Showing posts from 2005

Old Skool Sounds

-by Male guest blogger

OK, so I was teaching my kids how to download songs and do the digital music things using Napster. For grins, I started searching for songs I enjoyed when I was a teen.....yeah, I went WAY back to the birth of commecial hip-hop. I pulled down music like Planet Rock, White Lines, Cool (by The Time), Gas Face, Roxanne/Roxanne, and several others. I reminisced with artists like Kool Mo Dee, Dana Dane, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, BDP, Eric B. & Rakim, etc. Now as I did this, I shared memories about being a DJ when I was in high school when rap was this cool new thing, and cuttin' and scratchin' was "the thing". Now my boys were all born after 1990, so I know the only record player they have seen was in a museum and they honestly thought that Patrice Rushen was singing the Will Smith song rather than Will Smith sampling the original "Send Me Forget Me Nots". They think about Motown music historically because of stuff they have been taught in …

MENK & Pearls Getaway Retreat

Join me and my Friends at the M.E.N.K. & Pearls Getaway Retreat

Meld compassion with intellect
Erase fear with faith
Never confuse pride with power
Know love will never fail

April 21-23
Galveston, Texas
Moody Gardens Hotel & Conference Center

Early Registration Fee:$199Rooms:$149 per night (dbl occupancy)It’s time to discover just how Fantastik you really are.Please join bestselling authors, Lori Bryant-Woolridge, Nina Foxx, Carmen Green and guest, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, as we embrace the M.E.N.K. mentality during a relaxing weekend of female bonding and Fantastik fun. From meditative walks to thought-provoking workshops to our smashing Goddess dinner, we've got your mind, body and soul covered. We’ll talk, we’ll laugh.We might even shed a tear or two.But when we leave, we’ll do so even more Fantastik than when we arrived! Pearls of Wisdom Workshops include: * Sensual Woman, Sexy Mama * Living Your Life Like It’s Golden ** Help! I’ve Turned into My Mother * A Lover is a Man…*Y…

Mistletoe & Urban Style

This is the time of year for mistletoe and Christmas Trees, Christamukkah candles and Black cake. (Not cake for black people, but West Indian Black cake made with fruit that has been soaking in rum or brandy for a hella long time). And for me, its also the time of year for approving changes on copyedited manuscripts. I always seem to get mine back around the end of the year. This is the point in the process by which a manuscript becomes a book where an editor corrects typos and grammatical errors and asks the writer to clarify what they don't understand. A few times this year I found myself laughing out loud at the copyeditor's queries. I realized that just because a person lives in a major metropolis such as such as New York, it does not guarantee that they will always understand the urban lingo or even venture outside of their homes to mix with the local folk. Or maybe understanding the lingo is like dancing to popular music. Once you reach a certain age that hip gene just t…

Maleness (Guest Blogger)

Secret Blog-Man had a few words to ponder about maleness. Your remember him, he blogged about metrosexuality.

Maleness. Lately I've been fascinated with maleness. Actually that's a lie, what I've actually been fascinated with is Madison Avenue's fascination with maleness and what it means to women, men and most importantly advertisers. Now I do get pulled into it, seduced by the magic of a well-crafted message of a well-targeted luxury/high end product that is made just for a guy like me (or maybe the guy I aspire to be some day when I've arrived). My interest was renewed when Men's Vogue came out a few months ago, and it has recently been sparked again by an article I read (" based off a new book (The Future of Men). It amuses me that in one breath men #1 have everything, #2 rule the world, and #3 yet we are also #4) insensitive and aloof, #5) unstylish and out of shape and #6) dispassionate…


A good friend of mine is producing a Christmas Cantata for a large church where he lives. It's the type that is full of actors and animals and resounding music, a lavish production. I called him on the set earlier this week to see how it was going. Usually a happy person, he sounded more reserved than I ever remember him being.
"How's it going?"
"Um. Okay. " I could almost hear him rubbing his forehead through the phone. "Its been a long day."
"Really? You love this stuff. Is everything okay?"
He sighed heavily. "Well, it'll work out. I'm just having a problem with one of the actors."
I laughed. "Is he union?"
"Then I don't see what the problem is. Fire him. It can't be too hard to find another Angel or King of Orient or whatever."
He laughed now. "Hold on."
I heard yelling in the background. "AHHHH!"
"What happened? I didn't mean now. Is ever…

Jingle Jinx

The holidays brings out the interesting in a lot of people. You learn who gets depressed during the holidays and who turns into a holiday zealot full of enthusiasm for all things merry. You also learn who is vicious in the event of a shortage of something they really want.
Personally, I try to do all of my shopping on the phone or online. I am a professional shopper, I must admit, but I hate holiday crowds. Still, a kid who still believes in Santa Claus will bring out the mission shopper in all of us, even me. You see, elves can make anything, so there are no shortages at the North Pole, even if it is a hot item like an I-dog. Those damn things were sold out everywhere, and I-dog clothing? Forgeddaboutit until FEBRUARY.
I was asked repeatedly, "Are you sure you paid enough into the Elf Security Fund this year so that Santa will bring the top five things on my list?" (I believe in politically correct fantasies. "Yes, dear, fat butt Santa slides down that little chimney and…

Femme Fantastik News

Femme Fantastik Tour Says Good-bye to Three Great Authors
As with everything in this world, both great and small, change must come. The Femme Fantastik Tour is saying good-bye to three wonderful authors--Victoria Christopher Murray, Marissa Monteilh and Jacquelin Thomas. We want to extend to them our warmest and most sincere "thank you" for making the inaugural year of the Femme Fantastik Tour such an amazing one. They have been consummate professionals and better yet, supportive friends and colleagues. We all had a great deal of fun together his past year and we wish them all the best in the future and know our paths will cross again. We hope, as the Tour moves forward, you will continue to support these truly gifted writers. You've been hearing from the Femme Fantastik Tour about our upcoming events in 2006--our M.E.N.K. & Pearls Getaway Retreat in the spring and Femme U Writers Workshops in the fall, please be aware that Victoria, Marissa and Jacqueli…

Hair Drama

People do things to you and you forgive them, right? I walked into Luxe Apothrtique (used to be The Beauty Store) today to look for some gifts. As I rounded a corner I happened to peer into the salon in the back. I caught a glimpse of a male stylist and thought to myself, well, he looks just like the guy that made my hair fall out a few years ago.
I had a flashback right then. People talk about their lives flashing in front of their eyes, but this is the first time it ever happened to me. Now, like Oprah says, every Black woman has hair stories and although I have certainly found my groove in the past five or so years with my locks, I have had my share of hair Trauma. For instance, I was one of those Rio people that wanted bouncing and behaving hair as a result of using a so-called "Natural" product. I used it and after my fingernails turned green, my hair bounced right off my head and onto the floor.
Well, After a few years of wearing a weave 'cause I had to, my hair grew…

DVR is back! I'm rescued

I had to put my foot down.

There would be no more waiting for new technology in this mouse. Either he would go out and get one or I would. Eithe way, there would be some TIVO up in my house before we went to bed. He laughed at me, did some internet searching, and then with a sigh he set out on his quest. He finally reaslized I was serious. I refused to be a slave to the television anymore. I would not watch in realtime, suffer through commercials or miss another episode of Nip/Tuck or Desperate Housewives because the kids were still awake. And no way was I going to catch them on re-run day. That is like watching football only on instant replay.
He was gone about an hour, then sheepishly crept back into our house, new box in hand. I waited patiently while he set it up and then placed the call to Direct TV so they could activate the new unit. I looked over at my other half and stretched out my hand.
'Let me have the remote." I knew that if I let him go too long, we wou…

Reading List-Again

I have read a lot of books over the past two months. I'm in a book slump right now, there are htings out ther ethat I want to read (okay, I can think of two) but I just can't seem to press send on the Amazon screen to make th books come to me. (Yes, they do have to come to me. I can't possibly go to the bookstore and go get them). The holidays are here so I'm sure I will catch up.
This is what is on my "Just Read" (or Just Heard) shelf since my last update.

1. Skinny Dip. I gotta tell you, this was the longest listen ever. It took too much time to get through, maybe because the reader tried to do every little voice in the book, but I couldnt' stop. It started with the premise that a man throws his rich wife of two years overboard on theri anniversary cruise. That wasn't the good part. The good part was that she lived to torture him.
2.Knockin' Boots by Tracy Price Thompson. Tracy does it again. More explicit sex that usual for her, but it…

TIVO and DVR Hell

We are being forced to watch TV in real time. Our TIVO unit is broken. I knew I was in for trouble when my little kid made the TIVO sound with her lips when a commercial came on. "Boop, boop" has become family speak fpr "Please fast forward through that dang commercial or part that is rated anything above PG." She looked at me with a perplexed look on her face as I tried to explain to her that TV didn't work like that. At least not anymore. She further did not understand that there were no more Scooby Do's on demand. It was about time she found out. She was asking us to "go back" at the movie theater, too. She would have been devasted had I told her that television did not always come in color, huh?
I feel like we are watching TV in slow motion. The sad part is, I am watching commericals with wonder, like I haven't seen them in ages. Well, I guess I haven't.
The upside is that I am not being forced to watch reality shows anymore. …

The Real Deal

Sigh. Leave it to the guest bloggers to tell a skewed story. You knew I would tell you the real deal about the Femme Fantastik in LA. First of all, I am most certainly not going to rehash the limosine story. All I have to say about that is that they should have known things would be a little "special" if they traveled with me. Hell, I was one the one who floated down the road in Houston and ate dinner while a woman shook her parts over me in Atlanta. Obviously they didn't read my blog.
Anyway, for those of you who asked, yes, I did wear Coach shoes, clogs actually. They were VINTAGE (fashion code for about two years old). They are my comfy travel shoes and quite good looking. I am an equal opportunity shoeshionista.
The real fun began after the no-neck-turning limo man left us at our hotel.
Of course we were hungry. No one really gets food on airplanes anymore and I refuse to eat another SouthWest peanut, so we headed to one of our hotel's restaurants. The plan was we w…

Bootleg Limosine Ride

This time by Carmen Green -
Cross Posted from Femme Fantastik BlogThe thing about being a Femme Fantastik Author is that anything goes.You can’t do something and get away with it when you have the wittiest women in the world together.We are going to notice and we are going to talk about you.Let me describe to you the bootleg ride to the fifth power.I arrived in LA and went in search of Nina in baggage claim.Why did I find her sitting down and not with the promised limo driver?I was so excited, I hugged her and then asked, where was the driver.She replied, “Right there, don’t look.”Come on now.Don’t tell me not to look at something.I’m peeping everything.I’m a black suburban woman who doesn’t get to see much in Duluth, Ga, so I looked, and didn’t see a thing.I was like, ok then.I told her I was going to get my luggage and to wait for me.I walked through the doors and waited at the wrong carousal for my bags.Just as I began to lament America West, a man came up to me and said “Ms. Foxx s…

True Celebrity is Only Limo Ride Away

-By Lori Bryant Woolridge (Cross posted from the Femme Fantastik Blog)

We're sending a car." Sweet words to every mid-list author's ears.

Before the story begins, let's be clear about why ground transportation is such a desirable perk. For A-List authors, your E. Lynns, Terrys, Erics, Grishams, Pattersons, Tans, a sleek, shiny, limo waiting to pick them up at the airport and whisk them off to their scheduled events is a given. Doesn't matter if they are on official book tour or doing some other event in between releases. A car and driver is part of the package (you know, the requisite big All-5 package--five figure honorarium, five star hotel, etc).

On the other hand... for fabulous, up-and-coming authors (like the Femmes), after the official, publisher sponsored, book tour is over, we're pretty much on our own when it comes to most promotional appearances. So when some event planner tells you they're sending a car to meet you at the airport, it's all goo…

Texas (!) Book Festival

I had the honor of speaking about my latest book at the Texas Book Festival this past weekend. I went down on Saturday support another author presenting on a panel and her room was full. I noticed immediately that my kids and I were about the only African Americans in the room. The capitol was packed with throngs of people and one glance at the list of authors let you know that the organizers of doing something right. The list was a veritable who's who of the book world, studded the names of the Literati. But as I walked through the festival and around the Capitol grounds, it became obvious that something was missing. Regular folk.
Now, Texas is what, 60% minority? But the Book Festival was probably 96% white. It looked more like the Austin Book Festival than the Texas book Festival. Very few authors, very few participants (at least those that I could recognize) were Asian, African American or Hispanic. They did have a Hispanic program somewhere off to the side, I'm told. I kn…

Deperate Housewives Coyote Ugly

I just recovered from the cruise. It took a couple of days for my head to stop swimming. The cruise was great, lots of book friends but it was soooo tiring. Pictures are posted on my website, under pictures 2005.
The authors on board were great speakers and the book club members were exceptionally warm. I met several ladies from Circle of Friends (again) and Tabahani from LA. I had the honor of swimming with them in the blue, blue waters of Los Cabos and sharing jelly fish stings. It was all good though, and, no, I didn't let anyone pee on me to help the pain. We survived. We took a water taxi back to the ship. Some locals helped us onto the small boats from the beach, felt us up, then wanted a tip for patting our butts. I don't think so.
This was a working trip for me, but the best part was meeting new friends. I had the honor of meeting Bernice McFadden (again, but this was the first time we talked) aka Geneva Holliday. She had her lovel…

Good Books on The HIgh Seas

I am on the African America Summit at Sea on the Carnival Pride now. We set sail yesterday afternoon from Long Beach and it was good to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Some of the folks here I haven;t heard from since the big Texas Evacuation a few weeks ago. They are much happier now, knowing that their homes did not float away. I haven;t had a chance to blog about evacuation Texas style. When we got work that Rita was on its way, I got a call from a friend. All she said was, "You now, I may me coming your way in a day or so." It didn't even dawn in me to say no, especially when they called back to say they were definitely coming and they were bringing my favorite martini olives. Now, that's a hostess gift. I went to the store and braved the mobs to prepare for the inevitable influx of coastal friends.
Well, needless to say, although Houston is no more that a couple hours drive, they finally made it almost twelve hours later and a supermarket shopping f…

Heavenly Torture

I have been in the exercise doldrums lately. My body has been yawning at everything I threw at it, so I decided to try something new this morning. I wanted to go to Hot Yoga. Everyone seemed to be talking about it so why not give it a try?
First, I have tried yoga before and the only practice that kept my interest for an extended period of time was ashtanga, or power yoga. The other styles were just too slow. I mean, I guess I am exercise impatient like a lot of other folks. I want a work out to feel like a work out with no time in the middle to fall asleep. I like fast sports and running, so it was hard to understand how somehting so slow and quiet was going to benefit me.
I knew I was reluctant to go when I forgot my purse at home two times, but finally I made it to the studio. I opened the door and the heat hit me in the face. It has been well over 100 degrees here for quite a few weeks, and today was the first cool day in a long time. We got down to 80, but my skin almos…

Choo-ed Manolo Up and Spit him Out

Okay, so when I go on tour I make sure to visit my favorite stores in all the cities. The list isn't usually too long and I spend a lot of time (if I have any spare time at all), in my hotel room. I want to contrast two cities.
Let's flash back to Dallas. I had a minute in between booksignings so I high-tailed it over to Jimmy Choo in Highland Park Village. I can't remember what I had on, I think some brown pants with a matching military jacket, and I know I had some Manolos on my feet, not flashy ones, but the ones I travel in. The minute I walked into the store, all three people in three people looked up, including one woman I had not met before (her name was Omaira and she was quite the snazzy dresser). The other two, called out my name lovingly, "Nina". Of course they would, I'm a regular. (Check the archives). We exchanged chit chat about shoe trends, and then I noticed the absolutely fabulous lizard bags they were doing this year. Took my breath away. Bu…

MetroSexual Mania

I've heard lots of talk about the "New Metrosexual" Man, and I wanted to meet him, get inside his head, so I invited a friend to comment on what makes a male fashionista, or more properly put, a Fashionisto. This is what he had to say:

"You are so....metrosexual," one of my so-called better friends and a self-professed, shoe-shinista told me when I told her I was reading Men's Vogue and totally digging this a of Prada oxford shoes. Initially I was offended -- after all, can't a brotha admire a nice pair of shoes? Then I reflected on what she said a bit more deeply. I think it's natural for most men to be defensive when confronted by ANY "-" sexual other than hetero. Being neither "bi", "homo", or "metro", I focused more on why she lobbed that bomb at me.I was reading Men's Vogue. I was admiring very nice shoes. Guilty on both counts. By some perfect storm of demographics, magazine readership, and American …

Tears for New Orleans

I have been shocked speechless by the events in New Orleans. Or should I say non-events? Its been a week since Hurricane Katrina hit and the news is still showing people stranded on their rooftops. Why? Wasn't FEMA supposed to rush in? Bodies are floating in the streets. They say that the breaks in the levies have been plugged with giant sandbags and that the water is going to start going down now. Air boats are moving through the streets, still trying to find people. They estimate that the death toll is going to be in the tens of thousands. The city has been abandoned (supposedly). There are no jobs, no resources, no electricity and won't be for awhile.

Let's look at some numbers. The first permanent settlement in the New Orleans drainage basin was in the early 1700's. Even then, the settlers were advised that a unique problem was presented by putting a settlement in that area. It was, after all, a basin. New Orleans today was about 60% Black, with a poverty level abou…

Kung Fu Comedy

I took a minute or so to watch a movie last night. It was Kung Fu Hustle. I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Was it a musical? Would we see disco dancing a la John Travolta or was I going to see fighting choreographed so well I thought they were dancing?
It started out with brutal slayings in a surreal looking street set, including one where a scared young woman is shot on the back and blown across the street. And then the Axe Gang danced like a Broadway scene. Parts were pretty guesome; decapitations, squashed feet, severed limbs, but in the end my daughter and I laughed so hard we were crying. The movie was like Jackie Chan meets Boradway and looney Toons with a smidget of Crouching Tiger thrown in for balance. A couple of times characters ran so fast that their legs appeared to be nothing more than a whirling circle, and they flew through the air spread in full arabesque. After it was done, it seemed to be more of a commentary on the shrew landlady with the big mout…

Peach Fez

Hmm. Hotlanta again. This was my first visit to Georgia's peachy heart since last year. I had come to expect great things after my least visit when the Femme Fantastic was born. (see Marrying Up's Little Black Book), but the city was so sweltering that all I wanted to do was stay in my little Buckhead Hotel room instead of going out to hunt for adventure or even mall treasure. My escorts had other plans and they finally convinced me to dress coolly and venture out onto the strip.
They didn't tell me where we were going at first, it was only promised that I would be fed and that I would have a good time. I was tense, but trying to go with the flow as I watched from the car window, taking in the sites as we crept past the Atlanta lights.
It goes without saying that Buckhead is trendy. We passed by several Starbucks, a slew of upscale hotels, a chain bookstore and scores of other places with original names like Uranus. Uranus was next to another place called Tongue in Groove an…