Tag Archives: unpublished writer

Reading at In The Meantime

The Black Artist Collective hosted Chris Cotton and I at In The Meantime in the Carl Bean House in the historic neighborhood of West Adams. The reading was significant to me because of the location. In the 80’s, when the AIDS epidemic first swept through the country, the Carl Bean House was a hospice were people went to die. Now, the property is owned by AIDS Health Foundation and the old management office space is leased by In The Meantime.

The reading was everything I hoped it would be – magical, emotional, and intimate.

It definitely prepared me for the next tour stops.

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Filed under The Creative Spark, The Written Word

A Writer’s Year in Review

English: Hollywood Boulevard from the top of t...

Hollywood Blvd. from top of Kodak. (Credit: Wiki)

At the start of 2012, I experienced two major transitions: being accepted into a fiction writing program and moving from Long Beach to Inglewood. I knew the writing program would help me advance within writing, however I didn’t know what to expect. I had a publishing deal with a small publishing company, but I thought, why not workshop my book to get more eyes on the book. Their suggestions took the story from surface to being able to exist above the page. The story itself did not changed; I brought more of the contrast between race, immigrant life, religion, and identity out in front of the reader.

Beyond having breath breathed into my book, in 2012, I:

  • Read at the West Hollywood Library on 12/8/12
  • Was invited to read at the City of West Hollywood’s Pride Festival, “One City, One Pride” taking place in June 2013
  • Was invited to White House Briefing for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders 2, 24, 2012
  • Was invited to read at Soulful Salon, for In The Meantime, a LGBT community organization
  • Started writing for Campus Circle Magazine
  • Started writing for Qulture
  • Started writing for GBM News
  • Interviewed Frenchie Davis, DJ Danjazone (LMFAO’s Tour DJ), Diana King, DDm, and Orikl
  • Wrote my first poetry review for a literary journal
  • Submitted a fiction piece to one of my favorite literary journals
  • Read at my first book fair, West Hollywood Book Fair
  • Was published in the anthology, For Colored Boys
  • Started working as an Editorial Assistant for a academic publisher
  • Went to 10 author readings

On New Years Eve 2013, with a group of friends, I wrote down on paper what I did not like about 2012 and I burned it. With each new piece I completed, part of me was afraid to branch out and take my writing career to the next level (writing for a major magazine and be able to freelance write/edit for other publications). The paper turned from white, to egg-colored, to ashes in the fire pit in East L.A. While watching it burn, I reflected back on other details of 2012: I learned that I would be working for LAist.com (for the Spring term) and I made it to the Semifinalist round for the Point Foundation Graduate Scholarship. Also that I got the courage to submit new poetry to four literary magazines and I pitched an article idea to Essence magazine. No New Year’s Resolution to lose fat or be a better person, I want to reserve all my energy into writing. And whether or not all of those opportunities fall into place, I will keep striving to become a better writer and be part of the writing community.

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Filed under lgbt resources, The Creative Spark, The Written Word

black lgbt artsy event: orlando: june 5: books and brunch literary workshop @ orlando vista hotel

Books and Brunch, Orlando Black Pride

Books and Brunch, Orlando Black Pride

June is the official Pride month. Each week there seems to be a Pride celebration happening across the states. Orlando Black (gay) Pride is May 31 – June 5. The event I’m most excited about is Books and Brunch, hosted by Kat Williams, host of Sipping On Ink radio show (Blog Talk Radio). Books and Brunch is a literary workshop featuring G. Winston James, Fiona Zedde, Cheril N. Clarke, Spoken, Ortis Randolf, Sherry Michelle, Skyy, and Kat Williams.

Kat William’s Sipping On Ink Interview With Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene

Event Description:

Kat Williams will be moderating a discussion on writing and how to get published and each of the featured authors will talk about their experience getting published. Guests will have the opportunity to chat with the authors and purchase books for signing. The event is a teleseminar. If you can’t be there you can see it as it happens at Orlando Black Pride.

Fiona Zedde On Gender/Race/Sexuality For black./womyn.:conversations

Location: Orlando Vista Hotel, 12490 Apopka Vineland Road

Date/Time: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 11am-2pm

Price: Only $20 entry and brunch or $10 entry only (The brunch will include: Mimosa, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs, Home Fries, Texas Rice, Caesar Salad, Rolls, and Coffee)

Go out and meet all the authors. Tickets for the event can be purchased http://www.orlandoblackpride.eventbrite.com or http://www.orlandoblackpride.com. Please purchase in advance as space is limited.

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Excerpt from The Taste of Scars: Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Pages 1-5

Dad told us the drive was four hours. It’s been eight. He misread an interstate sign and drove the wrong way in Battle Creek heading toward Chicago. The windy city. Where we’re from. Where as a kid I hid in Harold Washington Library sneaking little peeks of naked models in photography books. We couldn’t figure our way out the gray

The Amazing Self Destructing Entertainment Center

Image by mattbatt0 via Flickr

and green maze. Endless highway. Endless grass. Dad stopped at another gas station I never heard of. The whole time my obnoxious older brother kept screaming, “Move off me” at Ricky. He felt crammed. We’re all crammed thigh to thigh in the moving truck baking under Michigan heat, dad, my brothers, me. Reed Jr. or just Junior, my obnoxious older brother is asleep, thank God, on the passenger side. Reed Jr. hates to be called Junior. Between Junior and me humming to dad’s hand-me-down camera is Ricky. Ricky is 11. Sleep is a memory Ricky lost. Dad’s red eyes squint at something. Something he doesn’t see. His face scrunches up into a look of miserable confusion. We’re lost. I suck my teeth. As soon as I hear myself make the sharp sucking sound I know dad’s going to say something. I cough loudly to cover up the sound. A quick red-eyed glance isn’t burned into my face. Dad didn’t hear me, thank God. So we’re lost. Again. At least we’re lost inBeverly Hills. Our new house can’t be too far. Some people might be upset moving from where they’ve lived all their lives. I’m not. I cross my hands over my arms and close my eyes. Dad jerks my arm. “Stop that,” dad snaps. “That’s what girls do. It’s feminine.” Dad’s words are an instant Polaroid of summer. I’ve heard “girls do that,” “that’s feminine,” “that’s girly,” almost everyday. I stare at dad’s words in front of me like pictures from a front-page story too important to put down. Substitute the word feminine for gay. That’s what he’s really saying. It’s gay. I’m not. Gay. I haven’t done anything sexual with a guy. The closest I’ve come is with a friend, we weren’t really friends, he was in all my classes. There were slits in his bathroom door thin enough quarters could slide through to make a wish. He liked throwing knives at the door. It killed time. Sometimes I’d rub my fingers in the grooves. All smooth. Perfect for spying. The first time I watched him undress and shower was an accident. He wouldn’t go out unless he showered. We were talking about my photography assignment at Union Station. The shower came on. I heard the bathroom door close sitting in the living room. Guess I was too slow answering the Continue reading


Filed under The Written Word

Book Tour Annoucement Coming Soon

The audience for Jack Osborne

Image by Tri Monster via Flickr

When I started writing, The Taste of Scars, I’d daydream about reading it to people (sometimes while driving). Reading it at bookstores. At coffee shops. At book club meetings. Wherever. The connection from mouth and word to ears is hardening. It solidifies the work. Makes it real, permanent. This does exist. I can’t wait for that. The interaction. The feedback. The interpretations. The connection with readers who want to get dirty and get into the book and tear it apart and share their experiences with reading it. I want the book cover stained with coffee. I want it used as coasters for wine glasses when friends come over and someone picks it up and says I heard about this on NPR. I want it lost in junky messenger bags and picked out to read on a crowded train that smells like vomit and summer.

What will it feel it, the experience, seeing someone reading my book on the subway in New York. I’m ready.

I haven’t worked out the details as of yet but I want to travel to these cities for the book tour.

Tentative City Schedule

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Long Beach, California
  • Santa Monica, California
  • Silverlake, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Houston, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas

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black lgbt artsy event: new york: 4/30/11: Staceyann Chin and Carl Hancock Rux

Reason #25 I want to leave Jacksonville, Florida.

Last January I ran away from Jacksonville to join the circus in LA. Not the literal circus. The literary circus. Jacksonville is like hell without the luxury of sweating. The city provided me with great content for my soon-to-be released book, The Taste of Scars, however I’ve out grown it. I’ve been in LA and I need to book a ticket back home to clean out my apartment. My lease ends April 30. Where from there? When you’re unemployed the skies the limit, literally. I can sleep on any bench in any city.

LA is a good distraction from Jacksonville. It’s more of a movie and TV script world. New York is the book world. Fire and Ink, the black lgbt literary conference, is hosting an event with a special reading by Staceyann Chin and Carl Hancock Rux. I would drop it like its hot for Hugh Hefner to get a plane ticket to New York and a ticket to the event, Writes of Spring. I would love to hear Staceyann perform. I might be sleeping on a New York bench at the end of the month.

The video above is of Staceyann. Staceyann is one of my favorite authors and poets. While editing a few chapters in LA I would listen to this performance on repeat at the Starbucks on Wilshire near LACMA (not LACAMA). I never watched Def Poets Jam and was excited to learn that Staceyann performed on the show and grinned like a proud daddy when on National TV, in front of a live audience, at black audience, on Def Poets Jam, Staceyann read a poem about her experience being a lesbian (To watch the video hit the more button below). If you’re in NYC please check out Staceyann Chin and Carl Hancock Rux at Writes of Spring.

Event Titled: Writes of Spring

Staceyann Chin

Image via Wikipedia

Description: Enjoy an evening of food, festivities, music and a special reading by the talented STACEYANN CHIN and CARL HANCOCK RUX! Unapologetically Caribbean and Black, Asian and lesbian, woman and New Yorker, STACEYANN CHIN is the author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise. CARL HANCOCK RUX, is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, recording artist, and author of Asphalt and Pagan Operetta.

The event is hosted by Steven G. Fullwood and Reginald Harris.

The cost is $25.00 per person. All proceeds benefit FIRE & INK, INC. Advance tickets available at Fireandink.org! FIRE & INK, INC. is devoted to increasing the understanding, visibility and awareness of the works for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender writers of African descent and heritage. Saturday, April 30, 2011, 7:00 PM11:00 PM.

Address: 213 Taaffe Place #114 Brooklyn, NY.

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yeah x 3: i just got signed to a book publisher

Eslite Bookstore in Taichung Chung-yo Departme...

Image via Wikipedia

hardwork does pay off in the end. i starting writing my first book, the taste of scars, in 2005 while working for two newspapers while living in ann arbor. newspaper writing was my life. i stopped working for the newspapers to focus on writing the book. at times, i thought why am i doing this. in 2006 after the first draft was finished i submitted a query letter to a literary agent at writer’s house in nyc. he nicely wrote this letter.

Thanks Victor, but I’m afraid this isn’t right for me. By the way, the manuscript looks too short. Most novels should be closer to 70,000 words at least.

i was devastated but kept writing (2007) and kept writing (2008) and kept writing (2009) and kept writing (2010) and kept writing (2011). 45,000 more words, 50 drafts, and 10 new added chapters later my best friend sent me an email to check out a small publishing company, AddisonCraft, in Houston. I sent them my revised (40 drafts) query letter. About a week later they requested the first two chapters and a headshot. In March, I received an email that they wanted to sign me and publish my book.

In my head I saw book tour. As an artist (word artist) I believe art doesn’t exist until it is viewed, read, or heard.

The scheduled release date in June 2011. I will put up a schedule of the book tour. The first stop – Miami.


Filed under The Written Word