“Insomnia TV”

Shoutout to BET for airing “The Great Debaters” this morning…now that’s what I’m talking about!!!

This movie is special to me for many reasons…one…I have always been a fan of “debating” and two, because the film was about students at Wiley College, in Marshall, Texas. Now…about 15-29 minutes passed Marshall…there’s a town called Jefferson,Texas. And well…that where my maternal roots are. In fact, I have an older male cousin who attended Wiley, graduated one of the cum laudes, is a member of Omega Psi Phi, and is a libriarian at Rice University…

This is a VERY powerful film! Young black scholars…just living their lives…I wonder if they knew their journies were a ripple effect in that community…that small little town where my Grandmother took care of her brothers and sisters while her mother worked in another town during the week. For years… Our “MaDear” didn’t even have a toilet. I remember baths in a steel tub in the middle of the kitchen floor… I remember that screen door always slamming…someone always coming in and out…and the red dirt…oh lawd…o would mess up a pair of sneaks every trip. And the fruit!!! The fresh blackberries…plums…and the music the country creatures made at night always amused me. I remember my great great-grandmother…Mama Annie…who lived well in her early 100’s…she was such joy…and strong as an ox…I can feel that pat on back right now! [ouchie Mama!!!] it’s like she had to let us know she was still strong enough to beat that ass or something cause them pats on the back was back-archin’…Ouch!!! 🙂
And it’s something…about a well in her yard…I dunno…maybe because it was REAL well that intrigued me so…but every visit…I always had to throw a penny in it…

I was blessed to have been raised by some very “dysfunctional, yet loving, caring, nuturing, smart, intelligent, beautiful, independent, co-dependant, take little or too much shit” women…I’ve learned quite a lot on my path with them…they all were artists…in their own right. And they all seemed to be able to do everything “right” in my young eyes…it’s amazing what you realize and see when those eyes start “gettin’ grown”

Education…speaking…writing…reading…is in my blood…it runs deeply through my veins like a narcotic and keeps me preoccupied and addicted for more. I think that’s why I truly enjoy Twitter.
My timeline is the TRUTH! I learn so much from…

….BrotherJesse…CoachBilalSankofa… JoNubian…BlackPositveImage…PapaShango…& many more…

…About me…a black American woman living in a this so-called democratic land… Yes…among the fuckery…there’s some depth. And I’m always down for a dive……..

Good…Night?
[chuckle]
yeah right…

“maybe it hurts too much to be your friend” – the baby

PUSH[ED]

PUSH[ED]

In 1996, I was five years deep in the “life”. And i was still the avid reader. I was introduced to “Inklings”by one of my best friends, Shun. Back then there were three GLBT bookstores in Houston, Texas; Lobo’s, Crossroads, & Inklings. Inklings was the feminist/lesbian bookstore, so I spent a lot of hours there.

When visiting these bookstores, I often noticed that there were not many titles by African-American writers…especially women. E.Lynn Harris, and James Earl Hardy were churning out great books in the 90’s, but for me, I needed a[nother] sister’s voice to push me along my journey. Audre, Nikki, Alice, Iyanla had gave me a blueprint. But i was still timid…

One day…I’ll never forget…I had just made love to a woman I loved, and I wanted to give her a card. I left her house that Saturday morning and went straight to Inkling’s. I found the perfect card, and looked at some of the jewelry. I was about to check out, and something said “see what new titles they have”. I turned around and it was it was on the table right behind me…stacked up neatly…one on top slightly opened, staring at me…I said to myself, “a black woman wrote that”. I picked it up, and saw her…Sapphire…and smiled. I didn’t read one page, I simply paid for it and left.

That night I ran a bath, and figured i’d read a few pages. Needless to say, three hours later, I had read the entire book.

The first time I read “Push” by Sapphire…I wept. I’m talking uncontrollable sobs, and whimpers.  It was if she [Sapphire] knew my pain…my struggles…my fear…my lack of confidence; things I continue to conquer today. That small red book, with black vertical letters changed me, and I’ve kept it in my heart since the day I bought it at “Inklings”. I let someone borrow the book. It was never returned, and I assume it’s long gone. It was actually a signed copy, and I have kicked myself in the ass for years for not asking about it. Same thing happened when my best friend Carlton died. I had lent him my signed “Invisible Life” and didn’t dare ask his mother for it after he passed. Yet still, I often wonder who has my “Push” signed hardback. I only hope they cherish it, as I do.

So it’s years later…and now it’s “Precious”. I saw the movie, and was more than pleased. I shed a few tears, and was shocked at how quickly I begin to despise Mo’Nique. I had to keep reminding myself…”she’s acting”. But my goodness…she’s one hell of an actress. The [positive]reviews for the movie are 100% valid. I’ve said for YEARS that every woman…black, white, brown, yellow, red…shoul read this book. “Push” is NOT just about sexual abuse, & illiteracy. It’s about the “cycle” that so many of us never seem to break. It’s about making the decisions you know you need to make for yourself, and your seeds. It’s about family communication. It’s about learning to LOVE yourself…and believing in the Creator, even when you don’t want to…or know how to. It’s about asking for help. It’s about saying “No…enough is enough”

The movie is graphic. If I had never been sexually assaulted, both the book and the movie would have terrified me. A lot of us have not been touched by the uncle, the cousin, mama’s boyfriend, etc. So a lot of us can’t possibly understand the horror of being violated in your own home…on a consistent basis. We don’t want to look at our brothers or our sisters and think that they would touch a child, let alone do the vile that some do. We gossip about the things going on in other folks’ houses, but we never call the authorities? Why is that? Why don’t we get involved? Why don’t we confront the people hurting our children? Our niece’s? Our nephews? Our future? I’ll tell you why…because most of us are simply consumed with bullshit…nothing more…nothing less.

Daniels did an exquisite job directing this film adaptation. Mariah Carey’s character was so incredibly realistic, I forget it was the songstress. In addition, Lenny Kravitz portrayal as Precious’ nurse is remarkable. Each character of Sapphire’s masterpiece was cast perfectly. Gabby is Precious; pun intended!  When I saw her audition footage via YouTube, I smiled on the inside. I had read blogs, and info about the Sundance sweep and was quite intrigued with the casting. In the novel, Sapphire’s writing is so brilliant, you feel as if you can see, smell, hear, and feel each character. Daniels does an excellent job capturing the “dark meat and grizzle” of the story. For instance, in the novel Sapphire describes frying chicken for her mother, and my stomach began to growl. In the film, Daniels includes that excerpt in the film perfectly. In addition, his use of location, and set design provides a small glimpse of late 80’s New York, which was nostalgic for a B-Girl like myself.

Recently, I discovered that Sapphire sold the Push manuscript at a publisher’s auction. She’s published a few poetry anthologies, yet “Push” is the only fiction she’s published. For years, I have searched…and waited for something “new” by her. While on the Mo’Nique show on Tuesday, she was so cool and collected. My heart was full like she was my auntie or something. She still wears that low fade; and her “chile, let me tell ya” made me smile. She explained the “birth” of the character “Precious” and that made me feel secure. As a writer, i know it can difficult pulling ideas, and thoughts from people’s lives. The last thing you want to do is offend someone by what you’ve taken from their world. She spoke of the many directors who approached her about this project, and thank goodness she was finally impressed with Mr. Daniels. It’s true what the elders say…”Everything happens for a reason…and it happens when it’s supposed to happen”

It seems that every day I am having some dialogue about the story…the author…the writer…and it makes me happy. The novel was #1 on the NYC Bestsellers last week…can you imagine that?! Black people are READING real books…real stories again. As a self-publisher I have been so worried about the decline in book sales. I researched the business over the business, while completing my first novel; hoping it will be a success.

After reading that book…I bought my first computer. And I begin to write. I then purchased and read her poetry anthology, “American Dreams” and it was those two pieces of literature that help me find my courage to claim myself a “writer”. Sapphire PUSH[ED] me…and it’s like she’s doing it all over again. And I am SO grateful…

Misery/LoveJones/AsGoodAsItGets

Remember those movies? For the longest time, I thought that’s how writers wrote. I thought they went away…secluded themselves for months at a time, and voilà! They complete the manuscript and the rest is history.

Then there’s “Love Jones”; Which pretty much is the story of my life right now.

But that damn “As Good As It Gets”…
It gets me every time.

Perhaps I’m like “Duck” [5 heartbeats]
maybe I write better the more I suffer.

What does it all mean? As I edit my “baby” I find myself entertained. #NoEgo but wow…

I’ve decided to release the “intimate friends” project in January 2KX. 2009 has been a bittersweet year for me and I’d like to start my new life FRESH…with no residue from my past.
So far I have about 50% of the songs secured for the soundtrack. I’m looking for others to participate. Once I’m done editing, I am gonna to start recording the audio version.

I’m excited. Actually that’s an understatement. Though I’m still very undecided about the cover art, I have 99 marketing plans…and you know the rest… Still find it very odd however that i am…alone. But I know (s)HE has something/someone VERY special for me. So I shall remain obedient & patient…been there done that…and it’s getting easier by the day…

Seriously…I’m beginning to NOT believe in unrequited/unconditional LOVE. I think John [Stephens/Legend] said it best…”Love Hurts Sometime When You Do It Right” I don’t know though…perhaps my hopeless romantic days are over. Though I’m anxious to love, be loved, and have a family, I wonder often if it will happen in this lifetime. I love so hard, but the moment I know it’s not mutual, I shut down. And all switches are OFF… I don’t even get horny…. What the fuck is that?

Sooooooo….on another note…

Last Saturday…I had the opportunity to be in the same space as Zora Neal Hurston’s neice. She just published a memoir about Z… The book…is absolutely phenominal. I can’t even put into words how blown away I was.
She’ll be back in a couple of weeks. I have to thank her personally for keeping her aunt’s legacy alive.
I admire many many writers, but when I discovered Ms. Hurston in 1990, I discovered me…as a writer.
I mean…she just wrote…any way any how, about anybody, anything, anywhere, and made no apologies for her candor.

Women like Zora…Billie…Nina…Audre…Ruth…Lorraine…Sapphire…Terry…make me proud to be a black woman artist. Shoutout to my elders…thank you ladies & gents for everything!

Ms. Lucy Anne Hurston – Zora Neal Hurtson’s Niece | visit her here:  http://www.lucyannehurston.com/