National Black Book Festival

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Monday, April 23, 2012

I really, really, really love my Library


NUMBER 118
I will return to my “Drama at Part Time Job in Asylum.”  There’s more to come, but I’m taking another commercial break to say, “I Love My Library” and the celebration should never end.  Please, please support your local library.  They are losing money, staff and so many books due to limited space or the buildings are being torn down for something else.  Please go out and borrow a book.  Join the “Friends” group.  Hey, just go into your local library and check them out.  You will not be sorry, but extremely, beyond blessed, elated, intoxicated, peaceful, thrilled, upbeat, and have the most effervescent feeling in the world.  Give it a try!!
National Library Week: Authors Speak Out
Wednesday, April 11, 2012


“I grew up thinking of the library as the most magical place,” says Michael Chabon, author of Wonder Boys. “There’s no question that when an economy takes a turn for the worse, libraries become more important than ever.” This week is National Library Week, when the American Library Association invites readers to celebrate and show their appreciation for libraries around the country.
By sharing their rich collections of books and other media, preserving archives, hosting events, and fostering a sense of community, libraries serve a crucial role in society—and they’ve inspired many children to become writers.
We asked a few authors about their library experiences, and we received overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback. Play the video below to watch Andrea J. Buchanan, Dean King, Bradford Morrow, Scott Spencer, Rafael Yglesias, and others speak out on behalf of National Library Week, then click on the “see more” button to watch Pat Conroy weigh in:  
       

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Commercial Break - Voorhees College


NUMBER 117
We are taking a commercial break from “Drama at Part Time Job in Asylum” to bring you a new series: “Slow down in Denmark, SC” where the confederate flag is still, at least in their southern minds, “King.”  So sad. I mean, got dammit, you lost the war and the South ain’t rising again, let it go already!
Last week, Wednesday to be exact, I attended a National Library Week celebration at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina.  Yeah, I didn’t know where it was either.  I would recommend you not drive there at night.  Saw a few “confederate flags” and still asking myself about them. I learned that Voorhees is a Historical Black College started in 1987.  

The celebration was held in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center.  Many local authors and writers were also in attendance to sell and autograph their works.

I brought a book by Nadine Johnson, picture above. Her children’s books, Last Night I Dreamt series of “Was a Doctor”, “I was a Teacher” and “I was a Musician.”  I brought the “I was a teacher.  Beautifully illustrated and colorful, just the way kids like their books.  Please check her out on the Black Author Showcase blog - http://blackauthors.ning.com/profile/Dyahnne.  These books are so multicolored and understandable for a parent to read to their child.  You know how I feel about reading to children.  Passionate!!!  
Got two more children’s books.  “Aloma and the Red Suitcase” by Sonja T.  
Another book I brought, “Life Experiences” by Dr. Maurice Lee.  A nice young man who, with a few other people, thought I was par to the media.  Did feel proud or what?  I did.  He invited me to the “Balling for a Cause” basketball tournament in Columbia, SC.  Told me there was going to be lots of celebrates, but the names I see on the flyer, Trina Braxton, Key Swac 3000, and Kenya Moore, are not too familiar to me, but I’m sure to many others.  Nice looking guy too!
The Healing Force, African storytellers/drummers, performed songs and their story presentation was very comforting and exciting.  Their outfits were beautifully made and colorful too.  The group also sold handmade weaving baskets.  I was a bit disappointed when I first walked in because when I arrived at 11:30, it started at 9:30; the room was filled with about 15 people, not including the authors and The Healing Force.  Empty.  Déjà vu when I went to see Carl Weber in Columbia.  Where was the community?  I know it’s a small town, but I also know there must be enough blacks to support the 10 authors/writers I saw.  Too disappointing, just too disappointing.  I was aware that some of the students were in class, but again; what about the community?  I figure, “oh, my, I’m going to run into a crowd since I’m late”, but no.  This meant that the authors there did not sell as much as I wish they could have.  Of course, when Mr. Hill Harper showed up, the room filled.  Not enough numbers to me; mostly students and administrators.  I was praying and hoping enough would come and hear him and buy his books at least. 


Mr. Harper did a great job interacting with the kids using the analogy of an architect in building a base (family), a frame (a good support of friends and family without drama) and achieving your dreams.  It’s easier said than done.  He asked the students many questions and had good interactions.  He discussed the movies and TV shows he has been in and if I remember correctly, he is still playing in CSI New York. He met our President while in Harvard and they did become, as the media has stated many times before, great friends.  He just looked so damn smart and handsome.  I sat in the front row next to some of the teachers and administrators at the school and really enjoyed his talk.  As a young African American male, he has a lot to offer and I just hope and pray that some of what he said really sinks in.  It was funny earlier when the announcer introduced him, with clips of his TV and movie appearances, and he walked in with all black on from his shoes to his sweater, I heard from behind me, “Oh, he’s light skinned.”  It’s still so prevalent that the younger generation or maybe the older generation instilling that mentality into their kids; still thinks it’s better to be “white – light skinned” than “darker.”  I’m light skinned, what of it!!!  I’m tired of being called, “redbone” “giraffe” “brown paper bag baby.”  Sorry to say, it still seems to control who we like, dislike, love or hate.  Stupid, just completely stupid.  But, Hill Harper did look good.  
Hill Harper Books
Got to get one in for Black History Year
       

Monday, April 9, 2012

Black Kindle - I love myself better than I love my self!! Bill Cosby.

NUMBER 116
What a week and I did not have to work Friday night at the Asylum.  They have hired three more people, especially for the morning shift.  That’s OK with me for now.  It has been a year and two months since I started this “Dave Ramsey/Michelle Singletary” budget.  I want to stop working part time, but I don’t want to go back to where I was last year.  I see the light, but damn, my ass is tired.  Oh, well, I'll keep going. I'll work part time, overtime, read, walk Tommy my dog, and write my blog; and it all keeps me busy.  That’s what’s behind though, my blogging.  I post two to three times a week, but, I’ve been a slacker and haven’t blogged in a while.  Get it together girl, you going to lose your subscribers and that group is ferociously devoted to reading, especially about the escapades in the asylum.  Let’s turn on the show “Drama at Part Time Job in Asylum.”  It just gets better.

Leslie, the 2nd line manager, was one of the original workers.  She used to be a manger at McDonald’s (Now, I know that’s hard work!!!).  She was also the one who had Thanksgiving dinner at her house and invited everyone from the store, but not everyone showed up.  I wasn’t able to go, I was out of town.  Heard it was nice and Kat and her kids showed up with food.  They can’t show up for “Christmas Fiasco Party”, but can show up for Thanksgiving.  I’m still a little pissed off from when no damn body showed up at the store and I was left with a $50.00 gift and a dish.  OK, so I brought the dish from Costo, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Leslie is a 40 year old white woman with one child.  She is cute and short with frizzle blond/red hair that she is always pulling back with her hand and to the side.  It’s not in the way, it’s just a weird habit.  She also trained me and when we worked together, we always got big tips.  I remember one time I took an order from a customer in the drive thru.  When I returned to the window with the order, I took his money and was about to put it in the register when he said to me, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting.”  I finished the quote with, “to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most high, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”  Of course when I stated that, I knew I had some issues because there are many people I would like to “tase” the hell out of, but some damn body is always telling me I can’t do that.   Crap!!

He handed over a tip and I really didn’t look at it because I just assumed it was a $1.00.  Most people give us a dollar or two.  I put it in the pocket of my work apron and finished talking to him for a few more seconds.  Once he left, I reached in and pull out what I thought was a dollar.  Lord, it was a 100 dollar tip.  Yeah, sure, I figured it was a fake.  So I waited until Leslie was finished with a customer in the front and showed her the tip.  I was laughing and saying, “man, people will try to trick you all the time.”  She looked at me, took the bill and went in the back to check.  Came back to the front and told me it was real and asked who was the customer.  I relayed back to her what happened and we split the tip.  Yes, I split the tip with her.  I told a few of my friends about it and they thought I was crazy.  When we work together as a team, we split the tips.  I tell them: stop being so hungry for money and start being hungry for good friends, a damn job and a good relationship.  Hell, let it go!!  

Leslie really needed the money.  Working there full time is not what I call middle class salary.  She still had her grown daughter living with her and that’s the next issue.  When I started working with Leslie, her daughter worked next door at another fast food place, but was fired a few months later.  She dropped out of high school.  Moved in with her boyfriend, who also did not keep jobs for long, and after she was fired, they lost the lease and she moved back home.  She does have a sickness which, from seeing her, she does not take the time to take care of herself and when she gets sick, she is unable to work.  The next month after she moved back in with her mother, she started working at another fast food place on the other side.  That lasted exactly four weeks.  She did not call in for two days and they fired her.

Oh, did I forget to tell you that she also has a black boyfriend?  And black women are complaining about not enough black men to go around?  Hell, come to my part time job, they are all over the damn place.  There’s a pattern here, and it’s just gets more and more interesting.

On to books: 
STEPHANIE MORRIS - A MATTER OF HONESTY - $5.99 - - - When I’m really tired, I usually read a romance book to keep my mind on something other than work and I’m really beginning to enjoy reading Stephanie’s books.  All of them are interracial.    Secretly, they fell in love at first sight.  How come that has never happen to me?  You think I was some Star Track creature or maybe it’s my mouth.  I do have a tendency to tell people to go to hell.  Not nice, not nice at all.
Lauryn, 22, African American, was found (Or you can say “saved”) from under the rubble of a dump motel after a tornado hit Norman, Oklahoma by Steve.   He is 30, white and “one of the most handsome man she had ever seen in her life.”  You believe that, don’t you!!!  
After he “saves” her, and she was laid off from her low paying job, he offers her a job as housekeeper/nanny to his young daughter.  The mother did not want anything to do with the kid, so he needs some one to take care of her.  Ms. Morris moves the story along as romance stories go and the pace is pretty fast with titillating love making scenes, but it’s a love story and cute.  Lauryn is prudent about being so close to such a good looking man and being that she is not experience in lovemaking, she is wondering why she is having these deep feelings for a man she just met.  At times she is too wishy-washy, but she’s a kid.  Steve, on the other hand, is also leery and hiding a secret.  She doesn’t trust anyone after the treatment from her father and he doesn’t trust anyone after the treatment from his daughter's mother.  The story is anticipated, but it has some soft and easy sexual scenes as well as fast, easy and sweet.  The ending, though, is not what you expect.  Just the way romance stories should be.  Not to analyze, but to enjoy and go to sleep with a nice story on you mind.  
EROSA KNOWLES - SPECIAL FORCES - $3.99 - - - This is another romance novel of interracial relationship, but the ending did throw me to the point I had to read it again to be sure.
Tyson Bradford, a special force officer heading back to Afghanistan in a week and needs a house sitter who will also take care of his Aunt.  Time is running short, so he calls his sister, Annie, who knows a woman in need, Lynay.  Lynay has a sick son who needs expensive medical care and she is working a low paying job, barely.  
Lynay takes Annie’s offer to help him and stay with his Aunt, but also, agrees to an arranged marriage.   With his military benefits, he can get her the stable medical assistance for her son and money for college.  They get hitch, but there is a catch.  It’s an arranged marriage with sex (I didn’t know there were types, my, my!).  Tyson will not under any circumstances tolerate infidelity.  Of course Lynay is taken aback, but agrees and figures, “after the last episode with her baby’s daddy, her confidence in her bullshit meter died, she never trusted a man since.” She is not interested in sleeping with anyone any old way, she’s got a sick son and needs a better place to live.
All goes fine.  Oh, did I forget to tell you that Tyson’s sister, Annie and Lynay are very good friends and Lynay does remember him, but when she sees him on their first meeting to seal the contract, “he looked like sex on two legs.”  “Six feet tall, molded wide chest, tight abs and thick arms.”  There is a bitch in the background, his ex, and she is first crazy as hell and determined to destroy him and his career.  Now that’s when I had to go back and re-read parts of the story because it becomes something of a James Bond theme.  I need to know more about his sister and her husband, they remind me of Mr. and Mrs. Smith with Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie.  Something fishy going on there and I need to know.  Where’s part two?
DAHLIA ROSE - MY DADDY IS A HERO  Book 1 and 2 - $3.99 - - - Have not read them yet, but I do love Marines. I must be going thru a military phase.
Book 1Two weeks before leaving Afghanistan and retirement, Master Chief Fabian Marrone got news that froze his heart with fear. His two-year-old daughter Caelynn had been taken by his drug addicted ex-wife, and she was on the run with their child. With no family, he’d left his daughter with the only person he could trust with his life, his best friend Taryn Nevin. She was the one to meet him at the airport when they let him go home ahead of schedule. And Taryn never faltered every step of the way as they tried to find his daughter. He was accustomed to seeing Taryn as his best friend, so when she kissed him until he couldn't think straight and pointed out that there could be much more, Fabian was left speechless. He looked at Taryn through new eyes filled with desire, passion, and lust. (Oh, now come one, “Lust!”) Would taking their relationship to a new level enhance what they already had, or would he be left without her as a lover and friend?
Book 2 -  Lieutenant David Cutter was on his way home to surprise his children. He’d lost his wife to a tragic accident leaving him a single father to twins. He had to raise his children and that coupled with being a marine was sometimes a hard task. His mother was their care provider but he wanted to do something special for his kids. They both spoke of their teacher, Ms. Noelle Cherise often and with his mother’s help he contacted her with help for his plan. Who knew that their teacher was such a beautiful woman with gorgeous almond eyes. When David met her, he found his interest was in more than his kids' education. On impulse he asked her out on a date, and after the first kiss, he knew there was no way he could ever walk away. With his wife’s parents in the mix trying to make their new relationship as difficult as possible, David hopes with all his might that she can weather the storm with him because losing her would destroy him all over again.
Got to get one in for Black History Year
My Man!!! Bob Marley