Show, Don’t Tell Me

SCENE

Tommy, treated Dana bad, and, just talked to her any kinda way, as he forced her to fulfill his needs, using her like his servant. ……..

RECORD SCRATCH

NO! Give it to the cameras/characters SHOW ME: ……..

Annnd ACTION:

“Come here, stupid,” Tommy mucked Dana upside the head. ……..

“Stop,” she cried as she always did. ……..

 “Shut up.” He grabbed her by the collar and shoved her to her knees. ……..

“Stop. You gon’ mess up my stockings.” ……..

 The two were at the door on their way to church, when, suddenly it was Tommy whom wanted to be worshipped. “Put it in your mouth,” he unzipped his pants and set himself free, “suck it.” ……..

“Boy…” ……..

He grabbed her head and parted her lips, “shut the fuck up.

 

shouting

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Incarcerated Scarface

Wriiten By: Mike O

“You can’t lead from inside the crowd,”~From 1000 Grams by Mike O 

GodfatherwesI may not be the best author to tell you about prison, but I can definitely relate. As a black man in America, our skin has been a gift and a curse since the Lord covered our bones with it.  A gift to bear the color of our race, but a curse being that our own ancestors sold each other out, causing us to be drug to this country where we’ve endured nothing short of Hell on Earth. From slavery to enslaving our minds, we have been pitted against one another, then, offered a piece of the “American Dream” in powder form, which we then turned to crack and further ruin.

To add fuel to the fire, they glorified the life in movies and music which had the 80’s and beyond booming. Even young black men with no education or respect for authority were becoming successful, owning material things like cars, homes, jewelry, exotic women, expensive threads, you name it. Forget working hard, the addiction to the fast life and money from drugs is the number one destroyer of boys in the hood. I too made the mistake of thinking it was cool, ending up fighting for my life in and out of the courtrooms of North Carolina as captured in my debut novel 1000 Grams.

I luckily escaped death and prison time in my escapades, yet, not all my brothers were so lucky. Some made their way to the grave while others are locked away behind tall fences with rows and rows of thick barbed wire guarded by sharp shooters behind firearms in places we call prisons. My label mate Wesley “Godfather” Hunter is one of those brothers not lucky enough to have escaped the harsh realities of the “Dope Game” which has left plenty of fallen hustlers with stories to tell. One thing about all of us who made these real life hood mistakes, we don’t mind giving our stories back to help you help your kids maybe make better decisions. If not that, maybe you can recognize destructive behavior patterns and figure the best way to intervene.

Our stories are gritty, grimy, true to life tales that provide entertainment as well as learning something you didn’t know about the streets in the process. It’s a life that only those who walked the walk can tell you the truth about. So I would like to introduce you to my label mate Wes, and give you a chance to get to know him a little better.

Mike O: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter:  Quite simply: I love to learn and I love to teach. I first caught the writing bug, while sitting in Federal detention in 1989; I’d been caught with 15.78 grams of rock cocaine and could not believe they were talking about giving me 25 years and offering me a DEAL for 17yrs, with the Public Defender suggesting that I should take it! I subsequently wrote my first piece which was an article called THE WAR: FROM A CONVICTED CRACK COCAINE DEALER’S PERSPECTIVE and, I haven’t stopped writing since.

Mike O:WHY ARE YOU CURRENTLY IN PRISON, WAS IT THE DRUG CASE?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter:  No. I got the drug case in Aug. 1989 went to the fed’s until May 22, 1996. I, then, went to the half-way house, a bank was robbed by my girl, with me as the driver, they came for me, and so I escaped from the half-way house. Then, on July 3, my 27th birthday, my cousin, my girl and I robbed a Denny’s, had a high speed chase and 2 shoot outs with the cops. I ran into a house, had a hostage, police stand-off.  I’m blessed to be alive. I’m finally about to go home, after completing a 20 year deal.

Mike O: WITHOUT GIVING UP TOO MUCH, WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL TAKE FROM YOUR BOOK?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter:  The book I am pushing now is a self-help/advisory/women’s empowerment guide, which has been called THE 48 LAWS OF POWER for the modern woman. It’s called EVERYTHING SHE SHOULD KNOW: What Daddy never told you and Mama never knew. It covers everything from relationship advice, self-love, sexual tricks/games, goal setting, child rearing, men’s games, and even how to establish triple-A credit almost instantly. It’s a keeper and a hand me down for all ages. All of my books are laced with black history, social politics, worldly advice and other such fruits to be embraced.

Mike O:  ARE YOU SELF-PUBLISHED OR WITH A PUBLISHING HOUSE?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter: EVERYTHING SHE SHOULD KNOW is published thru my brand URBAN DIAMONDS PUBLISHING. However, I just signed with DC Bookdiva Publications and Ben Official Books for an upcoming series of titles.

Mike O: WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW AUTHORS?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter: READ! Don’t just read one or two sub-par urban books, then, jump right out there like ‘I CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT’. There’s a lot of garbage in the game. If you truly want to bring the heat then READ! Read top notch authors such as James Patterson, and study their craft: the timing/pace, the use of dialogue, etc. Finally, please, read at least one book on self-editing. Don’t just jump out there on some ‘I’m going to change the game’ nonsense. Learn the rules before you try to bend or break the rules. This is a job and a business, not just a hustle.

Mike O: WHERE CAN READERS PURCHASE YOUR BOOK?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter: EVERYTHING SHE SHOULD KNOW is available as an eBook on Amazon. The paperback is available at zaharasbooksandthings.com which is a store based in Inglewood, Ca, BEAUTY BAR AND BOOKS at the Slauson Swapmeet, in Los Angeles and also by mail order direct from me at URBAN DIAMONDS PUBLISHING, LLC, 26895 Aliso Creek Rd., ste. B-127, Aliso Viejo, Ca 92656 other locations are being developed and my coming titles will have broader distribution, which is why I signed with Dc Bookdiva Publications. Check DcBookdiva.com for the latest.

Mike O: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT FROM YOU?

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter: I’ve got a ton of stuff coming this year. I’m looking at four to five new releases. Plus, I’m doing some collaboration work behind the scenes which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve got over 20 completed full-length titles in the clip and I’m just now getting my chance to shine, so, I’m here. And I plan to be around for a while. With the readers’ approval, of course

 

 

Mike O was born and raised on the streets of Winston-Salem, NC. His whole young life was spent making the wrong choices and following a path that is all too familiar that he resurrects in his debut novel “1000 Grams” in hopes of his testimony reaching a young soul lost, helping them to find their way back. This gritty street tale will take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of Mike O’s past. Since his first release, he has penned a short story trilogy -Fakebook Chronicles, the short story The Tweet Files and the full novel Smokin Mirrors.

 

Where Are The Aaliyah Anderson’s Of The World?

“The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

– Malcolm X

Every weekday morning before school I wake up at four-fifteen to write and prepare for the day ahead of me. It’s a ritual that I’ve started to do every day since I made the decision to chase success. However, one particular morning a few weeks ago broke my pattern. I decided to log on to my Facebook, something I try my best not to do in the morning. And what I saw frustrated me to no end.

question-marks-pictureOne of my Facebook friends shared a video from WorldStarHipHop of young black high school students declaring how much they hated being black. Several participants in the video even went as far as to denounce they were black. It was sickening to me! I immediately turned off in a frustrated haste. Why did it seem like I was fighting an uphill battle? Since slavery, the myth of black inferiority has been programmed in the minds of Africans worldwide. After viewing a few minutes of that video, I asked myself, “How am I possibly going to fight against that negative mindset?”

Then I went to my Wattpad.com profile.

At the time, I just hit 18,000 reads for my first novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” and my publisher had just sent me an updated version of my book contract. I quickly came to the realization that my mission isn’t to become a one man army against the black inferiority complex that plagues the majority of our youth today. No, my mission is to educateinspire and enlighten. If I successfully do that, the people under my realm of influence would readily want to liberate their minds from the chains of colorism and inferiority!

My first novel, The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson, is a perfect example of my efforts. It chronicles the life of Aaliyah Anderson, a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious thirteen-year old young woman trying to chase her dreams of success in the negative environment of Willowsfield, GA. Throughout the story she faces and overcomes problems that plague many young people such as good-for-nothing teachers, haters, gang violence and continuous acts of infidelity. The book even touches on Black history and problems that plague the black community, among other topics. I like to regard The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson as a fiction, non-fiction book hybrid. It has the informative, eye-opening content of a classic non-fiction book and the fast paced, page turning drama of a mainstream novel.

“My name is Aaliyah Anderson. I’m thirteen and the only girl out of the four children my mother and father had together before they got divorced. I’m ambitious and have big dreams for myself. On the low, I really wanna be the head of a company, T.V network or something like that one day. Maybe a college professor like my Aunt Vanessa or even an actress! Maybe all those combined together!

“I’m not being arrogant or boastful, but I’m beautiful. My skin is flawless shade of mocha brown. There are no blemishes in site. My teeth are perfectly straight and white. My hair is kinky and I love it! I don’t do perms, weaves or wigs. I experiment with all the different natural hair styles all the time. Today, I have it styled in a cascading French roll. People say I favor Janelle Monae and Lauryn Hill because of my skin tone, sense of style and height.”

-Aaliyah Anderson, “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”

I created the prolific character of Aaliyah Anderson based on the select few outstanding young black women that I see on a regular basis. It’s truly a shame that there were only a select few that I had to draw inspiration from. It’s no lie that there is a large population of young black women that need to step their games up when it comes to how they carry themselves. Many have conformed to the image that they see on reality T.V. shows every night and its driven BMB (Business Minded Brothers) like me crazy!

The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson is a celebration of young women handling their business. Keep doing your thing! Don’t let anyone stand in your way! J It’s also a call-to-action for young women that are conforming to the constrictions put on them by this sexist, racist, European centered society that we live in.

It’s 2014! We need our young women to start carrying themselves with honor and self-respect. Law thirty-four of The 48 Laws of Power states:

“BE ROYAL IN YOUR OWN FASHION: ACT LIKE A KING (or Queen) TO BE TREATED LIKE ONE

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated: In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king (queen) respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.”

I hope this is taken into consideration moving forward. Young women, now is the time to carry yourself like a queen! We need the Aaliyah Anderson’s of the black community to make themselves known. You’re needed now more than ever!

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

 

 

 

Collective Bargaining

By: Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

In today’s market, the costs are high, the profits are low and the talent pool is greatly over crowded. So, just what is a publisher to do?collective

 Everyone’s got their own brand, their own label, their own publishing house, publishing company, imprint, division or WHATEVER. Everyone’s gone DYI on the fly and trying to find their way as they go. And, if they’re anything like me, they’re wasting a lot of time and money as they do.

Publishers, imprints, divisions, etc. Often work as a clique, a club or, for lack of a better term, a modern-day urban book publishing gang. Creating or hallucinating these imagined barriers which keep one group from working with the next. However, if Willie Lynch taught us nothing else, he taught us that to be divided we are already conquered. NO MATTER WHAT EXCUSE WE USE TO JUSTIFY OR DEFEND OUR DIVISION.

Networking, sharing resources, co-op advertising, joint product negotiations, etc. these are all areas where publishers can come together. Let’s say five publishers need books printed: one needs 500, another needs 2000 and still another needs 5000 books, etc. And this collected group of publishers decide to come together and approach a printer with one collectively huge order, explaining the total numbers and the promise of repeat orders of the same/similar/larger size in exchange for a continued overall discounted price (percentage).

NOTE: This offer could be extended to, say, 10 different printers to create a bit of a bidding war. This same collective bargaining technique can be used to put together a pool of editors which the publishers agree to choose from, where the editor agrees to a certain price/percentage discount in order to be added to the select list. The same for cover designers, on-line promoters, etc. This can even be used in purchasing ad. space in magazines, where the group agrees to purchase so many pages in so many issues and then divide or rotate the use of that space among themselves. It’s not about who likes whom, it’s about the collective power of unified numbers, it’s about business, it’s about common sense and money.

To really take it to the next level, the group could also share each others links on social media. It’s no different from having a bookstore where you carry and promote a bunch of different books. Especially if you are in-between products or your personal sales have slowed. Because, soon it’ll be you pushing a new piece and you’ll need the help: A favor for a favor.

Yes, there’s true power in numbers. Need I say more?

 

 

Who Is Treasure E. Blue?

Treasure Blue

1.Many assume they know the author based on the book. Yet, tell us who is Treasure Blue, the person?
A: That is a kind of/sort of correct answer because my writing is a reflection of me. I came to the conclusion years ago, we talking as far back as 30 years, before I even knew or wanted to become a writer, that I can only write what I know, what’s inside me. I give it up, even if it’s dark secrets. I’m not ashamed

2.What and who inspired you to become an author?
A: What inspired me I’ve said it many times in the past, my love for words and a need to regurgitate toxic pain and anger from within.

3.How difficult was it for you to enter the literary field?
A: It was actually a natural progression. I was a screenwriter prior to writing novels, and won several awards in the process. Even in college, I won essayist of the month and things like that. My gift goes way back, plus the fact that I was a lover of books. Had to be, my mother was a school teacher. LOL.

4.Is it what you expected?
A: When you write for the love and for the craft, there are NEVER any downsides to it. It is only when authors write for other motives such as fame or future will they always be disappointed. I just wanted people to read my work; everything else was a plus and a gift.

5.Where do you get your story ideas from and what’s the process?
A: I always have and feel I always will continue to genesis all stories from what I know and build on that. I have a great imagination and think during the process the “WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED” and kick around different mind blowing ideas, with the readers in mind, that they would NEVER see coming. That’s the art of storytelling.

6.In 3 years, where do you see yourself at?
A: Writing….. Period! Whatever beyond that is going to be, I don’t force anything. So when any other grand opportunity comes along, I’m prepared.

7. What type of music do you listen to?
A: Majority of the time 90’s music. That seems to be my theme. I still play my 60’s 70’s & 80’s jams. That’s just me.

8. Where are you from?
A: Harlem Stand Up!

9. As a professional, you have to put your personal views and feelings to the side for the sake of business?
A: I’m not that type to be controlled in my opinion of views…I’m a artist first for Christ sakes. We are supposed to voice our pure and unadulterated feelings, right or wrong. I have little need to be politically correct.

10. What genres do you write in and do you have ambitions to dabble in other ones?
A: I don’t fancy that term genre too much, but Yes, I do dabble in other genres, I put out and released Urban Lit, Chick Lit, and Erotica.

11.How can we find your titles and future book signings?
A:Treasure Blue novels are everywhere, bookstores, online and in local libraries, so I’m available with little problem if you want to check me out. I probably, since the digital era, only travel about a half dozen times to events and signing.

Thanks bro.

I thank you more for giving me a minute this morning. We were up with the sun making it do what it do.

One click to order your copy today!

The Circle Rain's Story

The Boss Life w/ Author & Publisher Rahiem Brooks

“Literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way a person looks at reality, then you can change it.”

-James Baldwin

All my life, I wanted to be a self-made man. I dreamed of one day becoming my own boss and owning the affairs of my life. I also dreamed about using my writings to uplift people around the world. As I look at the occurrences in my life I see that I’m inching closer and closer to achieving these childhood dreams. However, this task is easier said than done.

In the book publishing world, you have tons of independent publishing houses springing up. Some are legitimate companies releasing quality products in a professional manner to the masses of hungry readers. However, others are delivering hastily written E-Books and literary trash that the families of these authors wouldn’t even feel comfortable supporting. At this juncture in history, it’s hard to separate the real authors and publishers from the pretendersfakes and dirty hustlers.

Dictionary.com defines the word boss as “a person who makes decisions, exercises authority and/or dominates.” Simply put, a boss finds his way to stand above the crowd. You see it in every arena, especially in the sector of business. A boss is someone (male or female) who is defined by their morals and work ethic. They march to the beat of their own drum, forcing others to fall in line with their plans or get crushed if paths are ever crossed. A boss is a BMB (Business Minded Brother) or SRT (Sister Running Things) on steroids!

You can’t put a true boss in a creative prison. They walk their own path and create the projects that they approve of. The funny thing about it is that the work that these bosses release are always critically acclaimed in some sort of fashion. It’s almost like they force the consumers to see the world through their unique viewpoint.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to talk to Rahiem Brooks, owner of the independent publishing company Prodigy Publishing Group. He’s is also an award winning, national best-selling author of five novels. Rahiem is also known for his no-holds-barred advice and opinions on the publishing industry. As you read the interview, make sure you take notes. He’s really dropping jewels on subjects that are rarely discussed!

 

PPG logo WEBS HOME

Randall: How do you feel about the current landscape of the black independent publishing market?

Rahiem Brooks: Great question, which I hope you’re prepared to get me a body guard if I reply honestly. (chuckles) I can’t speak about the landscape per se. I work to be an independent publishing house, and not a “black” independent publishing house. There is a lot of the blind leading the blind. Not many people look to learn the business or pay people to effectively do things for them.

 It’s like being President Obama. He has a cabinet. Each cabinet member advises him on the things that he doesn’t know and provides him with options to make informed decisions. I don’t want to be an author without respect and being recognized for excellence. Outside of the authors performance one of my pet peeves is people that charge to promote sub-par material. It’s very saddening that people promote novels that meet the lowest publishing bar, and have people spend their hard earned money on these products. These same people turn around and want to petition Amazon to stop people from making returns.

I confess that over my four years in publishing, I’ve had three-five returns in the Kindle Store. Quality material is not returned. There are some people that do it right, and I applaud them as they continue to breathe life into the industry. But the many bad apples make people have no faith in the indie process, and prompts them to avoid buying any indie products.

Randall: What distinguishes a quality independent book from one that’s subpar at best?

Rahiem Brooks: Any book should have reputable and professional editing and proofreading. Professional book cover design, preferably one that sets the book apart from it’s competitors. That’s the great divider. The marketing, promotion, and PR will then determine who has the better product. Because an author writes better and has a better story line doesn’t mean they’ll sell more units. How that product is displayed will be the determining factor.

Randall: Earlier this year, you released a Google Play app. What inspired that move?

Rahiem Brooks: I found that my sales and demand was plateauing. I had to sit and think of plans to effective bolster my sales and brand. An app in the Apple and Google Play stores affords me the opportunity to meet people that are not connected to me through my social media networks. I am looking for avenues to advance my platform that doesn’t rely solely on me. All of my Facebook and Instgram friends that want my books and app already have it. The rest don’t and probably never will buy a book, share a status, or be of any benefit to my brand. So, I found it imperative to develop an app, adapt to audio books, and write for CNN iReport. The bigger the audience, the bigger the sales.

Randall: How important is having a strong social media presence to the modern day author?

Rahiem Brooks: Well, I am not so sure that a strong social media presence is a requirement. One thing that I pride myself on is operating the same way that publishing houses did prior to the Internet. As I stated early, you max out on your presence with FB. When I post things, I can predict who will like it. No matter how great you are some people are just not going to pat you on the back.

If they’ve been your FB friend for three years and you’ve published five books and they have none, they aren’t going to buy one. Focusing on them to make a sale is pointless.  Which is why I have been focusing on branding in areas not involving Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I can be at an event and have several people tell me about places I’ve been or things I did, but I don’t recall them liking a pic or discussing any of my posts. I make it a point to participate in my news feed, because I want to be engaging.

Randall: How do you effectively engage your readers?

Rahiem Brooks: I find that my readers like me as a man first and author second. They like my story. Where I’ve come from and what I now represent. Those people are my fans. I like to entertain and some people love me for that and some hate me, although neither group has ever met me. I focus on the people that love me.

Randall: At the 2014 National Black Writers Conference, AALBC.com founder Troy Johnson dropped a bomb on the world about the mass closure of independently owned African-American bookstores. What’s your take on this and how can we turn the tide?

Rahiem Brooks: I’ve written about this before, and I maintain that African-American owned book stores need to maintain a higher level of respect for authors and buyers. Some book stores look to make more off the sale of a book than the author. It’s absurd for an indie author to buy a book for $4 and sell it to a store for $6, but the store sells it to the consumer for $15, for a $9 profit. So the author makes $2. Many indie authors don’t have the capital to buy in bulk to get the bigger discounts. Also, many book stores don’t give new authors a chance. They expect to stay in business selling blockbuster series by K’wan, Wahida Clark, and Deja King. How is that possible? When their customers buy all of the top selling author’s books and there’s nothing new to buy, they have nothing else to offer. Many have not made the move into the 21st century either. If I owned a book store, I would sell E-books, as well. Everything is about going into the future.

 

Randall: Your novels are vastly different from the books that we see released from other black owned, independent publishing companies. How have you been able to keep your projects fresh? Also, how important is diversity in the African-American literary industry?

Rahiem Brooks: I am a black author, but that’s the extent of it. Race doesn’t play any part in this for me. I am keenly aware that I write to entertain fans of a genre, not a race. I had lunch with Walter Mosley for my 34th birthday in New York City. One of the questions that I asked him was should I make my main characters white, so that they’re widely accepted across racial lines. He adamantly told me that was not the way to go. He stressed that all of his heroes are black and no publisher would change that. And I now understand that. I have readers of all races and I’ve been expanding across cultures selling books in India, Israel, Australia and Pakistan. Again, people that like mysteries, thrillers, and suspense are not focused on the race of the characters, but the storyline and storytelling. James Patterson is most famous for the Cross Series. Alex Cross is African-American, the stories are well written, and probably the top selling series of all time.

Randall: By the time this article is published, it will be read by many young adults striving for better in the world. What is your message to them?

Rahiem Brooks: Education is king, know that. That doesn’t mean that you must go to college, but you must read and self-educate to help in making informed decisions. I constantly read magazines, books, and blogs on my profession. I sponge information like a doctor. I am always at workshops and taking courses on business related matters, even things that I may know. A new approach to an old topic could be beneficial. I read books on etiquette, too. I like to know how to act according to the world-at-large and not the neighborhood that I grew up in.

 

Randall: What upcoming projects do you have coming up?

Right now, I am doing more work as an independent editor, typesetter, and reviewer. I do that to have an all-around working knowledge of the business. I have five paperback novels published and working on numbers six ,seven , and eight simultaneously. They are tentatively titled: MURDER IN LOVE PARK (the sequel to MURDER IN GERMANTOWN), PRETTY BOY THUGS, and MR. CONFIDENCE.

Find out more about Rahiem Brooks at:

Web Site: http://www.rahiembrooks.comraheimbrooks

Apple and Google Play App Link: http://rahiembrooks.mobapp.at

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Novelist-Rahiem-Brooks/168128746598922

Instagram: rahiemthewriter

Twitter: @rahiembrooks

 

Do you have any questions or comments for me? Is there someone you’d like me to interview? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB & @TeamYGB25

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

Check out a preview of my debut novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” on Wattpad today! It’s coming soon!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

 

 

You Gotta Have Fun Sometimes! (A Manifesto)

“I know y’all gonna feel me on this one

You gotta feel me on this one”

-Rick Ross, “Sixteen” ft. Andre 3000

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had the gift of analytical thinking. Well, it’s a gift and a curse. Because of my habit of over analyzing things, I always felt that I stood out among the people of my age group. I covered this in my debut article Setting Relationship Standards. It’s always been hard for me to find others in my age range that were even close to my maturity level. Basically, using the principles I discussed in my debut article, I set too high of standards for people around me.

Like I said, I’ve always been different. While my peers chronicled their many sexual adventures, I was determined to write my first full-length novel and get it published before I turned eighteen. While my peers were mesmerized by the street life, I was infatuated by modern-day societal infrastructures such as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street and organizations that fought for change like Marcus Garvey’s U.N.I.A and the original Black Panther Party.   The people around me are apt in learning the new hit dance craze and following the ever-changing fashion trends. Meanwhile, I’m avid in learning about the makeup of cultural trends and how to use them to spread  the message of self-respect, class and intelligence to my generation. Do you see my problem now?

Or is it a problem?

bannerpatricksmartpants

Thinking about this issue takes me back to the days of my adolescence. I’ve always been a huge fan of the iconic cartoon SpongeBob Square pants. One episode that’s burned in my memory is called “Patrick Smartpants”. In this episode Patrick, after losing the top of his head, gains an infinite amount of intelligence. Because of this, he starts to become somewhat arrogant, destroying his friendship with SpongeBob and offending the many people that he was trying to help. He ended up depressed and lonely by the end of the episode.

Using my critical thinking skills, I liken “Patrick Smartpants” to me. Is this why it was always hard for me to build lasting friendships? Who am I to impose these insurmountable standards on the people I come in contact with on a daily basis? Relationships are fifty-fifty. You have to meet people where they are to have them return the favor.

This is a message I also saw echoed in Drumline, one of my favorite movies. In it, Dr. Lee is an old-school brother and a traditionalist when it comes to music. However, his set ways start to become a major problem. The alumni are starting to lose interest in Atlanta A & T’s band program, which means that it could possibly be shut down if something isn’t done to right the ship. But how is Dr. Lee to do that when Morris Brown continues to decimate them every year at the BET Southern Classic?

drumline_00133281

I tend to relate to Nick Cannon’s character Devin Miles. He was an exceptionally talented snare drum player that stood out amongst the other members of the drumline. His cocky swagger and immense skill draws a rival in the form of jealous drum section leader Sean Taylor, who is a traditionalist just like Dr. Lee.

Devon eventually ostracized himself from the rest of his teammates and gets kicked off the band after initiating a riot at A &T’s homecoming. Sean helped in jump starting his dismissal by revealing that he couldn’t read sheet music. However, after a snare drum showdown, Devon and Sean put their issues aside and team up to create a BET Southern Classic winning performance piece that also meets Dr. Lee’s high expectations.

Sometimes you have to put your ego to the side and undergo a change. How are you going to lead people to the promise land when you haven’t found yourself? I’m a sure witness of this! I’m officially starting my quest to become a more well-rounded person.  And I’m going to chronicle my physical, spiritual and mental journey in my writings. So watch out world! You’re looking at the rise of a legend!

P.S.: I’m not debunking what I discussed in my Setting Relationship Standards article. I’m just offering another viewpoint. Sometimes you just have to accept people for who they are. They’ll come around eventually. If not, they aren’t even worth wasting time on.

While you discern between the people that you need in your life, I ask you to support me in my endeavors. Introduce any teenagers you know to my various articles. Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad.com. Follow DC Bookdiva Publications and Young and Gifted Books on the various social media sites. Support Urban Intellectuals!

 Contribute to the conversation. Like my role model Michael Baisden said, “No one man is an island”. We can make a change in our communities together!

 

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson