Friday, April 27, 2007

Festival of Books...

Tomorrow, I will be exhibiting at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, so if you're in the area, feel free to stop by. I almost didn't have power for my display, which would have meant my money was wasted. But after many an angry call, a few kind words on my behalf, and my belief that "yes" exists somewhere for everything, it just takes someone to find it, I was able to overcome a whole bunch of "no's". So I'll be out there at 6am. Check you later at!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I had a great conversation with my editor at Kensington, Selena James. We were talking about my updated Divine Nine, but I also floated SLAVERYLAND by her. She loved it. So that's a good sign. I didn't write as much this week as I planned, but c'est la vie. Sometimes it goes like that. I'll write more this week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Logo...

My boy MK Asante, who is rapidly finishing his first book, did me a favor and put my logo on the website. I have a guy named Dan who actually designed the logo, and I've always liked it. He had to change it so that it reflected my new filmworks versus media, but I think it works. My philosophy: find good people and then stick with them for all of your projects.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'd registered some of my domains at instead of godaddy, so when a few of them lapsed, I didn't notice. Well, one of them was the domain for the production company I'm setting up post graduation. I was pretty, pretty pissed. So instead of RudeBoyMedia, my production company will be named RudeBoyFilmWorks. I registered that domain, and my accountant/lawyer will incorporate it next month.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stuff to do...

Final stuff for my two books. For the non-fiction, I'm waiting for my subjects to send in their permissions. That is frustrating. I'm hoping my editor gives me a further extension to Monday. And then lastly, I received proofs for my fiction manuscript. If I see any issues, I have to fax them those corrections by April 27.

BTW, what happened at VT was just terrible. I've been to that campus four times over the past seven years. Two times, I lectured on the Divine Nine, once I was there for a conference, and the third time, I kicked it with Nikki Giovanni and her family, as I profiled her for my second book, The Ways of Black Folks. If there's a nicer, stronger person in the world than Nikki, I don't know her. Anyway, she gave the powerful speech at the convocation today and I was just awed. She is a master writer.

Day one of the diet went well. I decided to go about it differently. This time, I'm counting calories. If I eat about 2880 calories a day, then I'll maintain my weight. I ate only 1300 calories today and I felt stuffed. It was WHAT I ate that made the difference. Bought some inline skates to get some different exercise. That'll burn another 200 calories a day. We'll see how this works out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting in Shape...

With most of my deadlines gone, I have no excuse for not getting in shape. The belly is swelly, and although I pride myself for having written five books lying on the couch, it ain't the most health way to stay in shape. So yeah, I know I've talked about staying in shape before, but now I'm doing it. I'm going to drop twenty pounds by June 15th so that my graduation pictures look good. It worked when I was losing weight for my birthday a year ago, so why not now. That will get me to 205lbs. Being 6'1, and 225lbs, stretches the "looking good in your clothes" delusion. So tomorrow it is. No more 7-up cakes, Phillips barbecue, Papa Johns pizza, Snicker bars, Fanta orange soda, and pollyseeds. 500 crunches and 500 pushups a day. Six small meals a day to get the metabolism up. Cut carbs and fat. Maybe even run around the block to get the day started. I am going to get some inline skates. I'll skate around the Federal building just so I don't fall on my fool head.

Project: Slaveryland

This week, I'm going to concentrate on finishing one of two fiction projects that have been hanging around. I started SLAVERYLAND two years ago, and stopped writing it when I started UCLA. But I really like the story and I think it's time to put it back on the front burner.

So this week, I'm going to see if I can knock out an average of 1000 words per day. Right now, I'm at 33,000 words, and the first thing I'll do is read through it and add as I go. The final target word count will probably be between 80,000 to 100,000 words.

This weekend...

Finished doing the copy edit for my non-fiction book. God bless my copy editor. She is good. Finished my observations.

My writing schedule is starting to make sense, and is taking some stress off. Although I didn't finish until about thirty minutes ago, it still feels good to know that I'll have time tomorrow to do my trends.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mass Market...

Manie just told me that Friends With Benefit is now going mass market. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Writing Schedule...

I've been lagging on creating a new weekly writing schedule, but here it is:


I've been doing a lot of calls lately, and while I like to do them, I need to work with the client liaisons to make sure that my writing time is not taken. They're pretty good about it, but I need to set up some straight up writing time.

5-1am (minus Langston's martial arts):

I'm going to pull out these different projects:

SLAVERYLAND: Still @ 30,000 words. Fiction. I would love to get it done because it's really good.

THE YARDIES GO BOOM BOOM: Page one rewrite. It's not really important to get it done in the next ten weeks like a 434 script, but Tim's time is valuable so I want to get as much out of it as possible. I think it'll be about four drafts before it's ready. Maybe the end of the summer.

NEW NON-FICTION BOOK PROPOSAL: I will do this one at a leisurely pace. I hate writing book proposals in the first place, so I'm going to whittle this one over the next two months.

POSSIBLE MANIE PROJECT: I'll know on Friday if we're doing it. If so, then my weekends get busy.


No more than eight hours of work per day.


I have pledged to let none of this stress me out. I'm going to schedule everything, but I'm also going to relax and do other things. I'm buying some new skates tomorrow so I can get my exercise on. After that, I'm tossing my old mountain bike and getting a new one. De-stress through exercise and relaxation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I met with Tim Albaugh and he's going to guide me through my rewrite of The Yardies. Tim is cool because he give you the unvarnished truth about your shit. If your characters are flat (mine) then he tells you. If the second act is crap (mine) then he tells you. But more importantly, Tim is not only a writer, but also a producer. I've said this film school is divided between those who write scripts for contests and those who write to make films. There's big difference. Dave Johnson told me this last spring, and I took it straight to heart. From that point on, I stopped patting myself on the back on being a film student and started prepping to make writing scripts a revenue producing activity. Writing books produces revenue, and that's why I explore various topics in book form. Since last year, I've been working to make scripts the same thing.

Since we don't have an official rewrite course at the film school, I made one myself. It is very important that I understand what a script that is ready look like. Tim made a good suggestion. Find three people who you trust, folks without an agenda, and have them read your stuff. Then take or leave their suggestions. I'm going to do that. Folks who know what a good screenplay looks like, and will give honest opinions.

Speaking of writing...

I've got to turn in my copyedit for the non-fiction project, and then get the photos in by next week.

After that, I need to begin on my Divine Nine update. One other thing, my agent Manie Barron told me about a possible book project that has me pretty excited. I'll find out on Friday.

On Imus: proud to be a National Association of Black Journalist member. The NABJ was in front in putting pressure on MSNBC to get rid of Imus and his moldy act. When people tell me to get over stuff like Imus, or they use modifiers like "jerk" "idiot" etc, instead of saying that he is a racist, then I ask them to tell me what they think is the physical equivalent of racism. Rape? Assault? Stealing candy from the story? To me, racism is like having someone come into your house, slap your wife, and you can't do anything about it. And not only that, he keeps doing it and people who like him tell you that "oh, that just what he does". The powerlessness would piss you off, and then you'd try to react. That's what NABJ did. It reacted. No more slapping around our Rutgers sisters.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Karate Kid...

So Langston has started a martial arts class, and we never miss it. One, it's run by a great family. And two, this is a world where little boys don't get a chance to test themselves via fighting (without the obligatory guns), and so you need controlled places where they gain the confidence to go into combat to protect themselves, but also the discipline to know when to walk away. So on each Thursday, the kids spar.

The kids spar, and they can be as young as four years old, or as old as teenagers. They wear protection, and they get used to being in the arena. Langston has taken four classes so far, so he was just getting used to spar. But yesterday, it all clicked. Yesterday, he won his first match, using the ole one, two, ball kick to surprise a kid who'd beaten him previously. What's wonderful about being eight is that when you lose to someone you've beaten before, you don't act like an adult and get all mad. Nope. You want to be friends. And that's what happened. Langston's opponent suddenly wanted to talk to Langston and Langston back at him. It's respect that comes from a real place versus one that is manufactured. It would be great if more of our little black boys had the opportunity to learn that. Perhaps they wouldn't look for it when they were grown men and pledging a fraternity.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Next Ten Weeks...

It's time to start create a writing schedule for the next ten weeks. Thank God, but I'm not really under any deadline pressures.

1. The Divine Nine update will be due in June, and I'll start gathering material next week. This shouldn't be that hard to do. It's pretty plotted out and I know what I'm doing. I'm thinking that Monday mornings will be devoted to contacting subjects about the info I need, and then I'll do interviews on Saturdays.

2. My editor needs the photos for my non-fiction manuscript. Still waiting on permissions.

3. Tim and I will meet every couple of weeks to go over my rewrite for The Yardies. That means I only have one class at UCLA this quarter.

More later...

Sunday, April 01, 2007



The numbers to the safe. I should actually name a script 10-17-30-45-60-75-90-WP. Okay, I'm up at 2:30am, writing on my script and I'm pretty giddy. And I think I'm addicted to SoBe drinks.