I'll leave you with a Bahamian saying: "Pig does grow hog." [meaning, one day, the insignificant will be large and in charge]

Well, I'm back in DC, in the land of snafus and broken promises. I arrived to find that none of the intended recipients got my blast e-mail, alerting them to the fact that What You Won't Do For Love was, indeed, available for sale in stores. So there went any Christmas sales I could've hoped to have. Then the Post Office decided to teach me a lesson in what a guarantee is by informing me that, even though I paid the extra money to have priority mail packages get to their destination in two to three days, if they don't well... sorry, I'm S.O.L. Typical of Washington, such double-talk. So, beware of priority mail, people. The only guarantee you have is that they will take your money.

AND IT'S SO COLD!!!!! I'm praying the groundhog sees his shadow in a couple of weeks, or I don't know how I will manage.

Well, that's my rant for the new year. I'm hoping to keep them to a minimum. That's one of my New Year's resoultions. Why don't you write to and tell me what resolutions you've made...?