It’s important to take time and pay homage to those who have gone before us.
The writers who have broken down barriers, inspired us, and opened doors for future writers. We all know of the GREATS, Zora Neale Hurston (my Soror!), Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin (just to name a few). However, I’ve been blessed with live within a time where a surge of black fiction writers created and released great works!
One of my fav authors, Eric Jerome Dickey tells a story like no other. His creative genius has pumped book lovers to dive into his world of love, lust, suspense, mystery and so much more. An author of my generation, I'm fortunate to have been able to experience his genius release and release.
Writing short stories weren't enough for Dickey, and I'm glad b/c a few pages from him would not be enough. Me and other fans of his work would def been left wanting more.
"I'd set out to do a ten-page story and it would go on for three hundred pages."
It took him three years of writing and sending query letters until he found an agent. The blessings of his door opening was a blessing for us as well. We were introduced to one of the greatest urban fiction writers of our time.
My all time favorite book is Chasing Destiny. I remember going to the bookstore in college and finding that new release; excited about what visual ride Dickey was going to take me on. Many book releases later, this New York Times Best Selling Author is continuing to give more than just a read, his words ensures a great experience.
So lets take time to salute this great writer, whose words have entertained, inspired, and taken us on a fantastic journey.
Thank you Eric Jerome Dickey!
Share Your Favorite Black Fiction Writer(s) Below!!!
I want to share a few gifts. Sharing is caring right? Everyone has their own list of “must haves”, new discoveries, and trinkets for sentimental reasons. I’d like to expose a few of mine :). Hopefully these will give you new ideas, inspos, or even a confirmation that there’s another addict in your section ;).
Ready? Here goes…
Anything That Sparkles.
I LOVE to shimmer! Who doesn’t. Whether it’s glitter or sequins, I NEED IT!. Clothes, shoes, and accessories with sparkle is automatically on my list (usually ending up in my shopping cart). Any and every occasion requires a hint of shine. A regular day strolling through the city or a night out in Manhattan, looking for Sex and the City vibes.
I have my fav pair of sparkle boots. Found them on sale at Forever 21. They were the last pair, just my size and when I took them to the register, they were half off of the sale price! I knew it was meant to be!
More sparkles in my collection includes an iridescent sparkle purse I mix with a cute outfit along with my go to black sequin purse I throw on with casual wear OR date night.
For New Years 2019 Celebration, I found another gem at Forever 21, these gold sequin pants. (I like to call them my disco pants). Bringing in the New Year with a sassy shine, hitting the town in ATL.
Give me sparkle; give me a shine and I know I’m in for a great time!
Something cute that goes great with my sparkle-fits or a warm greeting to my feet in the mornings as I get out of bed...Faux fur makes the list.
I look forward to cold weather as I get to pull out my coats to strut around in the low temperatures of NYC. Cozying up to my stylish faux fur, while hitting the town only adds to the excitement of taking on the night.
At home, my faux fur serves me well. Decorating my floors with an accent rug to keep my feet warm, along with adding a little spice to the New York living.
Got body?...Suits I mean. Leaving my legs to put on a show, body suits are a sensual given when wanting to look cute around the house, or add to your fav pants or skirt.
Photo shoot time and can’t figure out what to wear, my first “go-to” is a body suit and a pair of thigh high socks, then the “fit” comes together around that.
I like a variety of body suits that includes lace, sheer material, patterns, or just a plain cotton solid color to give a pop to a pair of fitted jeans. This gem is a good alternative to wearing shirts that you’d like to tuck in. No worries of it coming un-tucked of spending time in the mirror, tucking and un-tucking for that perfect look. Just put on the go!
Being lazy around the house and I wanna feel cute? I go to my stash of body suits to have a Friday night chill time with wine and catching up on my shows. Who says you have to look “bummy” for a solo evening at home!?!
Chrome Book (Beasley).
My old laptop houses all of my creative works, BRASH! Magazine, my books, other writing work, pictures, and everything else that I need to save for business and personal. With the years of wear and tear, my poor laptop decided to show its age and slowly fall apart. In addition, it's a bit big and too much to carry around with me.
As a birthday day gift to myself, I bought an HP Chrome Book. All white, touch screen, with the capabilities to turn into a tablet should I choose to use it that way. This Chrome Book was such a life saver, I decided to name him “Beasely”. (And he’s also my temp boyfriend since we spend a lot of time together).
It’s small, convenient and I can do everything on this contraption as I did with my laptop. Now I can grab my “boo” and spend time at a coffee shop, laundry mat, plane ride, or anywhere to create and stay up to date with my projects.
We all have our “regular” drinks when we can’t think of anything else on the menu. Mine is the usual Rum and Coke. However, some nights I want to sip sexy. That’s when the Manhattan Martini comes into play.
One of my fav martinis 🍸 the “Manhattan”. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Rye whiskey is my fav with this drink.
This special one is from STK Midtown in NYC, “Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan” (George sickle rye, zinfandel port, carpano antics sweet vermouth and bitters.) very tasty and a nice complement to a Sex and the City style dinner with your girl! You’re welcome! 😉.
To detox the libations, and to cool down, I LOVE making lemon water. It helps me to cut back on sodas and sugary drinks. This refreshing beverage also helps with clearing up your skin, acts as a good source of Vitamin C to protect your immune system, AND it’s a great digestive agent.
Quick and easy to make so it is always available to go with a good meal or a parched moment. ;)
So there you go, a few of my favorite things. Of course there's more to the list but I won't bore you with my long list of "can't go withouts".
Tell me, what are YOUR favorite things and why? Let me know in the comments below!
And I LOVED every morsel of it!
Thanksgiving is centered on family and friends gathering on the specific holiday, laughing, cooking, and most importantly EATING. The day turns into night with long distant cousin catchup along with badgering questions from the elders pondering on your wedding date and when you’re starting a family. I don’t deal with that much as my Thanksgivings have been with my close family hopping form house to house tasting all of their special dishes.
My favorite holiday as it revolves around food was a bit different this year. Since I wasn’t able to get home to GA, I took a “me” day for the occasion. My plan was to cook m own style of Thanksgiving dinner along with enjoying good wine and relaxing. I did all three and then some.
The menu for the day was sweet, tasty, and simple. Cornish hens, free green beans, roasted red potatoes and spinach salad. Washing it all down with refreshing lemon water and Shiraz (my fav wine).
I woke up later than I had planned but luckily the grocery stores understand the importance of Thanksgiving procrastinators and the "forgetfuls". Obtaining my necessary ingredients, I hurried home to start on my meal.
It had been a while since I dabbled in Cornish hens however, when you’re good at something, it never goes away. Stuffing them with scallions, red, yellow, and green peppers. Topping it off with a variety of seasonings including garlic, Italian, seasoning salt and pepper. Rubbing the hens down with butter for that added flavor, and my babies were ready to bake! I love to mix red potatoes with onion seasoning wrapped with butter or oil. As far as the green beans, zesty seasonings, but not too much because I didn’t want to take away from that “freshness” taste.
As the gas stove prepared my meal, Golden Girl and Shiraz entertained me. I looked out of my window feeling grateful for how far I’ve come. Enjoying my New York apartment on a beautiful and blessed day!
After I was full of food, I retired with a hot shower, more episodes of Golden Girls and continuing the thoughts of thankfulness. Although I wasn’t able to see my family, I nice lengthy phone conversation eased my heart as they regaled in me actually cooking along with giving sass about me not preparing this meal for them. (I’m the baby of the family soooo, I wasn’t one to volunteer for the cooking duties.)
I had been looking forward to my solo Thanksgiving for a while and I’m very pleased with the result of the meal and the overall day.
Although the holiday for being thankful only comes once a year, we should put into practice of gratitude, peace, a good meal, and enjoying the blessings.
How did you spend your Thanksgiving? Share Below!
My night at an Inspirational Rock-Doc, Bohemian Rhapsody
I have a thing for 70s and 80s rock stars. The whole idea of letting go and laying it out on the stage. Being free to just be… One band who is amazingly legendary is Queen. A British four piece band of misfits, responsible for the classics of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen” (my personal fav), “The Show Must Go On", "Another One Bites the Dust", “We Are the Champions”, and so much more to name. Queen pushed the envelope in music, showing that you don’t have to be one thing to fit the formula of the music industry. The band’s front-man, Freddie Mercury, was one of a kind. The way he put on a show was like none other. His voice was impeccable and can’t be duplicated. One look at him and you know he was born to do it!
On to Freddie.
You couldn’t tell me, Rami Malek, wasn’t Freddie Mercury. Hair and make-up did their part however, he brought it to life! You can tell thorough research was done and he was exceptional in re-creating Freddie’s life and performances. I hope he wins an Oscar for this one because this wasn’t some impression. Freddie was reincarnated right before our eyes!
We even got a glimpse into the genuine love story with him and Mary Austin. Although their engagement was broken off, they remained in each other’s lives and she was loyal to the end. He even left her a good portion of his estate to her after his death. (My exes only left me alone, but I wrote a book series about it so I’m good lol.)
Throughout the movie, I was left with nuggets of inspiration. To live the life you want to live, break barriers, and DO what they say you can’t. That’s how you become legendary. Not by silly antics for attention. Bohemian Rhapsody inspires me to keep going and to be the person I was meant to be and for that, I’ll always be grateful to Mr. Mercury. Thank you for your gifts, your voice, and your live out loud performances that I can watch, share, and cherish. You can’t watch this movie and NOT be inspired. This is a movie you MUST see!
Thank you Mr. Mercury!
Scary Situation While at Work...The Suspicious Packages
Working on my corporate gig started out as a normal day. Came into the office a little late, thanks to a heater situation, however still getting a good start on the day. So as the hours passed, I received an alert on my phone. Of course this alert came in while I was daydreaming, needing to get back to work. The alert notified that there was “Police Activity” on W58th St. I work near Grand Central Station (Around 42nd St. on the East Side of Manhattan). Although alarmed, I wasn’t worried.
Taking a break, I ventured outside and saw normal New York activity. People rushing to from work. Food stands full of customers, police sirens (very normal), and horns blowing because someone stayed in place two seconds after the light turned green. Normal New York afternoon.
Coming back into the office, I got an alert that there was a suspicious package in the building I worked in. WAIT WHAT!?!? HERE??! NOW!?!? Grabbing my stuff to get the hell out, I pondered about why this was happening. My mind immediately went to the 9/11 documentaries I tend to obsess over. Knowing what really happened in those offices, their thoughts, their last words, and things that could have possibly saved them. Like the notion of getting the hell out. See, within the docs I watched, planes hit one of the towers and the employees within were told that things were “under control”. Next thing you know, CHAOS!
Leaving the building, there was a bit of madness. Men in suits walking fast-style to elevators and once I reached outside, there was a line of NYPD officers holding rifles in front of the building. Another slew of officers lined up sitting on motorcycles, sniffing dogs and more officers putting up barricades.
What the hell?!?!
Who could function during this madness? I couldn’t. Watching the news earlier due to my phone alert showed a pipe bomb being mailed to the CNN center, causing everyone to be evacuated. Now I have to be evacuated. Scary sh*t! And newer alerts advising that “packages” were sent to Obama and Hilary Clinton. Not understanding any of this, I took on my first instinct to ensure the trains were still operating along with praying that nothing was going on there as well.
Gathering outside and comparing notes with a few co-workers, “I’m going to head on home.” Was my final decision. Although the situation was said to be “defused”. NYPD was still surrounding the place. I didn’t feel comfortable going back in until the last officer left. Why are you still here? I’m glad you’re here but why? I watch too many documentaries and drama TV shows (art imitates real life) to know that there are always something else to the situation.
Feeling a little better as I was on the train back to Harlem, scenarios ran through my mind. Is this real life now? Leaving your work space because people want to be crazy?!?! And it’s all for some evil agenda set out to hurt innocent people to grab the attention of the powers that be. Sad right?
Safe to say that when I got home, I called my mom. I her baby I HAVE to let her know I was okay. For hours, I sat in my living room chair staring at the ceiling. Nerves rattled and mind not knowing what to do with myself. I was glad to learn that the package was a fraud. But at the moment how could you know? And you can’t take things like that lightly because once you do, something horrible happens.
Glad everyone involved is now safe and can return to work. However, THIS cannot be a new normal. I’ll take the crazy subway rides, random noises, even the angry New Yorkers, but a bomb threat….NOPE. I’ll never be able to get used to that one.
E. Alexcina Brown
I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!