This Is How You Lose Readers

In the wake of the #MeToo movement it seems like on a weekly basis we are being informed that another beloved person is a predator. Some have had rumors about their behaviors floating around for years like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who although they’ve only recently had to answer for their crimes,  knowledge of their abusive ways have been widely known for many many years.

Unlike them, others like Kevin Spacey, have rocked the world and shocked their fans. Today, I log on to the internet and I see that there are some internet drama surrounding Junot Díaz. Firstly, I wasn’t going to read up on it I’m literally in the middle of rereading The Brief  Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Secondly, Junot Díaz is one of the first writers who made me; a dark skinned black woman, feel both seen and beautiful.

But, like with most train wrecks no matter how much you want to avert your gaze you have to look. It’s almost as if you have no control over the way your neck moves. So with that same trepidation I typed *Junot Díaz Sex Scandal* into my search bar and was rewarded (this is not a reward) with the following article: Junot Diaz Sex Scandal.

I refuse to look into this any further and I’m officially throwing Oscar Wao out of the window. I know that there are questions about whether we continue to throw people away for bad behavior or not, but unlike people who question those sorts of things *insert fierce side eye* I have an iron clad no predator clause on my entertainment intake calendar. All that I can do now is seriously pray that Stephen King has kept his paws to himself. And no I’m not googling it. I don’t want to know until I have to.

 

Innanet Friends

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who low-key got they shit together

be sliding in your DMS saying shit like:

Yasss,

You  Betta,

You got this,

You matter,

Yo I aint seen you on the internet in a few, you good?

Where can I cop?

That ya’ll aint probably never ever met irl but if you ask she’ll likely slide you 20 til payday/pay your electric bill on her credit card unless she saving up to help somebody else

That she be sharing your shit, commenting, tagging folks to see your art work

All out of some weird sense of community

Expecting nothing in return

Cept for you to be good, keep your problematic levels to a low, and win.

Tell your new boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/ baby mama

Dat,

You got an innanet friend who only wanna see everybody win.

 

 

High Quality Problems

Feels like,
I can’t find an employee to save my life
Like they all lying
won’t tell you the last place let them go cause they got a problem
that sometimes those problems show up in the middle of the day for no good god damned reason
Like they all wanna be paid $2,673, 412.18 just to show up
mostly on time
won’t look you in the eye when you ask simple questions
you just own the place
just can’t relate
just never had to work from paycheck to paycheck
got no clue how to make a dollar stretch
like yo back don’t ache
like you don’t sometime when it’s cold pay them, cash yo check and put it right back in to cover theirs
like what’s a weekend
the time you spend scouring the internet looking for qualified employees
who only gon’ look down on you
you young/black/girl
can’t possibly know shit
also, who gave you this place: your daddy. your husband. you had to sleep with somebody
Like, you ain’t had enough problems
couldn’t figure out your place in this world
decided to make your own
decided to depend on the honest and talented hands of men who got more problems than a little bit
Like, can’t talk to nobody
who gon understand
who ain’t listening to you thinking you are lucky they showed up
who aint judging you for discussing yo high quality problems
Feels like,
I can’t find an employee to save my life
wouldn’t trade it for the world
wouldn’t wish my high quality problems on no body
specially if they needed it to save theirs
2/30

What Is Us Gon Do?

The fact that things can royally suck and you just have to deal with them is mind boggling. Like Spectrum sucks. They literally lose your payments, interrupt your service then ask you to drive to a location to show them proof that you paid and even when your services DO work they don’t work as they’re supposed to. Like you literally have no wifi in half your house, but, *WIFI is an imperfect science and isn’t guaranteed to work throughout your whole home. *
Anything could interrupt the flow including the owning of small land animals and the drinking of La Croix sparkling waters. 
But, your ass is stuck dealing with them because Frontier also sucks royally and those are your two choices. Period.
So you can have no internet with which to do work or you can have sucky service with which to do your work and those are LITERALLY your options.
And we accept that. We accept sucky ass government officials who have no one’s best interests at heart.
We accept sucky ass companies who sell your data and manipulate your lives.
We accept it all.
And that my friends is mind boggling as fuck.
What is us gon do?
Me, I’m going to pack my shit, take my dogs to the dog park, and work from there because I’m already working from home of off my phones internet hotspot. Which, don’t let me get started on that because I’m always over my data because my wifi doesn’t work in the back of my house. Image-1.jpg

Travel Chronicles: Dudes Gonna Dude

Dude on train *asks me how to get to Penn Station*

I respond that I don’t know.

Dude sarcastically : You don’t know where you’re going?

Me patiently, following Rule 62 of what to do when dudes be duding: I know exactly where I’m going I don’t know how to help you get to where you’re going.

5-6 random femmes of all ages and nationalities *jump in to help him, Whip out phones, point to diagrams.*

Dude: I can’t take y’all seriously y’all don’t sound secure.

All of us femmes except one *glance over phones, smirk, sigh, roll our eyes, make eye contact that says Gurl, return to our bubbles*

The remaining femme, the one who seems to be most over his shit *continues to help him figure out his directions*

Dude *continues to be super whack.* Thanks his helper in a manner fitting of being a dude on a train with a huge ass suitcase.

Of course I have six different stories on the reason why he’s on the train with this huge ass suitcase in the first place. At least 2 being that some femme got sick of his Dudely ways.

Faultlines: Whoops I Didn’t See That Coming

One moment in Jordan Cline’s life tears his entire family apart. He and his cousin Travis have been in a tragic accident. All three of the car’s occupants were terribly injured but what happened? Jordan may go to prison for thirty years because although he says that he was not driving all of the witnesses and all of the evidence point directly towards Jordy. And no one believes him except for his mother. Of course, mother’s never want to believe that their children are capable of terrible things.

Faultlines takes us along for the wild ride that Jordan and his mother’s life are on after the accident. Was Jordan drinking and driving?  If he wasn’t then why is the town hero Officer Huck out to destroy Jordan’s life? Barbara Taylor Sissal has written a mystery that keeps the reader guessing the entire time.

I loved Faultlines, the way that it unfolds kept me engaged and rooting for Jordy and Sandy. I kept wanting him to be innocent even when all of the signs pointed to his guilt. Oh and the climax… I DID NOT see THAT climax coming. I was literally sitting there staring at the book with my mouth wide open.

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Also, That small town attitude that the story describes is XACTLY why I love living in the city. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I gave this story 4 stars and would gladly read another book from this author.

 

Corner Dweller- The Buried Book

I haven’t thrown a book in the corner for quite a while but The Buried Book by D.M. Pulley is going straight into the corner. I would also like them to repay me my time and make my brain stop hurting.

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The story isn’t bad per se… but the characters just got on my last nerve. Uhhhh I guess I should tell you what the story is about before I discuss characters so here goes:

 

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Jasper’s mom Althea drops him off at her brother’s farm to live. She  leaves him there with nothing but a suitcase and a bible. She doesn’t give anyone a real reason for her abandoning Jasper. She’s apparently left him in the past but never for this many days so Jasper begins to worry. He overhears the adults talking about her and figures that she must be in trouble so  Jasper goes on a hunt for his mother putting himself in frequent danger. The entire story is one boringly outlandish incident after another as Jasper, a nine year old boy, hunts for his mother alone

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While on this hunt Jasper finds her childhood journal which he uses for clues to where she may be. He finds himself on Indian Reservations, at bars, and strip clubs during his hunt. The story is outlandish and Jasper’s frequent crying and injuries just add to the outlandishness of the story. You set fire to the barn and burned a house down and didn’t get your ass whooped once from your terrifying christian farmer uncle?- I think not.

I struggle to give this story 2 stars but I managed to eek them out since I completed the book and cared enough about the characters to make it to the end. I do like D.M. Pulley so I’m going to consider this story a fluke…

EDIT: I lied up above where I said that I like D.M. Pulley. When I went to add this title to The Book Corner I see that the last book that I added to that list was The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley. My bad. I shall now avoid D.M. Pulley like I avoid people with unvaccinated children. *Kayne Shrug*

Grist Mill Road: A Wild Ass Ride

Christoper Yates’ Grist Mill Road is a weirdly entertaining wild ass ride. Every time you think to yourself, “this story can’t get any crazier” or “these people can’t get any weirder” Yates unveils another level of hurt, betrayal, misunderstanding, violence and resentment.

In 1982 a group of friends suffer a traumatic ordeal where one of them is seriously injured by another one. In 2008 we meet this fractured group of friends again living their own lives under the shadow of what happened all  of those years ago. Why did it happen? What actually happened? Who was really there? And what’s next?

The story jumps back and forth from 1982 to 2008 giving us background and telling us their version of the story in the three character’s, Patrick, Hannah, and Matthew, voices. Sometimes this method of story telling can be a little dizzying but Yates weaves the story together magically.

I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride the entire time and give the story 4 Stars.

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*I was given an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Black Girls Don’t Have Eating Disorders.

I’ve just finished working out with my trainer, in front of my house, something I do twice a week. For almost two years twice a week we meet here, underneath my carport where we do a mixture of kickboxing and cardio. I realize that this is some privileged shit. That I’m even more privileged and once more during the week on Sundays I meet him at a gym for bootcamp. Oftentimes I’m the only person at bootcamp so I get another private personal training session. But I don’t feel privileged.

I feel scared. Nervous. Stressed. I’m stressed about my body. A stress that I’ve been dealing with for more than twenty years. An obsession that if I’m not careful could kill me. I have an eating disorder. One diagnosed by my psychiatrist after my divorce when I casually mentioned that I was at least eating more often. To which she wanted to know:

Do you not eat often?

How long have you been doing that?

Do you binge?

Purge?

How often do you weigh yourself?

How many diets have you been on in the last year?

What do you eat in a typical day?

How often do you exercise?

Twice a day? For how long? And ordered: Let’s keep a food journal.

Of course, I didn’t. I didn’t need a food journal. I didn’t have an eating problem. I had an “I just lost my spouse problem.” So I quit going to her. She obviously didn’t know how to do her job. Besides, Black girls don’t have eating disorders.

On the one hand I’m a nurse and I know that anyone of any gender, race, and socioeconomic class can suffer from an eating disorder but on the other hand, I’m black. We don’t DO eating disorders. That’s some white people shit. Some middle class shit. Which, as I think about who taught me how to eat every other day, how to eat whatever I wanted and throw it back up later, how to stick a toothbrush down my throat until I learned to vomit on demand, how to over exercise and under eat- a group of black girls on a cheerleading squad, black girls definitely do DO eating disorders.

But It’s under control. I have not weighed myself in over a year. I eat daily. I haven’t purged in years. I’m cured Or so I tell myself. But I’m obsessed. I spend hours a week in front of the mirror looking at my body. Assessing the weight distribution. Is that muscle? Is my belly fat? Are my boobs getting smaller or bigger. I obsess about food. Eat secret meals that I buy with cash so my wife is unaware of what all I’ve eaten then throw the bags in the front trash can where she never looks or at gas stations on the way home. Then I obsess about what I’ve eaten for days. For months. And I know that this too, this obsession with my body composition, with every calorie that I’ve put into it, is in fact an eating disorder. I wonder, how long it’ll take until I convince myself to abstain from food or even worst to purge.

I feel lonely in this journey. I’m not super skinny so I don’t fit in with those girls and the thick girls, well I’m not quite thick enough. So I don’t pipe up when they discuss how difficult it is to find good bras, or how happy they are about their weight loss, about their inch loss. On more than one occasion, on more than one thread I’ve received the message. The shut yo skinny thick ass up you can’t sit with us message. So I suffer in silence. Drive my wife crazy with questions, Do you see it? Do I look skinnier? Is all of my hard work obvious? I fret that I’ll drive her crazy. That eventually she will leave me, for someone with a higher self esteem. For someone who loves their body. For someone skinnier.

I’ve looked up the stats on eating disorders in black women and not surprisingly there are none. Exact statistics on the prevalence of eating disorders among women of color are unavailable. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “Due to our historically biased view that eating disorders only affect white women, relatively little research has been conducted utilizing participants from racial and ethnic minority groups.” Even though sociologists recognize that black women suffer from eating disorders they don’t have enough data because for a very long time, even for scientists, black girls don’t have eating disorders. At least until now.

*

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Around March 18 2016

 

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Around October 15 2017

For the record my trainer is amazing and I can see the difference in pictures from before I started working out with him up until now but I can’t see the difference. (Only someone with an eating disorder will understand that last part.)

What’s Happening In My Neck Of The Woods

Ok, So firstly, there’s a whole ass serial killer running around my neighborhood shooting unsuspecting people dead.NO LIE. And Obviously since it’s happening in the black part of my neighborhood (which most of my neighbors won’t admit is the black part of my neighborhood) there are rumors that the person is a black man. Light skinned. 6 feet something inches tall. AND if the serial killer IS this man then he deserves to be put all the way up under the jail. Once for killing people for no good god damned reason. Twice for all of the black people who are now being terrorized, harassed, and arrested by SWAT, the FBI, Tampa Police Department and every other law force that’s been running around here for weeks.

S/N ALLLLLLL OF THESE PEOPLE BEEN RUNNING AROUND HERE FOR WEEKS AND SOMEONE IS STILL ABLE TO KILL RANDOM ASS PEOPLE IN BROAD NIGHT/DAYLIGHT. – File this under reasons why I know we don’t need military gear on police officers. 

I can’t even talk about this serial killer anymore without getting really upset so hopefully Santa’s ass will be able to find him. My friend Nicole thinks that Santa is the dude for the job since the police are failing miserably. I mean, he does know when you’ve been bad or good so…

I love being an entrepreneur and running my businesses but honestly there are days when I want to punch people that I work with SQUARE in the jaw. Like So:

Like today when I called an employee and was all like “Hey, I don’t have your timesheet. And he responds” Oh, I wasn’t here yesterday. So I’ll pass it on.” And I wanted to respond “NO bxtch. It’s your time. Turn it the eff in.” But I instead just said “No. I need you to send it to me ASAP.” In a professional voice. I would really like to punch him. Unfortunately for me, punching people is frowned upon in most circles.

My best friend sister and I almost exclusively communicate on a video app where I record a video and then she responds with another video. These videos- sometimes long and rambling, sometimes short and ranting are usually the highlight of my day. We live sixty six billion miles away from each other but it doesn’t feel that way. #ThanksCommunicationApps

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My sister Basimah and I when she snuck in to town for my Book Release.

Also, DJ thinks the videos are weird. “Why don’t you all just call each other.” I just smh and roll my eyes. Children can be so judgey.

Speaking of DJ, He’s a member of his school’s Model United Nations Team and hasdecided that he’s going to be on the fundraising committee. He’s raising money to help the team get to Washington DC and I’m super proud of all of the texts, phone calls, and emails he’s sent out attempting to raise funds for his team. My family and friends who’ve been on the receiving end of the give me money calls may not be so happy but ehhhh. *shrugs*

I’m participating in NANOWRIMO but since my life doesn’t always allow for typing on a computer every day for writing stuff, I’ve been mostly writing in my journal and on my phones notes app. I can’t tell you where I am on the word count but I have been writing everyday and for me that’s more than enough

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OH, and I got another rejection letter to a fellowship I applied for. YAY ME.images.jpeg

Lastly, my dogs are still out of their minds. I’ve just realized that almost every corner of my house has been nibbled on by these two love bugs. Good thing I plan on living here forever, even with the serial killer. * Le Sigh*