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

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Merry Christmas!

Despite all of the gift-giving and merry making of the day, for some reason, it doesn't feel like Christmas right now. It could be that after a long day of family time - including a mean game of DDR that got my heart rate up higher than it's been in a minute - I received the best gift of all - nearly three hours of mostly peaceful silence so I could read. It broke up the merriment a little, all that silence.

I hardly ever get to read anymore. Not only because of a lack of time. But as a writer, I find myself over analyzing nearly everything I read. It's just not as enjoyable anymore.

Still, I asked for and received "Confessions of a Video Vixen," a hip hop "tell all" by Karrine "Superhead" Staffans. I thought it would be an interesting read. Most importantly, I figured I wouldn't spend half the book analyzing her voice and POV etc... So when the kiddies conked out and the hubby tuned to football, I opened my book and settled in for a good read.

Okay, well first of all, when you "tell all," shouldn't you tell ALL?!

Immediately, several paragraphs into the book she cops out by saying despite the fact that she's had sex with some of the most "insatiable" men in the world she wouldn't call this book a tell all, because there are many details she would rather keep to herself as to not embarrass people close to her.

But being a ho' most of her life and revealing that fact over and over by dropping a few names....well, that's okay. Right?

Warning: Rant to follow....

You know what? Writing is a serious business. Writers who dedicate their entire career to creating great fiction or painstakingly researching for non-fiction can sometimes barely get an advance on their work. But drop dime on a couple people you've given a bj to and man, you're getting six figure advances and have a best seller.

Yes, I'm hating!

Because it's bad enough when someone capitalizes on their dirt. It's worse when they claim to do it in the name of "saving" some other poor innocent waif from the same fate. And it's just plain annoying when the dirt ends up being shrouded in this noble secrecy for the sake of people who already are well aware of your past not so indiscretions!

There were a few times, in reading, where I felt for the author. She had an abusive past and seemingly no love in her life, whatsoever.

Yet, you get the feeling that she only felt sorry for herself when she was down, out and broke. Then she'd be genuinely surprised when the men she blew for the perks of celebrity glam and financial gain blew her off without a care. She never seemed that upset with her lifestyle when she was whisked off for a weekend by a celeb, getting paid for her favors or furthering her career using sex.

So she's not a totally sympathetic individual.

Another really annoying thing is how she glosses over facts while dwelling too much on others. She'd casually mention that she'd met such and such star "some time ago," then proceed to describe this man like he was the absolute love of her life. It was a constant contradiction.

I couldn't tell the difference between who she had a real relationship vs. someone who was just a long string of booty calls.

Another realllllllyyyyy annoying factor were the skewed dates. In the last chapters she talks about meeting Usher in 2004. Then a few graphs in mentions that they hung out while he was recording 8701. Then it goes right back to 2004. It was confusing.

Usher didn't record 8701 in 2004. The CD's title stands for August 7, 2001, its release date.

But there were other time blurs like that. I was dizzy trying to keep up with what happened when. I really felt like she did it on purpose to maybe blur when she really had some of these encounters.

Not sure why. The damage is done since it's out there.

And while she failed to reveal who "Papa" was because she respected him so. She had no problem making Ja Rule seem like a little bitch the first time she blew his mind -literally and figuratively! The part about him grabbing his ankles. Priceless!

Irv Gotti didn't come off looking much better. The reference to him running into the bathroom to hide from her because of her sexual power. Another gold moment.

But other than that, the book reinforced my disdain for where the publishing world stands. Just like with music, publishers are looking for the hot ticket of the moment - get a quick million or more sales in and who cares if the person ever picks up a pen again. Or sits at a PC...whatever their writing weapon.

I expected her story to rival a good fiction book. Because here's someone whose been on the right side of the velvet rope. Give us the dirt.

But her accounts are dry and not all that insightful. Most fiction writers can fantasize better about life on the glam side.

Oh well. A salute to all real writers.

We can't all give super head to get ahead.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Let it be known!

Wrestler Diamond Dallas Page is suing Jay-Z for the use of the "diamond cutter," a hand symbol that Jay-Z used as a symbol of his label Roc-A-Fella.

Let's all say it together...Frivilous lawsuit!

First of all, Page is trying to sue for any monetary gains Jigga gained from the sign, basically holding your hands in the air thumbs together, fingers steepled to represent a diamond.

Ookay. How did Jay-Z make money from the sign? I'm confused.

But here's what needs to be known. The sign is actually a sign that has been used by historically black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta for YEARS. And by years, I mean before Diamond Dallas or the Roc ever thought about using it. I believe Page said he started using it in the mid-90's.

Ummm okay, DST was formed in 1913. Not that they were doing the sign back in the year '13 but trust, they were using it well before the mid 90's.

Hello, Diamond Dallas, you didn't make up the hand gesture. I'm not saying you stole it from the Deltas, but if anyone wanted to sue it would be them suing you. And since they are a service organization, the duckets made from suing you would go to pretty worthy causes - tutoring programs, shelters etc...

I hate when people get things twisted. People, it's a hand signal. Let's put that in perspective shall we. How do you copyright a hand signal?!?!

But if we're actually going to take it to the courts let's at least research if anyone else in the world may have actually thrown the signal before you did.

Lest anyone think I'm a Delta. Don't get that twisted either. Alpha Kappa Alpha, baby. And just so anyone wants to know - our hand symbol is pinky in the air. Just in case there's a wrestler or a label out there looking...that one's taken.

Pink (and) Green,


Fashioning A Career

No matter how much I tell myself that I watch TV to "relax," deep in my heart I know it's because I'm a total pop culture freak AND I get to call it "research," to boot. In the dog eat dog world of writing young adult fiction, there is no better way to stay up on the madness of pop culti things than through the great LCD screen into TV Land. It's all about doing what you can to further your career.

Reality TV has really taken career-enhancement to a whole new level.

My latest obsession, Project Runway. Perfect timing too because America's Next Top Model ended tonight. And yes, I totally knew that Nicole was going to win. They needed a good old-fashioned girl next door type to win after fierce Eva and exotic Niami. Nicole's bland-looking to me...but hey, what do I know?

I'm just a channel surfing pop culti fanatic obsessed with all things trendy, hip and insanely over the top ridiculous.

Now, tell me, why is practically every male designer on Pro Run flaming!?!?! Did the application for the show say: Must pop eyes excessively while exclaiming every word uttered?

Santino is my fave and by far the most masculine. His designs are savvy and fashion-forward. And truthfully, his scruffy look is quite sexy.

Now all I can say about Zulema's last cheeky design is...EW! I mean damn. The average model is probably a size 2 or something. But because Zulema's design was so short, the models butt hung out of the dress and all you could see was cottage cheese. It was beyond nasty.

You know you've broken new ground when your design makes a model's waifish body look fat and unattractive.

But the moment I loved was when Chole won the challenge and Santino came backstage, relieved that he hadn't been booted off. Clearly emotionally drained, he was still full enough of bravado to indicate that the only reason he hadn't won the challenge was because the judges didn't want to give him two wins in a row.

The camera pans to Chole's face and it's so clearly saying, Dude, fuuuuggg you!

Love that!

What I love the most is, I get to watch nearly ever profession make complete asses of themselves on television for a chance at success. Us writers are just too classy and cerebral for that. We'd never stoop to the levels of cattiness, backstabbing and downright sneakiness of wannabe models, designers, dancers, singers, corporate execs, chefs, reality "actors," or realtors.

Yeah, I said that with a total straight face. Knowing full well if they could make writing a book interesting enough to be on TV, every aspiring writing waiting on that first published book would be there, lap top in hand!

Alas, we're forging careers without the aide of cameras and confessionals.

Haute (and) Coutere,


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Modest Victory

Who knew modesty would win over booty shorts and teeny bikinis?

I was rolling on the floor cracking up after Making Da' Band 3 tonight. Diddy put the girls against each other after dividing them into two groups. They opened for the Backstreet Boys at a concert from this summer - in my neck of the woods. Well sort of...Nissan Pavillion, in Northern Va., where my peeps live.

Group 1 - S.H.E. (She Has Everything) thought they were the shit. In their matching white booty shorts and gold string bikini tops they killed it in rehearsal. Killed it! So when they strutted on stage they just knew they had won this challenge hands down and that the audience would eat em' up.

What they forgot was they were opening for a BSB concert. Hello, venue of more than 10,000 rabid boy band groupies waiting to see their fave group that hasn't dropped a CD in a hot minute. You know damn well those people at the concert were not interested in watching five girls with their asses hanging out.

They got straight booed. And later, Doc, their voice coach had the nerve to say it was because they messed up the opening note and never got back on track.

Hello, Doc? They got booed because they were sexing it up to a stadium of girls and women. Had it been a house full of men they could have sounded like warmed over shit and the men would have clapped like it was a Grammy performance.

Group 2 - Jane 6 - came out there and played it smart. Not only were they stylishly casual in gauchos and capris. But they did the most important thing - they catered to the audience.

Novel idea!

The first thing they did was say, "Where my ladies at?" And that broke the ice. It was no doubt they were going to win - off-key or not.

And let's speak the truth, neither group has vocal prowess.

Diddy keeps talking about making this internationally famous girls group (think Spice Girls). Ummm...okay. But no matter who makes the band, they won't be known for singing well. Then again, neither were the Spice Girls.

But these girls, at least together in a group, are mediocre pop singers at best. And is that really saying much?

No matter. Diddy getting much publicity from his latest MTV venture. So the group will be good for at least one CD...still not sure who will buy it, though. I guess a bunch of teen girl wannabe pop singers. But, hey everyone has an audience. I ain't hatin'.

Much love to Jane 6 for not playing the sex card. Now there's something for an 11 year old fan to model.

I'm not holding my breath though. When the band is formed, theres no doubt they'll end up wearing barely nothing on stage...whether they like it or not.

Love Love