Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Grammy Yeah-Yeah-Yeah

If you watched the Grammys and didn't find all of the collabo performances very cool, then you're sleeping through a music revolution. Seriously!

Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys and Quincy Jones honoring Ray Charles; the mad crazy schizoid opening, jumping from Black Eyed Peas to Maroon 5, Los Lonely Boys and lots of others. Kanye and the Staples Singers. Usher and James Brown. Green Day going all poltically correct- rock style- on our ass. Melissa Ethridge (a rocker) and Joss Stone (new age soul) rockin' out for old,old school bluesy rocker, Janis Joplin.

All signs that the music academy has finally realized that music is changing with or without them. So they may as well get on board or get left!

This is the second year that the Grammys has actively worked to incorporate lots of different types of music in performances and done a better job of spreading the wealth when it comes to who receives an award.

Back in the stone ages, when I was a teen watching the Grammys, it was the most boring show EVER! A real yawner. It was the snooty, elite show that not only totally ignored hip hop and gave R&B a lukewarm reception, but prided itself on its elitist tude.

The AMAs were the bomb then - embracing more pop or whatever was hot. It was faster moving, had better performances and was more fun to watch.

Now, the Grammys has realized that it just might be better to honor performers who the average Jane actually listens to. Imagine that!

Even though there are still plenty of award shows that might be more exciting to watch - take your pick, Vibe Awards, Source Awards, and the Billboard Awards, to name a few. What's nice about the Grammys, now, is watching all types of music come together. Literally.

Tim McGraw and Nelly joining country and hip hop. Gwen and Eve hooking up again to bring the hip hop/pop/punk sound. That's hot!

I'll admit, with so many types of music out there to nod your head to, sitting through some Grammy acts can be tough. Confession: I almost surfed through the Lynard Skynard performance, but decided to give it a chance. It wasn't too bad. Honestly, it wasn't.

If you're a real music lover (and I am) you try to find something good about just any type of music.

Hey, if JZ can perform with Linkin Park and Nelly can get down with Tim McGraw, then you know, I can sit through some good, old southern rock without having to turn in my hip hop head card.

Okay, sappy we-are-the-world moment in 3, 2, 1...

See, music is really supposed to be a universal language. It's one of the few things that actually breaks down walls between people. Now call me a cock-eyed optimist. But it's something about watching musical genres blend that makes me think, one day people could do the same outside of music, finding a way to see past race, ethinic background, income levels etc..

Alright! I'm done waxing philosophical!!

Anyway, with the Queen L-A-T-I-F-A-H in command (if you don't know, check out her lyrical flow before she went jazz on a sister) the Grammys was once again more enjoyable to watch than in the past. It wasn't a non-stop party, but then again, it never was.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Rock (and) Roll, Rhythm (and) Blues, Hip (and) Hop,

Paula Chase AKA Her Royal Cliqueness

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hip Lit is born!

I had a great time at Thomas G. Pullen Focus Arts School. Shout out to Mr. V, Ms. Stukes and Ms. Ewalds' classes. I had a blast talking to you guys!

I was so tired when I got home (from yapping)that I had to take a cat nap. Who knew running your mouth took so much energy?

Hey, if you guys have never bothered to get to know your teachers you should. In my short time at TGP, I found out that one teacher designs clothes and another is an artist. So, there are some deep resources that TGP students can tap. If they ever bother to do a little digging.

Well, I get back home and had to get back to reality (i.e. writing). As I'm pecking away, I get an email from a literary agent who is interested in reading a few chapters of my book. When opportunity knocks, answer it! Even if nothing comes of this read, building bridges is important in anything you do. Okay, sorry, no more lessons.

Anyway, as I'm preparing a nice cover letter to go along with the chapters, it occured to me that while my book definitely favors the young ladies - it's really not just about that. The fellas in my book are key characters, as well. But since everything has to fit so nice and neat into a category, I'm really starting to wonder where my book can call home.

Sure, it's teen chick lit...sort of. But, look around at some of the teen chick lit books out there and it's not exactly along the same lines as most.

It's also not urban lit. The Clique never goes through anything as gritty or complex as most urban lit characters.

The whole situation is a real head scratcher. I don't want to be categorized, at all. I just want to write good, fun, young adult fiction with a little edge. But just like with music or television, books are always put into some type of category. Even if I don't categorize it, someone else will do it for me.

Next day, I'm talking this over with a colleague of mine. And guess what? Thanks to her, I realized I've created my own fiction sub-genre. So, you heard it hear first! My books are hip lit (hip literature).

Hip lit, to put it simply, are books where the characters are very much products of hip hop's impact on our culture. The clothes they wear, the music they like, the aspirations they have are influenced by hip hop. And this applies across races, income background and ethnic culture, because hip hop is a culture!

Also, the parents of these characters are all first generation hip hop heads. Like me. Not to tell my age, but I was rocking to hip hop when it was still just rap!

I'm excited, because if anyone is going to categorize me, it may as well be me!! And Hip lit is a great term because hip hop had a profound impact on me as I grew up, still does even as an adult and definitely has an impact on my daughter.

So, welcome to my world. Today, hip lit is born!

Peaches (and) Cream,

Paula Chase AKA Her Royal Cliqueness

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm here!!!

It's up! It's up! The blog is up!!!! Yea!!!!!

See, I told you'd I'd get it up. Well, tech support got it up, if you want to get all specific on me. BUT - I was only one or two slashes and dots away from having the correct path set. So, had I stayed up one more night until 2 a.m., I would have gotten it!

Well now that I'm here it's time to get down to business. My book, Don't Get It Twisted, is due to be published in May and I am juggling a millions things - okay, only half a million - trying to get the re-writes completely and thoroughly finished, the website up, and designing tee shirts.

Why, you're asking, am I designing tees? Because these ideas pop in my head and I've discovered that if I don't act on them they keep me up at night. Not like I'm not already up, because I have an eight month old who insists on being a tosser-tuner!

But I guarantee you'll love the tees (I do!). They're just the type of tee shirts the girls from the Del Rio Bay Clique would wear.

Now, in case you haven't figured it out yet, my book is for girls - definite teen chick lit. I mean, a guy could read them to get some really good scoop on how neurotic they make us...but, I think guys already know that. It's what they live for, I'm thinking.

I think you'll come to love the characters from The DRB as much as I do. So, keep checking me out here. One day (soon?)the site will be up and jumping and the book will be on the shelves ready for your reading pleasure. Until then...

Cheers (and) Chants,

Paula AKA Her Royal Cliqueness

P.S. On Monday, I'll be sharing my wisdom on the world of writing with the students at Thomas Pullen Arts Focus School in Landover, MD. Want me to speak at your middle or high school? Hit me up at

Tech Daze

Hey Cliquesters!

Okay, so it's 1:55 in the morning and I'm sitting up trying to figure out how to get this blog to show up on the web page.

I've never considered myself a tech wiz, but I'm not entirely dumb either. But this thing has me stumped. I'm sure once I get it right, the same message will post over and over and over again - that's how many times I tried posting!

This is exactly why it's best to hire someone to do certain things for you. But the Super woman complex in me won't allow myself to admit that I'm clueless to what all this ASCI and Binary language crap means. :::Sigh::: I will pay for this in the morning...or should I say, later this morning when my little one rises at the crack of dawn.

Still, I'm determined to get this thing working so I can keep you posted on this wonderful journey I call getting published!

So far, being an author means lots of late nights doing re-writes when everyone else in the house is cozy in the bed; obsessing over how a line should read; getting lightening bolt ideas on dialogue and plot lines only to have them disappear the second I sit down in front of the PC...oh and now, it includes watching old episodes of Who's The Boss!!! Ugh!

Where's a good video when you need it?! There's a video on but we just switched to a new cable provider and now I have no idea where any of my favorite channels are. Grrr!

Okay - if I stay up one second longer, my head will explode...OR, I'll end up heaving the lap top out of the window.

Somehow, some way I will get this thing together and go live and we'll all sit back and have a good laugh. And anyone wanting to pass along their technical expertise, please feel free. I ain't too proud to take advice!

Bubbles (and) Gum,

Paula AKA Her Royal Cliqueness