Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trey Songz - Unfortunate



Every Week, I'll be posting my "Gully Song of the Week" There's always a song that catches my attention that I put on repeat while I write. This is one of them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

WELCOME TO THE TRAP

the Trap n   1 : anywhere I decide to jump out, set up & sell my novels



Examples:

The Beauty Salon- No, you are not safe under the dryer or leaned back with your head in the sink for a wash and set.

The Liquor Store – Yeah, that’s right. If you're ready to get your lean on, I don’t care if I’m right in line behind you to get my own bottle, I’m going to sell you a book. I don’t care if you’re staggering outside the spot, already tipsy, I will sell you a book.

The Nail Salon – Yup, while your tips are still drying, I’ll have you blowing on your fingers or,...... better yet, you just gotta open the purse. Trust me, I’ll take the right amount of money but, I am going to sell you a book.

The Laundrymat – While your clothes are in the dryer, I’ll sell you a book. And don’t think I don’t take quarters because I do!

The Check Cashing Spot – You just cashed your check so DON’T EVEN TRY TO FRONT LIKE YOU AIN’T GOT IT!!!!!!!! (Cheap asses)

The Barber Shop – As soon as I drop a new title, my friends that own shops have my back & support me. Book signings and all that in their spots.

The Block – (My favorite) Any block where there’s a heavy flow of people walking, window shopping or just standing around. I get out, set up & get it in. I love the block & the block loves me right back.

***
I love the Trap but it’s a challenge to face it every day. I always feel like I should be deep in my notebooks with a pen or typing furiously on a keyboard. I have to put all of that on hold to get busy and promote myself. That is no easy task. The YES’s feel great but the NO’s, (especially the ones with attitude) don’t. And please believe me, you get way more No’s than YES’s. But still, I get up every day and thug it out. Why? Because you will KNOW who I am. If they don’t take a book, they’re getting a flyer and eventually, they’ll have seen that book cover so many places that they’ll have to get a copy. Yeah, you can write the book but it does not promote or market itself, no matter how sick you are with a pen. This sh*t is a daily war. It takes nerve, courage and uncanny boldness to get people to listen to you when you say that you’re book is good. Even when they don’t buy a copy, they have to remember who you were on the strength of your personality. The “shy guy” stuff ain’t gonna fly out here if I expect to eat so I’m out here like a beast. I’m so serious about promoting these books that I would consider myself a “trap-addict”. I can’t walk out my door to check the mailbox without at least one book in my hand. If you’re passing by my house I’ll try to get you to buy a copy. How else is anyone going to know that WATER FLOWS UNDER DOORS, or take a look at OPEN SPACES or know about the MONSTERS, MIRRORS & SMOKE?



And yes, I LOVE THIS SH*T. I love talking about books to readers as much as convincing non-readers that they should start. I love every one of y’all that stops & I have a special appreciation for every one of you who copped. See you on the block.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SiStar Tea of ARC Book Club Inc.'s Review of Open Spaces

................Just thought that for today, I'd post the latest review I've recieved for my 2nd novel. It was one of the bright spots of my day.

Open Space by Keith Williams


Let no man out us under

This is my second read by Mr. Williams and this man has a way with words that will draw you in and have you turning pages to see what’s going to happen next. He is a pure story teller and has quickly made a supporter of me. This is one of the best books I’ve EVER read, “Open Spaces” is so descriptive you feel like it’s a movie playing out right before your very eyes. This author has some serious skills and will be one to look out for.

Mika is “happily” married with a son, Corey. As we follow the family we see they (Mika and her husband Sadari) both have issues with the marriage. Mika’s main issue is with Sadari’s best friend Desiree who happens to be her brother-in law’s ex-girlfriend. Everyone except her husband can see that she is in love with him. Mika is a dedicated wife with the best interest of her family on the fore front. When she discovers a lie by her husband her world is shattered and she reacts.

Sadari is a hardworking man doing his best to be a stand-up guy and take care of his family. When his wife became pregnant he left the streets alone and started working a 9-5, and although there is never enough money he keeps on trucking. One night a little white lie on his part sets of a chain of events that make this novel a must read. When his wife Mika bumps into her first lover (Lee) the actions of his white lie cause her to kick it with Lee. As we read we see what we thought was a rock solid marriage gets rocked to the core and it’s no telling if they will survive.

I’ll be the first to admit that reading about couple’s marriage problems is nothing new but it has NEVER been written about like this. You will be undecided if you want them to stay together or just call it quits. This is a perfect example of for every action there is an equal reaction. All the problems of this couple can be brought back to a split decision Sadari makes to tell his wife a lie while he helps Desiree and it goes downhill from then. Mr. Williams takes you through every emotion this family goes through. I was very pleased with the end. I commend Mr. Keith Williams for becoming one of my favorites and I look forward to reading his next novel.

SiStar Tea

ARC Book Club Inc.

5 star rating



Peace and Blessing

SiStar Tea

ARC Book Club Inc.

"It is not true we have only one life to love, if we can read, we can live as many lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NO STRINGS ATTACHED


NO STRINGS ATTACHED

When I say “No strings attached” I’m not talking about being detached and disconnected. I feel it’s necessary to fight against being manipulated in all aspects of my life. I don’t think that’s crazy or, maybe it’s just me.

I’ve been working since I was 14 & have been living on my own since 19. Of course, I got pulled into what I call the 9-5 working man trap. That’s where they tell you to go to school, work hard and you’ll be fine. Bullshit! At times, I worked two jobs AND attended college and I still wasn’t fine as they had promised. Throughout all those years working, I always barely kept my head above water. Finally, I realized that I had jobs. I had ambitions to be an author but I wasn’t in the pursuit of a career. I was caught up with the maintenance of jobs where I actually used my talents to help others build wealth. I felt like a marionette puppet. Then, I studied successful, happy people and realized that they ALL worked for themselves. So, in March of 2010, I cut my 9-5 working man trap strings and went independent. I’ve been career-chasing since then. In just these few months, people big and small in the lit industry know my name. Why? Because I go hard at this for real! I even do this independently because I don’t want to be connected to any publishers unless they’re willing to offer real money. (…and yes, I know what real money is.)

The next part of my “no strings attached” movement ventures into touchy waters so prepare yourself.

Let’s talk about the past. Let me start off by saying, FUCK YOUR PAST!!!!! Real talk, if I hear one more person blame past experiences for making them into the assholes that they are today, I’m a go ballistic. If you’re an asshole, it means that that’s what you ARE. Please, stop making excuses and hiding behind things that don’t matter anymore. This is the present and a second from now, it’ll be the future. I’m not saying to ignore the lessons you learned but how long are you going to stay connected to those things? Trust me, the road to where I’m standing right now ain’t been an easy one. Those of you who know my story know of what I speak but, I don’t let it rule me. I cut those strings off too. I do what I do in the present so that the next seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years I have left can be that much better. For some of you, by the time you realize that you’re living for the past, you’ve wasted your entire future with only seconds left on the clock that is your life.

Finally, let’s talk about attachments to other people. I don’t mind having strings attached but, only to the right people. Being selfish is sinful but you also can’t allow yourself to be someone else’s puppet. Every now and then, you’ll encounter people who understand what motivates you. If they’re clever, they’ll attach strings and you won’t even notice. Before you know it, they’ll manipulate your actions and even your thoughts if you let them get deep enough. I was never one to follow rules much or get sucked into anyone else’s program. (Ask my ex/children’s mother. She’ll tell you all about me) I’ve seen it all so sometimes, I’ll just watch as they try to tie me up. But, as soon as the lights go up and the curtains pull back on the stage, I use the big scissors I keep with me and cut myself free. Now, here’s my problem. I know where I’m going. I’m just having a hard time distinguishing who wants to go there with me and who wants to pull my strings from backstage. And, it’s even worse since people have noticed that yes, ya boy has talent and true potential to be something great. Now, I find myself wondering who’s a groupie, who’s a succubus and who would really ride. I’ve cut a few strings and I’m pretty sure that before I’m outta here, I’ll have to cut a few more. If you find yourself further and further away, it’s most likely that that’s where you’ll stay. It’s at my own discretion and for my own protection. Ya dig? But, if you’re really on my side, please be patient. I’ll see you, sooner or later. If you really should be here, you will be.


And, before anybody gets offended, ask yourself a question. What do you really want to be in my life? If you fit the description of the people I don't want around me, then by all means, GET OFFENDED. But, if you have good intentions, then relax. We're good. You'll see. I just gotta spot you in the crowd.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

……..even my own mother accuses me quite frequently of having a nonchalant, fatalistic, “I don’t really care” attitude. Let me explain to you what it really is with me.

Definition: “An iron maiden is a torture device, consisting of an iron cabinet, with a hinged front, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being. It usually has a small closeable opening so that the torturer can interrogate the victim and torture or kill a person by piercing the body with sharp objects (such as knives, spikes or nails), while he or she is forced to remain standing.” - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ok, so let me explain. It’s not that I don’t care about anything. Truthfully, I actually care about a great deal of things. From what I’ve witnessed from other human beings, I actually think that as long as I care about more than just myself, I’m pretty much ahead of the curve. Earlier this today, I got my morning started by saying I was, “…..locked in an iron maiden with thousands of needles but.....it still hasn't pierced the weak spot I got.” The description courtesy of Wikipedia above should clarify exactly what an iron maiden is for those who didn’t know. Now, let me explain what I meant.
The iron maiden torture device is just a metaphor for what I’ve had to face in my life. At times, just because of circumstances, I haven’t felt completely free. Hardly ever felt like I was free to move around and do whatever I wanted to. That used to lead to me feeling stuck in place. On top of that, as if being stuck in one place wasn’t bad enough, I felt all kind of pressure coming from all sides and directions. There were always big problems but never anything that would kill me. But there was always something to make me bleed out slowly. It always felt like I was being tortured.
The reason I have the attitude and the will that I have is because, even after being trapped and tormented, I’m still here. I still haven’t lost myself and probably never will, no matter what is thrown at me. A thousand problems, a thousand needles, a thousand hurts and my spirit is still not broken. I have no fear of the Iron Maiden because it still hasn’t found a weak point that would break me. Life goes on. So yeah, I live life wearing a smile and a shrug on call anytime I need it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

CREATING: Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke

Creating “Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke”

Synopsis:
Either hope, or the fear of loss can drive a man to do great & terrible things. Hector's sinister hopes & Lenox's fear of loss put them on the same path of blood & violence, with different purposes. Welcome to the world of "Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke" where it's not as hard as we think to become beasts.

“….gritty urban fantasy realized through dreams & modern mysticism.”

Lost & Found:
“Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke” was originally titled “Suicide & Steel” when the story invaded my dreams years ago. I had even started to write out the plot to combat boredom in-between and even during class when I was a student at City College. Often, thoughts of it consumed my thoughts as I ignored the speed limit on the FDR drive on my way to 135th Street and Convent. Even while working two jobs and attending college full time, I couldn’t escape the haunting voice of the story as it screamed for me to write it. It had almost become its own entity and seemed to write itself in my mind. But, balancing between work, school, and various entanglements with the opposite sex proved to be overwhelming. One day, the story just went silent and stopped trying to be heard. In fact, it buried itself so deep that I completely forgot it even existed. As some of you know, when I eventually decided to seriously put pen to paper, I unleashed “Water Flows Under Doors” first. For a time, it was good. The feedback was amazing and served to confirm that I was on the right path. Then, for a time, life got in the way and I put my career on hold, mainly to keep others happy and comfortable. (That’s a story I’ll save for another time)

My career remained on hold much longer than I’d like to admit. Eventually, after I’d lived some more and passed through pain, I was inspired to write “Open Spaces,” my 2nd novel. For a time that consumed me. As I got closer to finishing my sophomore release, still there was no sign of the story that had abandoned me so many years ago. But, I guess it’s unfair to say it abandoned me when I left it lingering as well until it vanished. Then one winter morning, out of nowhere, the entire story I’d lost came back to me. I felt as if I’d been underwater and finally broke the surface to gasp for air. Every character, every side-plot, the beginning, middle & end was all there as if it had never left. Even the original title came back to me.

As I got deeper into detail with the story, I realized the title didn’t fit so it evolved into what it is now. I’m excited because it’s so different from the 1st two shots I fired at the literary world. I feel like the boundaries with “Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke” are non-existent. As I write more and become more comfortable, I seek more freedom. The reviews and success of my previous work certainly has made my writing style bolder and more aggressive.

Warning:
Once I release this one, it will be very different from what you’ve read from me before. Prepare yourself. I let the ink fly and explored the crazier, more complex side of my imagination. I’m not even sure what genre it belongs in. All I can promise is a ride that you will never forget. I promise, Monsters, Mirrors & Smoke” is frightening at times, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, erotic, and wildly entertaining. See you “Live from the Block” with copies in the Fall of 2010.

From the time my stories find their sparks in my mind, they have life. There are just so many that it’s hard for me to sort them. But, for no one and nothing will I abort them. - Reem

Saturday, September 11, 2010

MADONNA

Madonna (Italian: My Lady)

…has to be crazier than me but also have a different grip on reality than I do. (If that makes any sense?) Because we’re both passionate and melancholy beings, we have to balance each other’s personalities in some way. She’s talented but in a different way from me. I work with words and she’s creatively crazy in another medium. We both share freaky, geeky, unique perspectives on the world.

Power: …...she has power over me that other women don’t, and never will. What gifts I have, she’s an amplifier. She makes me stronger and last longer in everything I do. I’m a force alone but when I’m exhausted, my Madonna makes me feel alive. Basically, she makes me better, not worse. Her being in my life is a gift and not a curse. The story in her eyes and the truth in her smile is too complicated for anyone to understand except me.

Fear: …………of course, there’s always the fear factor. Both of us know that we might not survive being hurt by one another because it just runs that deep between us. Ours is not a random, roll of the dice relationship. From the time we started, it felt like it was designed. We both fear the devastation that the breaking of the bond we share would cause.

Freedom: ….................The beauty of our situation is the freedom of it. We stay because we choose to, not because we have to.

*Now, I know some of y’all are going to read this and say, ”Damn, who is Reem talking about?” Well, if it’s you, you already know. But, it’s most likely that I ain’t finding a Madonna this time around. It’s cool to write about it though. LOL