Sunday, July 30, 2006

Signing at the Alpha Convention...

If there's one thing I can never complain about, it's the support my Fraternity Brothers have given me. Brothers have seriously purchased my Divine Nine and Friends With Benefits two or three times, and my hand nearly cramped from selling so many books at the Alpha Convention. The sinuses still are bumping, but I forced myself to get up and relax a bit last night. Went to a couple of suites and partook in some orange juice, cold water, and then when I was feeling better, a bit of Merlot. Got in a few games on the domino table, couldn't get a good hand all night, and generally had a great time with the Brothers. I was pretty mellow by the time I'd gotten back to the hotel room, which was about 4am.

So now, it's rolling out to BWI and on home. I miss my beautiful wife and son, which I always do. BTW, it's always great to see Black men at the convention who are not the subject of either Bill Cosby's rants, or some social scientist's theory of black pathology. We're the ones who work hard, love our wives, love and raise our children, worry about expenses, and hope to make a contribution to society as best we can. It pumps me up to see so many positive brothers, all with college educations, fellowshipping. And to know that there are nine organizations filled with black men and women like this, well, it warms my heart.

I need something to eat, something other than a burger.

Tomorrow, I have an interview for the NBC/NAACP Fellowship. After that, I'm going to set up my Money Shot schedule. So look for MASSIVE amounts of progress on the book when it comes to word count. When I'm not writing, I tend to miss writing. And for the past week, I haven't written anything, and now I feel like writing everything. So I don't think I have anything to worry about when it comes to my deadline in about seventy five days.

Man, Karen leaving Kensington is pretty discomforting. She's really been a great friend, and bought my first three books, so it's going to be weird working with a new editor at that house, particularly at this point. I only have her Kensington email addy, so I can't really get in contact with her, but I'd LOVE to know what was the dealio. She created the black book line at Kensington (Dafina), so her move to Warner is a coup for Warner.

All right, hope all are well. I met a number of you at my convention, and it was great to know that you're all reading. More later!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Karen Thomas...

Well, I just read that my editor at Kensington Books, Karen Thomas, has left the publishing house. It would have been nice to have received an email from someone about this. I read it on my girl Felicia's blog (The Back List on my list of websites on the sidebar). If I hadn't felt so f*ed up, I probably would have found out last week.

I wonder what this means for my book? I was supposed to receive the manuscript back from Karen around today. According to Kensington, they are looking for a replacement, and the rumor is that Karen is going to Warner. So that puts me in a bit of limbo. I have a signed contract, but a new editor. I hate uncertainty, but c'est la vie.

Karen has edited and purchased three of my books, and I hope to work with her in the future. Plus, she's mad cool and I consider her a friend.

Can't Shake This Cold...

I just can't shake this cold. I signed a TON of books these last two days, but right after that, I continue to look like shit. My boys have fled the coop, and it was good seeing them, even though I had to stumble over them each morning. The convention has been a success, and I've seen a bunch of people who I've only known via my various listserves. Tonight, I think I'm going to go out to this old school party at a club called Bohemian. After that, relax and max.

Friday, July 28, 2006


I feel like shit. Got in at 2am the other night, and then began signing books at 10am. Was on my feet until 7:30pm, with hay fever and a sore throat. I feel like shit. Everybody else rolled out to continue to drink and I decided to hit the hotel room and chill for the evening. Three of my frat are crashing in my room. That's fine, but there's nothing like drunk folks coming into your room in the middle of the night while you're sober. You don't get the joke that they're getting, and no one will shut up. Ever. I'm tired and feel like shit. I've gotta get up at 8am and sign until around 1pm. I'm conventioned out. It's been great and fun, but I'm did, done, did.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Hey all,

Flew into Baltimore a couple of day ago, with the intention of driving to NYC, but ended up feeling like death. You know how you wake up and know that you'll have to sleep the whole day? That was my day. So I didn't get to see my agent and editors. I'll have to do it later.

Now I'm in Washington DC, and our convention is simply great. Everyday, I'm seeing brothers I haven't seen in twenty years, and there are THOUSANDS. I'll post pics later.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Going To My Convention...

In a couple of days, I head out to the East Coast to celebrate the 100th Centennial Convention for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I have been an Alpha for twenty one years, and so this is going to be great. A frat brother of mine thought he'd send me a picture to show changes.

This is me now: A 40 year old who's in pretty good shape.

But here I am in 1988: I'm ridiculously skinny, with a ridiculous look on my face. And look at that fade! It is TIGHT! To the far left is my sands Marty Smith, and in the middle is my boy Rouvaun Walker. Boy, we were skinny!

And here I am with my frat brother Anthony Williams. We are in the halls of Sproul Hall, sitting in for something, I can't remember what. Might be divesting from South Africa, or it could be the amount of black students at Berkeley.

I don't know if anyone is interested, but I'm going to upload pictures from the convention to the blog.

Not Bad...

It's about 2:30am and it's too damn hot. I mean I'm chilling in my boxers and I feel like a Florida slave workin' in the midday sun. Every fan in the house is on 11, and yet, nothing. And look, if you have locks, especially locks as long as mine, they make you about twenty degrees hotter. I still haven't mastered the art of tying my locks in a pile, so the back of my neck just radiates heat. Oh well.

Not a bad writing night. About five hundred more words. Lex and I have made arrangements for August. My frat has a contact with Heather Hunter, so we'll see where that leads. Momentum is back on my side.

Continuing to work on the BESTSELLER story. Jockying between the spare script brain and the descriptive book side is no treat.

Info on the Savoy magazine saga. It looks like after a year, I'm about to get paid. I have been promised that a check will go out next Wednesday. When I receive it, I will of course run to the bank as soon as possible in order to make sure it's not made of rubber. But our national nightmare is almost over. Viva La Writers!

Prepping for East Coast trip. Packing for Fraternity conventions are no easy tasks. You have your suits, your club clothes, your casual clothes, etc. And then you end up buying a ton of paraphenalia. Basically, seven days of clothes. For women, this may be normal. For guys, this is a chore.

BTW, if anyone is in DC from July 26th to July 30th, holla at me during the Alpha convention. It will be great to see you.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Creative Juices Rolling...

I feel it again. I think I was just burnt from writing in school, but I feel my second wind. I'm remembering why I liked this book, and it's flowing again. Six hundred words so far tonight, and it's about 1:05am. I'm going to keep going, not pushing, but just going.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I'm working on the story of my next script, BESTSELLER. I've figured out what happens up until Page 30, the first act, and now I'm working on the second act.

A quick synopsis of BESTSELLER: It's about a woman who goes on her final book tour. That's all I can say. But I can say that it's my first comedy.

I feel I have my Money Shot mojo back. I'm going to work on it later tonight, and I'm pretty enthused. Rarely do I have periods when I'm unmotivated, but the past month was one of them. But I'm going to make some headway tonight. No word count guarantees, but I think I can get to around 10,000 words.

For some reason, I have this feeling that I'm going to write while on the East Coast. Something just tells me that one or two times, I will find myself writing versus doing everything else I could be doing. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Watch out now...

Uh oh, I feel like I'm back y'all. I'm writing and it doesn't feel forced. We'll see what I get done by the end of the night.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Day 89...Nothing...

I got nothing. But I'm going to look at what I've written so far and do a bit of editing. Also, my editor says that I should be able to add photos.

Monday, July 17, 2006

90 Days...Until Manuscript Due

Okay, while I'm not going to worry about writing goals for the next week, I DO need to realize that there are officially 90 days until Money Shot is due at Thunder's Mouth. This is a rather peculiar position for me because I've never before found myself pressing on a book. But I am pressing a bit. However, there is still plenty of time.

I think I'm pressing because I'm not done interviewing everyone I need for the book. Grad school kind of fucked that up. But not all is lost. What I will do is simply spend as long as I need in August conducting the rest of my interviews. Once those are done, and I can look at my table of contents and KNOW that I don't need anymore information, then I'll finish writing everything. Thank God that UCLA doesn't start until the end of September. My agenda would have been real weak without that extra month.

In reality, school doesn't begin until the first of October, since we have to pitch during that time. And my next script, BESTSELLER, is almost fully fleshed out as a story. I HAVE been working on that.

The only fly in the ointment with my plan is the fact that Kensington is going to send me back my novel. This will have notes from my editor, so I'll have to fix whatever she finds wrong with that. But this may be a good thing. This summer, I've become lazy and soft. I wake up, complain that it's hot, and sit my ass back on the couch, doing nothing. Having a big, fat manuscript full of red slashes where Karen finds stuff that doesn't make sense will jolt me back into writing mode.

On another front, it looks like I just might get paid by Savoy. Nothing certain until I get the check, take it to the bank, see if it bounces or clears, but good sources tell me that it just may happen. We'll see.

I need to finish up preparing for NY and my national convention. I think I'm going to drive to NYC from Baltimore, and then drive back to Baltimore. I'm signing at the Alpha National Convention from 10am to 2pm each day, and I want to be well rested because I'm basically going to be awake 24 hours a day. I'm going to try those anti-hangover pills and see if they work.

My NBC interview is scheduled for the 31st. I turned in my Sloan script. Also, one of our screenwriting students held a party at her house. She's sweet as can be, and her house is the BOMB. Lastly, we gathered with some friends at Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch restaurant. The food was only so-so, but the conversation was fun. We try to gather with our friends each month, so it's all good.

Sorry that I haven't been such a consistent writer, but this is a reality. Every writer goes through a period where they don't feel inspired, energetic, or imaginative. Professional writers gut it out though, and that's what I'm going to do.

BTW, after I get back from the East Coast, I'm going to be a bit more specific about what I've done to move Money Shot forward. That will help too.

Still Got Nothin'

Still haven't written anything. Been about a week now. It's just too damn hot. Regardless, I'm not going to put any word count goals on this week. If I write something before heading to the East Coast, then cool. If not, then August will be hella busy. is rolling along. I'm going to start sending out press releases soon.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Relaxing and Maxing...

I had my shave today and I think it changed my life. Seriously, as my seven year old says. I walked into The Shave of Beverly Hills, thinking that this was going to be disappointing, after all of the build up, but NO. Look, I'm not saying that a man should pay $65 for a shave everyday, but if you want to feel just a bit better about yourself, this is the lick.

They lean you back...oh I can't describe it. It's just good. The brotha holding the straight edge simply removed every hair follicle on my face (except for the 'stache, goatee, and soul patch lol). The trim of the mustache and goatee? Perfect. The wife can't stop staring. The cheeks are so smooth that I can't stop touching it. No razor burn. No nicks or cuts. Look, if you want to get the best shave ever, go. Seriously.

On the writing front, I'm just relaxing. I'm not going to stress, cause I've been stressing way too much lately. It'll get done. I'm getting ready to go to my Frat convention, and I'll probably dine on a diet of Makers Mark and water for seven days. After that, I'll get back on Money Shot.

Oh, after I get back from DC, I have an interview with NBC and the NAACP for their fellowship. All of the other finalists will meet when I'm on the East Coast, so it's cool that they set up a time for me.

On another front, an agent had his assistant read Men Of Their Times, and the assistant liked it. The agent is going to read the script, and if he likes it, he's going to float my name for a project that is already fully financed. That, in an understatement, would be cool. But cart is running WAY before the horse. We'll see how it rolls.

My face feels sooooo good...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One Other Thing...

My option project fell apart. My subject is a REALLY sweet person and I think she has a great story, but there were a lot of red flags. One, she is really committed to writing a book about her life and she thinks there would be a conflict between my script and her book. I tried to explain as much as possible that bios are hard, if not impossible to sell, especially if you don't have a hook. Anyone in the publishing industry will tell you that it's even hard for celebs to sell a bio. But I've learned one thing about writers and books. I can't and won't discourage anyone from writing their book, regardless of the odds. That's simply not fair.

But I think she was getting bad advice from her advisors who were all afraid that my option would hinder her opportunity to sell her manuscript. The manuscript is not done and I explained that even if it were done today and sold today, it would still take two years to come to market. However, if I wrote a script and she finished her book, AND the script sold, she could have an agent shop the manuscript with the added note that a script about her life was already sold, she would come to the publishers with a bit of clout. Now, she's just in the same pile as all of the other people with inspirational stories. But c'est la vie. Maybe later?

So I'm on to the story I was going to write for the Fall before the option project. It's called BESTSELLER, and I think it's a winner. But then, I believe all my stories are winners, or I wouldn't do it. LOL


My day started off great. My mom brought the munchkin home, so all is well. The fish tank, which has been leaking profusely for the past month, finally reached critical mass. So it was remove the fish, empty the tank, and carry that smelly, leaky, heavy ass tank back across town to the pet store. I was ready for battle with owner, until he showed me why the tank was leaking. The filters were filthy. I simply needed to change them. That really made me eat a bit of humble pie. So two hours later, with hands that smell like fish (and will for weeks), the problem was finally solved.

Met with my boy MK, who is just DOING it! He is making a documentary that will be as important as any I've seen about the African American community. I just can't tell you what it's about. But he, and a few other UCLA students, are ripping their project.

Tomorrow, like Scarlett famously proclaimed, is another day. I'm going to wake up, head to the gym in order to get back on the weight loss track (I'm rolling 218lbs now. That's about six pounds over what I reached when I was pretty dedicated). But, about seven days on the lifecycle and good eating should kill that.

After going to the gym, it'll be a back to the crib to shower and then all day at the Westwood Novel (where I met MK today. That was a damn good Strawberry Lemonade.) I think I'll spend at least six hours there writing Money Shot. If that works, then I'll rinse and repeat the rest of the week.

BTW, got a bit of info about the NBC/NAACP Fellowship. An NBC rep and NAACP rep will be interviewing us on July 24th. Only prob: I fly out to the East Coast that day. Bummer. But they're going to reschedule me later when I get back. After that, we'll find out who gets the fellowship. is a HIT! In just two days, I'm getting about two sales per hour. Nothing like waking up to sales. I sent out the first batch of tees, and as I was writing this post, I just got two more orders. Soon, I'm going to add about fifty more designs to the site.

What I'm listening to now? KRS-One: Step Into A World

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

Well, somehow the Lex shoot fell through. So that was a bummer. But on the bright side, my little boy comes back tomorrow morning! I miss his little voice, and is drive to beat me at everything from arm wrestling to running.

Today, I got some more bad news. One of my best friends in the world, Sean, just told me that his father is terminally sick. That's just devastating because his father is truly a great man. One of the best brain surgeons in the country and one of the few African American. You really don't know what to say when you're told things like that, except that you'll be there for them.

Tomorrow, I'm going to blow off and then go to Coffee Bean and work on Wednesday. If that works, then I'll go to Coffee Bean on Thursday and Friday too.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Goals Not Met...

I've completely missed my writing goals this weekend. I'll get to 10,000, but no where near the 15,000 I'd planned for myself. So it's time to change locations. Tomorrow, I'm on the Lex shoot, but on Tuesday, I'm going to the local Coffee Bean and stay there for about eight hours. I usually denigrate writers who write in public as preeners, but I'm going to take the dip. Also, I may need a dose of chocolate. If I can get to 25,000 to 30,000 next week, I would feel better about myself.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Phone Calls...

When I'm writing, I don't take phone calls and I don't call anyone. But I constantly get folks who can't understand that. Just this month, I've had about ten different people ask me questions, but insisted that I had to call them. When I tell them to send me the question via email, they freak, as though my work is some hobby and therefore I should have plenty of time for them. It ain't. It's hard enough for me to write a book with a looming deadline, but to interrupt whatever concentration I have with a long convo (meaning that the convos always last over an hour) about your idea for a book, just gets on my nerve. And I'm a cat who rarely gets mad or aggrevated. But this is getting me ticked. Anyway...

I'm back to writing tonight. It's 11pm and I think I'm going to write through the night. I had a very nice (and very expensive) dinner with the wife. She had a taste for steak, so we went to Ruth Chris in Beverly Hills. Didn't know that a steak could cost that much. Either way, I had the greatest company, and I got to say a quick hello to Billy Bob Thornton, who passed us on his way out. Ah, the perks of living in La-La land. Rubbin' elbows with the stahhs!

Hoodie Tees Is Up...

Hey all, is up and running. We have a couple of editing tweaks left to do, but if you're interested in getting a t-shirt and supporting my upcoming projects, feel free to grab a shirt. Thanks!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Money Shot Update...

I'm pretty much done with the rough draft of Chapter One of Money Shot. It's not tight by any means, but it'll do for now. I really wanted to just introduce Lex in this chapter, and I think it works well. By the time I finish tonight, I'll be around 5000 words.

Tomorrow: Send out Kensington Contract in the morning mail.
Saturday: Write all day. Get the word count to about 10,000
Sunday: Write all day: Get the word count to about 15,000
Monday: Go to Lexington porn shoot all day.
Tuesday: Contact porn stars I've haven't approached and start doing telephone interviews. I tend to hate telephone interviews and I'd rather do them in person, but time is of the essence. I have about ninety days until this manuscript is due.
Wednesday: Write all day: Get the word count to about 20,000
Thursday: Contact Anita, my editor, about getting a work for hire contract. I think I want my boy Jeff to take artistic photos of the porn stars for the book. I need to get her permission because I don't think I had photos in the book proposal, and I don't want to pay for the photos and can't use them.
Friday: Write all day and get the word count to 25,000.
Saturday: Rest

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


So after the Dallas trip, and then shooting off bottle rockets at my boy Tony's house (New Mexico is fireworks heaven when you live in safe and boring fireworks California. I bought about $100 worth of fireworks in New Mexico, brought them back to Cali and I still have a ton left.) it's time to get back to work. But I really don't feel like it. What I feel like doing is laying on the floor, watching television, and then falling asleep. But I need to get to about 10,000 words by Friday, and then 15,000 by the end of the weekend. Langston will be back next week, so I need to take advantage of the time. One thing that is putting a crimp into my work is the heat during the day. No matter how much I want to, I just can't write when it's sweltering. But I write at night mostly, so I have no excuse. Oh hell, I'm just feeling damn lazy and I don't want to admit it.

On other fronts, MK is almost done with the t-shirt site. It looks really nice and in a week or so, I'll be sending out press releases about it. I need to write them now (generally you try to give reporters about a ten day lead on your press release.)

I need to send the Kensington contract back to my agent Manie. It's in my best interest to do so since I don't get paid my advance until it gets back to them. But like always, I lag.

In a little more than three weeks, I head out to the East Coast for a mix of biz and fun. So I'm trying to prep for that.

This summer is FLYING by, but one nice thing is that UCLA doesn't start until the first of October. BTW, on that front, I think I'm going to take about twenty units in the Fall. One reason: There are a lot of classes I want to take then. Two, with twenty units, I'll only have a 434 left in the winter for graduation. Now, if I get the ABC Fellowship (which begins in January), I'd be pretty free. And third, I can then make a decision about taking more classes in the Spring, going on lectures, or prepping for the book releases. Or all three.

On Money Shot, I've emailed Lex because I need to follow him for a couple of days next week. I also need to contact a few hip hop artists that are dabbling in porn. Ice T is my first target, but there are plenty of others. Getting back to my Money Shot goals, I really should be at 40,000 words by July 24th.

Sorry about the rambling nature of this post, but that's pretty much where I am this evening.

Just Because I'm Bored...

Whatever happened to...UTFO? Bonus: What does UTFO stand for?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

2880 Miles...

We took off for Dallas last Thursday. It took about twenty hours to get there, and we covered about 1440 miles. Moms, sis, et al were doing great, and my son was happy because all of his cousins were there. Being an only child, he tends to be a loner from time to time, needing his own space, but for the next two weeks, he'll have to share. I think he'll be okay. As my wife and I were driving back (bloated by the crappy food we ate on the road. I gained WAY too much weight.), I wondered if sending your kids to the relatives down South is an African American tradition, or just an American tradition. I never went to camp as a kid, but I did go South for long summer days. I wonder. Anyway, we're back in Westwood, just in time for July 4th. The little boy won't be back until July 12th or so, so I need to get some work done on the book. But right now, I'm going to hit the gym in a couple of hours and see if I can burn off some of this MickeyDs, DelTaco, Whataburgers, out of my system.