You Miss Me When I’ve Flown

tumblr_ncddibEzmQ1sjh130o3_500Some one asked me what I wanted for Christmas and my response was, time. I don’t mean in the sense of getting a new watch (which would fabulous) but in the sense that I simply don’t care for material possessions as I once did. I guess as I look at the increasing number of grey hairs in my beard, I begin to think about things I’ve done and not done and things that I’ve said and not said.

Time can be our greatest asset and our worst enemy all rolled into one. It has allowed me to suffer with horrid decisions while healing the pain in the end. It has allowed me to cultivate a passion and love the people who mean the most to me. However, there are times that I feel that it isn’t enough. I feel, at times, that I do not have all the time I need.

When we buried my aunt last month, it was my mother that looked at everyone and said, “I thought I had more time.”

That the thing isn’t it? We all wish we had more time. There seems to be a universal trait with all humans that time is something that could be more valuable than money. There is certain amount of privilege that comes with being young if we measure time in units of value.

When were are young, we are frivolous with it. We waste it on meaningless things and yet we can be generous with it when it suits our needs. When we get older we start to clutch on to it. We want to save it and keep in safe. We watch and monitor our valuable units of time slowly whisk away until we have nothing left.

Until I am measured I am not known,Yet how you miss me when I have flown. This is the reason why I seem to watch television less and less. The reason why I feel the need to write as many books as I can. Time is a universal truth, a rule that cannot be broken by any science, magic, or religion. We will spend it one way or another but really the question is how much of it will we waste until its too late?

I submit to you all that its not just life that is precious, it’s also time. Wasted time is a crime in itself and that’s why it hurts so much when someone dies. Not only is their life gone but their units of time is gone as well. While we mourn an older person who has left us, there is a spirit of celebration due to the good times shared. But when a young person goes via murder, disease, or an accident…then the pain is compounded because future time is now lost.

We can say Black Lives Matter but what we really mean is Black Time Matters. Think about all the wasted time (as a people) in bondage, or battling racism, or dealing with poverty, or dealing with things that cannot be afforded. That is why genocide is so horrible because time is stolen from future generations.

Maybe I’m getting sentimental, after all I did turn forty this year. I’ve had an eye on just about everything that has been happening around me. It is hard to stop and smell the roses for fear of wasting time.

At the end of the day, I’m still reminded of an old discussion I wrote about in 2011 where someone told me, we all make time for what we want.

The Punchline

BLMI laugh. Everyday I laugh because someone or something inevitably happens that proves various points that I’ve been making. This doesn’t make me smarter this just means I’m observant. The thing is… I laugh because I see where we are in this world and it’s a joke to even think for a minute that people will be able to accept difference in other people.

When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek there was this thought that at some point in the near future “mankind” would put aside it’s petty differences and we would view each other as equals thus spawning an age of peace where we would embark on exploring the galaxy. How funny is that? His vision may not have been wrong in the sense that of our evolution as a people may be based on us accepting diversity.

That is the punchline. That is our ultimate fate and the reality is that the world around us is crumbling and no one really cares because it’s not making them money. It’s not cost effective to accept diversity, or to lower our carbon emissions, or pay women equal wages, or to save the bees, or consider transgender rights, or to simply have affordable healthcare. It’s certainly not cost effective to hold our police officers accountable. Which means the world as we know it will probably end and not by some meteor that killed off the dinosaurs. Our world is ending because people simply forgot what it is to be human.

I laugh when people on my Facebook wall want to talk about how I point fingers or I incite people with posts about racism. I fucking crack up when people think that we’re delusional (meanwhile they eat, sleep, and drink Fox News) because we must believe everything we see and we must follow Al Sharpton. Then it hit me, people are terrified. CNN was amazed at how the protestors in NYC last week were so peaceful and moved with such purpose. They searched for a leader. Take me to your leader. Why are they searching? Because there is this thought in the back of people’s minds that we must have a leader because thousands of people can’t possible do any of this on their own. I laugh.

Having a leader means that people can focus on a person to blame or perhaps someone to take down in the media. Many people think Al Sharpton is a joke and are happy to rip him as the leader of everything thing black, but guess what? People of color are smarter now than ever. Some of us are highly educated with various opinions. Let’s not forget that African Americans got the right to vote in 1965. August 6th 2015 with mark 50 years. FIFTY YEARS. That is not that long ago. We may have needed a leader then but we don’t need one now because we are all leaders and that is some scary shit to the majority.

I laugh at people who suggest that we have progressed and moved on, that people are using the race card for selfish reasons. That makes zero sense because I’m quite sure that all of us would rather be doing something else instead of reminding the world that Black Lives Matter.

So have we truly progressed? Technologically we have done things that we’ve only seen in movies as kids and it’s amazing. Modern medicine has kept us alive longer than ever. We have a space station… A SPACE STATION. That shit is awesome, but you know what?

It all means nothing. Why?

World Hunger. MONEY. Racism. MONEY. Cancer. MONEY. HIV/Aids. MONEY. Sexism. MONEY. Patriarchy. MONEY. White Privilege. MONEY. Climate Change. MONEY. Gender Bias. MONEY. Pesticides. MONEY. I laugh because I hear the walk in music of Ted DiBiase.

Roddenberry might just be a genius. We cannot evolve until we solve our issues and actually BE human.

Welcome to America’s Hunger Games

Mother of Michael Brown Addresses ProtestersThere are many reasons why I don’t watch much television. Take away the fact that cable is insanely expensive. Subtract the fact that all my sports teams have no respect for my life. Just minus the fact that great shows rarely exist and focus on the fact that television has become a tool.

What’s considered good TV? Anything that Shonda puts out? The WWE? The Walking Dead? How about reality shows? Let’s think about reality shows and how “real” they are. I can’t tell if some of these shows are fake but most of these reality stars get paid with the goal of advancing their careers. Perhaps we lost the sense of creativity some where when watching rich people slapping each other around is more popular than sitcoms. But that’s really not the “good TV” we’ve been privy too lately, has it?

The drama we’ve been watching unfold in Ferguson is reality TV. It’s important to note that anyone who has seen this show before knew what was going to happen. There were no such thing as spoilers because we all knew there would be no indictment but things kept dragging on. I knew that there were going to wait until the week of Thanksgiving to make this announcement. Why? Because it made sense in a sick way.

They were gonna wait until the last minute so that people couldn’t make travel plans to Ferguson. I’m sure they thought that the holiday season would make it hard for people to protest…unless there was a desire to have the opposite effect. Think about it, the Governor calls for a state of emergency prompting the national guard to come just days before this announcement. Clearly they expected some thing to go down. Monday rolls around and they tell the media outlets that a verdict will be announced, but no time was given. So that gives the various news channels time to gather. Then they say it will happen at 6pm CST. Then they postpone it until 8pm CST but still have a pre-press conference. This is like the meeting before the meeting.

So the time finally arrives and they makes us wait about 20 minutes before the ever boring District Attorney Robert McCulloch begins to monologue about how everyone else but Darren Wilson is to blame for this mess. The speech was so long that it just seemed like it was all done for ratings. Then, as expected, the no indictment charge is announced and people lose their minds.

Now, one of the most important things here is the timing of all of this. As McCulloch is taking questions there is pop up on the screen saying that Obama is about to speak. Now, if you know anything about presidential speeches, you never know when they will actually start. But just as the clock hit 9:59, McCulloch wraps up and when the 10pm hour hits the President speech starts. Like fucking clockwork. Of course the President goes on TV talking about how people need to remain calm meanwhile on the split screen you see rioters breaking windows of a police car. He mentions “Good TV” in his speech. I’m not entirely convinced that was an accident. I made up my mind right then and there that this was all a coordinated effort to show that people of color are animals.

Also take note that the National Guard was no where to found when buildings started to burn. So what were they guarding? (I know the answer, do you?)

They could have made this announcement in the morning but they knew that if they timed it right, the power of television will distract people, like an Ebola outbreak, from the real issue. We have a problem in this country and not everyone sees it and that’s part of the problem. I’ve made it clear several times over the last few years that everything is about race but many people don’t see it that way, so I guess we’re all just making it up.

Most people believe what’s being presented to them with no question and it is those people that are stuck on the 24 hour news channels as they spill garbage. They are all guilty in some way: Fox News, CNN, & MSNBC for trying to grab that all mighty dollar for ratings. But it is the folks at ABC that get the prize for landing the interview of the year. Darren Wilson gets to tell his story about slaying the demon and the majority eat it up faster than Thanksgiving turkey. Welcome to America’s Hunger Games.

The Book of Isabel #NaNoWriMo

Book of IsabelI started writing my second novel a few weeks ago but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I really got into it. I knew after I was done with the first novel I was going to have to figure out what I needed to do in order to get this second one started because there was no question in my mind that book two was going to happen. I’ve already figured out the theme and the time in which all of this is taking place. I wont confuse anyone so I will just say that the book is about friendships and the strain people put on them.

The Book of Isabel provides some unique challenges for me. The time frame is actually in the present and the past, I wont say that there are flashbacks but more like two stories going on at the same time. Then there are returning character from Hanging Upside Down and having to delve deeper into them than we’ve already seen while introducing some new and crazy characters that will make shit very interesting. I also have the challenge of not making the same mistakes I did with the debut novel. (By the way, this is just a teaser cover…it wont look like this when it’s all done)

It’s not lost on me that this is National Novel Writing Month. I find it interesting that as many times as I’ve tried to write things in past Novembers, it’s only now that (being one book into the game) I know how to focus myself and write. So at the very least, I figured that now would be a good time to start this process again.

I also set a goal that by the time I hit 50, I should have at least 4 books to my name. It is ambitious goal but totally doable. So now it continues and with this book, in which, I had a hard time really getting into in the beginning because I was thinking too much about my current novel that came out last month. Why am I thinking about it too much? Because I am over it already. lol

What I mean by this is that I know in my heart, I’m not cut out for marketing. Sure, I can sell the book one on one. I can promote it on all my social media but I cannot make people buy it. So what should I do? I should write another book. This way I can just concentrate on what I can control. I will still work hard on promoting to people that I don’t know but for the most part if you follow me or even visit this page for the first time, then you know that I have a book out. To be honest, becoming an author was the first goal. Maybe one day something I write catches on but who really knows? I have stories I want to tell and will continue to do so.

There was also a thought that I do have a collection of poems that I have all set to publish. It will need some formatting and some direction (as well as editing) but that is something that is always out there for me. I’ve talked about this to a few people saying that it could be something I just drop in 2015 but I’m really not sure. The problem is that I do not consider myself a poet.

With all that said, I am proud that of what I’ve written thus far. I think I will be taking a emotional look at how men view friendship with men and women alike and what it means to be a true friend. While, Hanging Upside Down deals with love and sex, The Book of Isabel will go beyond that to deal with love and friendship. I personally did not know how to tell my friends that I loved them until after 9/11 but should it take something that drastic to tell someone how you care?

I dunno. I guess I will figure it out as I write it.

Derailed

ID-10089151There is something about death that makes us think about our mortality. When a family member dies this feeling is compounded. The death of my Aunt Clara has put me in a situation where I had to really think about life, death, and the all this importance that we place on menial things. I have been a tad bit derailed by this.

We all knew that she wasn’t feeling well. We all know that the cancer in her body was taking it’s toll on her. I remember when I told her I was writing a book and how I wanted it to come out in the fall of this year but I wasn’t sure of when, she had a genuine look of joy because I was going to be the first author in the family. Clara was the aunt that would tell you exactly how she felt. So, not only did I know she wanted to read this book but she would also ask on several occasions when I’m going to marry my girlfriend and add new children to the family.

Not to say that these were requests of a dying woman because I knew she felt, as we all did, that she would beat this thing but I felt compelled to make sure that this book came out before she left us. I was indeed successful. It was around my book signing in October that she started getting worse. Titi Clara had all intentions on going to La Casa Azul but her body just would not let her. That fact was not lost on me and I said a silent prayer hoping she would be ok.

She made a turn for the worse a week before Halloween and I knew that we were going to lose her. I knew that this horrible thing called cancer was going to win but it did not take her spirit. When I saw in the hospital she recognized me and gave this smile. She asked me how the book signing went. I told her that is went well and she gave me a thumbs up. “You did good,” was something she would always tell me and I know that’s what she meant.

I was there for her last rites. A week later she let go. She is now pain free and with God.

It was a beautiful day when they buried her. I think it’s because this little feisty Puerto Rican woman with a big personality fought the heavens to give us one last day of warmth in November.

I am derailed because as much as I can write about the things in the book and this blog, death is something that is hard to articulate and deal with. The finality of it is such a smack in the face. The days are the same but yet different. Who am I to complain about such small things like television shows or NYC speed limits?

I almost stopped some of my book marketing. I felt posting another quote on my Facebook page was too much but something told me to keep going. I thought about where I am in the second novel and what direction I should take and something told me to keep writing.

Being derailed does not mean I should stop. It means I need to get back on track. I’m sure Titi Clara would agree.

My Books Will Connect

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I had a conversation with someone recently and they mentioned that much of my writing in Hanging Upside Down has a comic book feel to it. There are many cliff hangers from one chapter to the next. I kinda envisioned someone reading this book on their way to work while riding some sort of mass transit so that the end of some chapters would allow people to take break. Anyway, there is a big reason why I wrote this book the way I did.

First, let’s be real, this novel was not the first story I’ve written. It is, however, the first story I finished. There are several short stories that I’ve worked on with complex characters (one of those short stories appears in the book, Chapter Twenty One) and one longer story that I had originally thought would be my first novel.

The Angel of Death was something I was toying with for a few years on and off until I scraped the project and posted what I did have on Goodreads. One of the main characters in that story is in Hanging Upside Down. It has always been my goal to write books in which the characters are interchangeable. Everything I write, at the moment, is all in the same reality. While this may not be a relatively new concept to some authors, this is some what of a big deal to me. This isn’t just about Louis Ortiz and writing several books about him even if the I’m currently writing a follow up novel. This is about the world that surrounds him.

Hanging Upside Down contains a variety of characters I can go back to. I can either use them in a brief appearance or simply have them as the protagonist if I want. To me this provides history I don’t have to make up on the spot. I will always have something to reference to or more importantly, I can go deeper into minor characters that have also appeared in any of the books. I think after book two (which is currently titled The Book of Isabel) there will be a wide variety of characters and different plot options that I will have in my arsenal.

It is, of course, easy for me to think about everything I plan to write in the grand scheme because it’s all in my head. I do think it’s a totally different thing to try to execute this plan. I believe what draws people to read book are characters and themes that are relatable but I also think that if I put in a extra layer of depth that explains how one character acts in one story by explaining it in another story is a very interesting challenge.

This is a comic book way of looking at things. Why is it that Hal Jordan does not appear in Crisis on Infinite Earths? The answer is very simple if you read what happened to Green Lantern prior to that Maxi-Series hitting the shelves. That is what I want to get into in my novel world, a sense of history that goes beyond that current story. There are a lot of names in the current novel and I guarantee that some of these names will come up again.

The Hustle is Real.

MailIn a way I was joking when I mentioned to someone that I was going to start selling my novel, Hanging Upside Down, out of the trunk of my car. I mean with how far technology has allegedly taken us, is there really a reason to have a stash of books with me all the time (sidenote: yes, I carry one copy at all times)? Then I think about the time I was on my way to work and I saw this guy selling his self-published book on the train. That is the definition of hustle, but could that really be me?

A few weeks ago, after my book signing at La Casa Azul, I found myself giggling because here I was with a box of books putting them in to the trunk of my mother’s car. I needed to store them somewhere temporarily since I was not about to carry that heavy ass box to dinner and then back home via taxi. But I knew they were there and as time began to pass and the need to sell more books increased, I knew I had to dip into the stash in the trunk of my mom’s car.

Make no mistake, being a salesman was never my strong suit. In a few past jobs and money making ventures, I had to try to sell something like a consumer good or a phone card (yep…back in the day-before cellphones, I tried to sell phone cards to people…) and it never worked because I didn’t believe in the product. They tell you that you need to do two things, believe in what you sell and always be closing.

The other issue I has back then was the fact that my self esteem was shot. I didn’t believe in myself because I didn’t love myself so imagine me trying to sell you anything. So I went through most of my young twenties not wanting to go into sales. Of course, as I got older I began to realize that we all have something to sell… ourselves. To be quite honest, we sell ourselves when we apply for jobs and go on interviews as such so, at some point, we need to be able to sell something.

So here I am with a product that may just be a culmination of a life’s goal and I’m still learning how to sell myself.

The hustle is real. I find myself doing a book giveaway, posting quotes on social media, having other people post pictures of my book, writing this blog, and doing book readings. However, I never had that “selling the book out of my trunk” feeling until last week. I announced that I would send people a signed copy of the novel if they were willing to send me money via paypal. I’ve come to not judge people at all when it comes to buying books and reading. I know they’re many people who just don’t read for leisure. So, imagine my surprise when I had more than a few takers of this offer.

The hustle is definitely real and while it’s not out of the trunk of my car, it is definitely out of the box in my apartment.

100 Copies

2014-10-04 13.24.55-2I look over the last few weeks and I can see how much I’ve hustled. When I started this process I wasn’t sure what I wanted that magic number to be. I never set a goal of the number of units I wanted to sell. I just wanted to publish a book. Now all I do is find myself looking at numbers and reading guides on “how to sell your novel.”

So now that my travel schedule has calmed down, I can focus on what got me here. While I need to write more, I also need to read more, and ultimately I need to support more.

I have sold 100 copies of Hanging Upside Down and I want to think that’s awesome but something tells me that I can do better. I’ve learned so much about self publishing and I admit that I’ve made a shit load of mistakes. When I’m done with the second book, I will do many of these things differently. Yet, I think that there are things I still have up my sleeve and other strategies I have yet to try.

I view this number in two ways and it really depends on the mood I’m in. On the positive side, I’ve sold 100 books! I mean there were times I thought that I would never go over 40. I know, it’s a great accomplishment to publish a book (even if typos continue to be found — don’t go there) but it’s even better when people actually read it. On the negative side, 100 copies is like nothing in the grand scheme. There are a lot of people within my circle and most of those (between friends and family) make up that number. What I’m really trying to do is step outside that circle into a larger readership.

Regardless of my mood, I’m still my own biggest critic. If anyone is going to criticize anything about the book it will not be something I have not already told myself.

So I will use this number as motivation to get more done. I have opened up most channels available to me in order to sell a book. Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play are all channels where I have taken the time to set up accounts which has led to the book being available. I just need to get people there.

This first book is like an experiment. I see what works and what doesn’t work. The next book will be everything that this novel isn’t when it comes to mishaps. But for now, I just want to try to get to the next 100.

Did I mention I’m doing a Book Giveaway?

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Chapter Fourteen

IMG_8412In a few short hours I will be at my first New York City book reading/signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in East Harlem. It’s interesting because I’m not really nervous. This is unlike many of the events that I work in my day job with the exception of the fact that people are coming to see me. Perhaps the lack of nerves has to do with the fact that I’ve been preparing what I’m going to read at this event.

It’s fair to say that the book is adult in nature. It’s also fair to say that I’ve really tried my best to control how the book is categorized. If you look at where the book is listed on Amazon it just says fiction but my dear friends at Apple have marked my book as Erotica. I don’t view this book as erotica at all. There are books out there in which the premise is for the characters to get down and get it in and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I would like to think that this is a story that contains sexual themes but it is certainly not porn.

Which is why I had to choose what I read very carefully because I want to show the story outside of the sexual theme. There are several chapters in the book that have no sex at all although there is extreme language in the dialogue. I combed through the novel to find just the right amount of the story I need to share that does not contain spoilers. So, what I want to do is share the excerpt of what I’m going to read for those who will not there. This is a small portion of Chapter Fourteen:

It’s about a four hour drive to New York. I prefer taking Route 17 because traffic is always lighter than using I-81 going toward Pennsylvania. It also gives me a great opportunity for some alone time. I normally set up a playlist on my iPod of random songs that range from Hip-Hop to classical music, but this time to start my drive the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album by Kanye West. Music relaxes me while giving me time to think.

I’m very excited to see Zenia. I think about how this whole thing started. We met six years ago while she was an undergraduate student. She was member of the Latino Students Association and I attended one of their forums called The Origins of Quisqueya. It was a brilliant discussion on the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. That was the forum where we first met when her boyfriend, at the time, introduced me. It was a brief encounter and from then on, I always seemed to run into her.

We really didn’t start talking until a year later when she was a senior. She became the president of LSA and asked me to be on a panel discussion about Afro Latino Identity. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart so I gladly accepted. Our mutual interest in Latino Heritage Month is what sparked a friendship especially since she had broken up with her boyfriend the summer prior. She would be a frequent visitor to my office, which was not all unusual since I had many students visit me. What Raina had an issue with was how often I communicated with her via text. I can honestly say that in the beginning the relationship was strictly platonic. There was nothing inappropriate being said or done, it was just a generic friendship that was forged upon mutual interests. She would date one or two guys on and off during this time.

It took me by surprise that she applied to be a Graduate Assistant for my office. The office of Student Programs consists of several smaller departments that revolve around the overall development of students outside of the classroom. My area is Diversity Engagement, which deals with the celebratory months, multicultural student organizations and mentoring. The other three areas are Events Management, Greek Life, and Student Activities. Each area is slotted to have one Graduate Assistant and it just so happened that the position that reported to me had been vacated due to graduation.

One of the most important things that I look for in a G.A. is the ability to do the job effectively. I also needed someone who could help with picking up the slack of meeting and advising undergraduate students. The reason why I hired Zenia was because of her experience as a former student leader and her general ability in computer programming and coding. I had a goal in mind that year which was to overhaul our entire website and have a multifunctional database that would match mentors with students. My previous G.A. had already started on the preliminary designs in terms of color scheme and layout but the project became too big for him to handle. The original thought was to hire a third party company or person to complete the design work, but when Zenia came on-board she expressed a desire to do it and apply it to her Masters Program in Computer Engineering.

Zenia graduated in May and because of the website being overhauled, I was able to get special consideration for her to start in July. I felt that we needed a two month head start before classes began in order to make sure we can launch the website by September and the interactive Mentoring component in January. This is when the both of us saw each other just about everyday. Our working relationship was intense and the schedule was ambitious. Raina took notice as to how increasingly busy I was especially over the summer since that time is normally a dead period. She was already convinced that something was going on.

It wasn’t until after the launch of the website that Judy pointed out that Zenia had a crush on me. I admitted to her that I found Zenia to be attractive but I never thought anything would come of it. Then one night we were chatting casually online when we starting talking about our personal lives. We got on to the subject of past loves and sex. I found myself being very curious about her and her exploits. I never understood why she was presently single. Before you know it we were flirting with each other. We began to talk about everything.

The question that came up was: Are you happy in your marriage? As much as I wanted to say yes to this, it made me think about how much of a bad husband I already was. I had a constant problem with flirting with other women. I just couldn’t get used to the fact that the moment I got married I became interesting to other women. I felt like I spent years being ignored by most women and all of sudden I was getting attention that I wasn’t used to. Years later, I would discover that I was looking for something that my marriage wasn’t providing me. But, answering that question, are you happy in your marriage, was something that I couldn’t answer with certainty.

Why was I not happy? Was it because I was too young to get married when I did? Was it that I was just an asshole who loves women so much that I craved that extra attention? Perhaps it was the fact that I miss the attention I used to get from my mother. Maybe I was looking for something more unique and real. The problem with my faux happiness was that it was killing my marriage slowly and Zenia was shooting holes right through everything by just being the bright ray of light I may have been looking for. She had a Global Warming effect on me and I just chose to ignore it.

Our affair seemed to start with an awkward kiss. We were working late one day and she was sitting at my desk typing away. She called me over to show me some values within the mentoring database. I was looking over her shoulder and I could smell her perfume. It was an intoxicating smell that almost made me kiss her neck right then and there. As we talked, we both looked at each other and I went in for the kiss. Zenia was just about to say something as I kissed her and the whole situation seemed awkward.

I pulled away and her eyes were telling me that she was shocked. She gets up and begins to leave. “Where are you going?” I ask. She replies that she just has to go. I sit down on my chair thinking about how much of a fool I am. I can hear Raina’s voice in my head: it’s only a matter of time before your online flirting becomes reality, ten cuidado. I now wanted to fix this. I didn’t want to lose her as a graduate assistant. All of our flirting gave me an indication that perhaps it might be ok, but I couldn’t be so sure.

I went home feeling terribly guilty. Raina and I had a fight that night. I’m not sure who started it, maybe I gave an attitude about something or maybe she didn’t like the fact that when she called my office Zenia picked up the line. At the end of the night I texted her:

I’m sorry. What I did was unacceptable.

She wasn’t online either. Raina went to bed upset and I just stayed in the living room watching Sportscenter. My phone vibrates and it is Zenia.

I’m sorry I walked out. It just caught me off guard. There is something I need to do now and I was unsure about it until now. I will be in your office in the afternoon around 1pm. I already checked your calendar. You have no appointments.

I wanted to text her back, but I just knew that it might not be a good thing. I should’ve known better. Zenia was stressed about school and the viability of the project in general. Now I throw my dumb ass actions into the mix. I was mad at myself because she’s one of the smartest women I know and the fact that I’m 10 years older than her and married made it worse. I wouldn’t be surprised if she quit the next day.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed that. I have a book giveaway listed here but if you want to purchase Hanging Upside Down you head here and chose the format best for you!

Thanks for the support!

It Was All A Dream…

IMG_8284Hanging Upside Down has a bunch of 90’s hip hop references in it. I wanted to make sure that I honored what I felt was the best time for the genre. But what makes me laugh as I was drinking Merlot the other day (yeah, being an author means I drink wine – I also had a coupon), was that song Juicy from Notorious B.I.G. came into my head as thought about actually making this book a reality. Our paths are not the same but the song talks about reaching his dream.

I think about the late nights and the editing. I think about the times when I thought that it was such a bad idea to even write a single word. There was a time when I thought that everything in this book was dog shit. Somehow I endured with the support system that I have. But I did know one thing for sure: I could do this.

Let’s assume you read the book or at least started to. By now you are wide eyed after reading chapter one. Perhaps you were really not expect things of that nature to happen so quickly or perhaps that situation itself was just surprising. Well, truth be told, chapter one is the key to the entire book. When I first started writing this, it was just a short story. The original title was called Revenge. I was going to add it to the numerous amount of short stories that I’ve written and done nothing with. But there was something in me that decided to just keep going and the story itself had evolved past the original title.

That feeling of I can do this permeated my thoughts as I got closer to 40 thousand words. I remembered about how I had thoughts of one day writing a book and how my past attempts have failed for one reason or another. I really thought with each chapter that something was going to stop me. I thought there would’ve been some sort of self induced writer’s block that would prevent me from finishing this. So, I kept writing to see where this whole thing was going to take me.

Then something happened on the way towards this dream. I could not stop writing! I was starting to think that I was writing too much. Was this story ever going to end? My fear of writing too little became a fear of writing too much. I’m not trying to be like Tolken and write epics that span several novels. I just wanted to tell one story and go from there. What was left was a 400+ page story about a guy who makes bad decisions.

Of course the first question I get is… Are you sure this is fiction? O_O <— my face

In the end, I think that I’ve come up with a product that men who have been in similar situations can relate to. I think women readers will see this as a juicy type of story (see what I did there?) that will be entertaining to say the least. At least, that is direction I’m getting from feedback I’ve received.

Answer: Yes, I’m sure that book is fiction based on things I’ve seen, heard, or done. lol

The real dream is being able to go on Amazon and see my book there. I don’t think that I will every get used to seeing it. I’m not used to book displays or people calling great attention to all of this when I’m around. I suppose I just want the book too speak for itself and that is the real dream.