Monday, December 26, 2016

Excerpt from Vol III: ‘Luck’

...


Two years of living in Queens, and I hadn’t made it: I didn’t have any dependable friends, unless you count the pre-med students I sold to; couldn’t sit still long enough to prove everyone wrong by writing the next ‘Great American Novel;’ and couldn’t afford to leave. I was on a park bench, eating a gourmet meal of assorted mints, in the company of two black garbage bags the evidence clerk had shoved all of my ‘approved for release’ items into. That is when it happened.

I hadn’t heard them running. They hadn’t cried out for help.

Dressed in dark, muddied clothing, no more than a foot from the bench, they collapsed in the grass. The whispers I heard about tents and “going back to our park” gave them away: occupy protesters.

When morbid curiosity finally disguised itself as Good Samaritan duty, I walked over and saw the holes in them. Rubber bullets. Hand in hand, they shared possession of the evidence, awaiting the tomb of rigor mortis.

Two men. One wore a red flannel shirt, had a shaved head and scraggly gray beard, which added a touch of character to his blotted-with-pimples and graying skin. The other had brunette locks and was still taking in air, weakly, despite the blood spilling from his chest—mingling with the shallow puddle at his partner’s side. I knew then.

They were my ticket. 

-- End Except--

Happy reading,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Update: The State of What This Is

On the USA being exactly who we thought it was: 

Self-care is such a necessary and beautiful thing. Based on the calls and reactions from the election night results, in the midst of reading/writing think-pieces and pointing fingers (if you voted for a 3rd party candidate—that's your right, and while I disagree with taking that action in this election—you have an ally and defender in me), please remember to allow people the space and time for it today, tomorrow, and the next day.


Also, to the amazing organizers, socio-economic revolutionaries, 'not quite sure but always in support of dialogue and active listening’ allies, and, fellow LGBTQ family and POC that I'm so very proud to know: we're going to be alright. It may take what feels like 1 too many days of rest during about 1460 of endurance, but together, we'll pick up the ground lost and then some.



On Down On The Other Street Volume III: 

I love this book .I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to say good-bye to this series, it has been such a wild but wonderful catharsis for me. However, I recognize that it must and will be done. That said, I do apologize, but there will be another delay. I need a bit more time practicing self-care following the USA elections. When Vol III is released, I want to be able to celebrate as a writer, while working to resist and revoke the unacceptable tides reemerging in the country as an activist. 


As always, thank you for your kindness and patience.


Happy reading, 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

How The Fall Turned Winter

Revised for the fifth time, she whispered, “And, now? Do you love it?”

It’s seven in the morning and I’m surprised she’s taken my call, patiently listening, again, as I explain why Volume III hasn’t been released.

There's a .pdf of Volume III staring at me from my computer screen. Wrapped in a blue blanket, watching the steam rise from my tea, I tell her the truth.

“Yeah, but I got this new idea.”

“The story you weren’t sure about adding?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re putting it in?”

“No.”

“No?”

“No, I’ve got a different idea.”

“This is why you’re single.”

She’s always good for a laugh at unfortunate hours to be wake.  I tell her, again, why I don’t want Volume III to end on its current note. After a little 'I told you so' teasing and unrelated prodding to ‘buy a goddam ipod,’ she tells me what I already know. For me, and hopefully you, Volume III is worth the wait. 



Down On The Other Street: Volume III 
December 2016 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Non-Definitive Guides & Release Dates



Volume III

                   Vol. III

                            Volume Three

I am utterly thrilled that it’s almost time to prepare the countdown for Down On The Other Street: Vol III. This series has been such an amazing journey for me as a writer that I can honestly say I’ve been proactively mourning its end. 

I can’t wait to openly heap praises on the many hands that were involved, and share the details behind each stories inspiration. However, those days won’t arrive until we leave the heat of summer for the brisk winds of fall. I hope you’re as still as excited as I am, and that you find Vol III to be worth the wait.

In the meantime, I do hope you find time to check out an article I wrote for Philadelphia Print Works. Titled "Your Activism Might Be Bullsh@!: ANon-Definitive Guide", if you’ve ever wanted a quick—yet firm—glance into my personal politics, or, a handy go to when trying to suss out the red flags for BS activism, this article may be for you.


Much love and happy reading,


Monday, June 27, 2016

Where Are You?

Legs tapping against gray fabric awaiting permission to deplane in Detroit.

Stolen glances and imagined kisses in Los Angeles.

Picking up speed and losing gracefully in the sands of Oahu.

Staring down at the coast, wondering if love had ever been that close at the top of 
Diamond Head.

Reading edits from the hotel balcony, accepting the answer was no.

Cringing at the water’s cold hands.

Jumping against the waves—pretending to forget I wasn’t in swim clothes.

Sifting through books at the local store.

Double fisting weak drinks at the Luau.

Hugging family like I had forgotten them in another life.

The voice said, “Where am I?”

Strolling through airport security.

Chugging down mimosas before the plane pushed off for the runway.

Waving goodbye—promising to call, and, maybe write.

Tangled in a thin blanket on the way to Detroit.

Laughing at the birds that always manage to creep inside the airport.

Waking up in Ohio.

Reading the book I never knew I could right.

“Here, that is where I’ve been,” I said.

“Oh,” the voice replied, “Have you come to stay this time?”


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Things I Learned As Volume III Came To Life

A.

I love writing short stories about women—especially non-heteronormative women of color.

 A1.
I believe that anyone who lives and identifies as a woman is a woman. And, that means explaining to the ‘devil’s advocates’ in my life that if one identifies as a woman, then, they inherently live as one and vice versa. I also like to assure them that there is no fabulous grand prize that comes with womanhood—unless you count the constant state of folks trying to usurps agency over your body and ‘inalienable’ human rights in general.

B.
Volume III, I believe, is the greatest representation of that love, and, I am so very thankful for the team of people that helped make it happen.

C.
Sitting down and making a story board for each potential short story is the gift that keeps giving. It allows me to get excited for the long process of plopping down and trapping my imagination on the page, and, makes it easier to put ideas on the cutting board.

C1.
In the drafting phase of V3, I finally gave into the concept that some follow up short stories should be shelved until there is time to write the potential novel that awaits—re: the Blue Bullet

D.
The composition of a name can be allowed to run deeper than the who/what a person is--I'm not a fan of that.

D1.
This series came from the hidden desire to write narratives that could have eased my journey through adolescence. While I think names are amazing plot devices, DOTOS inclines to use them as what they tend to be in some folks everyday reality: a social constraint that impedes establishing agency over their personhood. 

E.
If the chance presents itself to write about amazing figures or organizations in history, I’ll do it. Especially if there’s no wealth of knowledge readily available about them.

E1.
It took a while to realize that shining lights on institutions/figures is not synonymous with being in solidarity for and/or against their ideals. It is, however, a means to start a conversation. For instance, in V3, one of my favorite stories in the entire series, “Adoration”, features this dialogue:

"You ever notice how when it’s time to talk real politics—like tonight—nobody ever spouts off about MLK or Gandhi? It’s like they’re just there when people want to derail from issues. You know?"

F.
Fall. I’d like to release V3 in the fall. If only because I need a little more time to say goodbye to this series.



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Party Down: A Second Look At Caroline

Happy commercial holiday to all you lovers out there! I hope you too enjoy the post-affection 50% off chocolate sprint in stores tomorrow too. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy an extended sneak peek at 'Caroline':


Now!

No! Not there—higher!

Yes!

Fight! Fight Back!

Blood has never tasted good. Not in the eighth grade when I fell and busted my lip after missing a penalty kick; or, when Jessica Chase thought it be hot to make-out after a botched at-home tongue piercing…I wonder where she is now. She was a good kisser, blood geyser and all.

Forget her!

You need to fight!

You need to focus.

She wasn’t my first anything—and, yet, I managed to stay in the closet until I was twenty-eight. There is never a right age for your mom to borrow your phone and discover your girlfriend’s newly delivered nudes. Then again, it’s not Thanksgiving without arguing over breast at the table.

Come on!

Don’t tongue around for loose teeth.

Move!

I called her crying. She held me. Mint, coffee, and faint flowery perfume—I stood in my parent’s driveway for too long clinging to the comfort of that scent. I have always loved the way Caroline smells…She would do this for me. She would keep me safe.

Elbow. To. The. Neck. 

----End Excerpt

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Party Down: V3 Sneak Peek

Amazing readers, 

I thought the best way to end January and kick off the months leading up to Volume III's release, would be an early  peek at "Us & Them: Power Lines".  More to come soon-ish:



Our new house was just for me. It was a school for children. Papa said it would make me better. I didn’t know that I was sick.

Mama gave me a bag of apples and told me to be good.

I don’t remember much of it.

I made friends, but they were all boys. Girls only got to be friends after the ninth session in the room. Brandon was sent to visit after my fourth.

With chewed lips, shaggy hair, and red eyes, I almost didn’t recognize him. Mama gave him a bag of apples too. She said that I needed to try harder, so I could come back home, when I thanked her for him. He was too busy crying.

I didn’t understand until he curled up on the floor, and she left.

Brandon had to stay.

He was not a spy. Not like the man in the stories. Spies wouldn’t go to the room. Spies would never cry or beg for help. Spies don’t try to escape before they’ve gotten in.

I didn’t protect him. I couldn’t. He didn’t listen to the white coat men. He was too sad—too cried out to do anything.


They said it was my fault. They sent me back to the room.

_____________

Happy reading,