Current Playlist

My current playlist

To answer the question of what’s on my current playlist, I’m listing the most prominent artists on my daily rotation. This list changes as my mood changes and I think you might be surprised at what’s on it today.

These tunes are getting ridiculous play regardless of whether they’re connected to a scene, or character, or not. Many of these songs have a direct relationship to what I’m writing, some of them have no connection whatsoever–at least none that I can see right now. Sometimes, I’ll have music on rotation for no apparent reason until one day it either hits me as to why it’s on the list, or it just starts making sense. Sometimes the characters choose the song(s) and I have little to do with it.

For the record I’m currently writing two pieces: a short story and the follow-up to Blood To Blood.

Current playlist: Santigold

Current playlist: Santigold

Current playlist: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Current playlist: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Current playlist: Green Day

Current playlist: Green Day

Artists in current rotation

Santigold
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Green Day

Adele
Andy Gibb
Muse (of course)

Cee-lo Green
Kylie Minogue
Arcade Fire

Blondie
Alabama Shakes
Class Actress

Blood To Blood Excerpt

Blood To Blood Excerpt #1: “The good thing about having a sister who can fly is that you never have to wait for her too long. Cici soon bounded up the steps from whatever hidden spot it was she had dropped out of the sky. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a slim thermos. “Drink,” she ordered. The smell wafting out of the metal container confirmed it was blood. Before I could even think about it, I drained it quicker than you could say, “Type A.”

And that was that.

No trumpet fanfare. No divine choir singing from parted cumulus clouds or anything else I’d fantasized would accompany such a momentous occasion. Nonetheless, I was now a bonafide blood drinker.

I broke out in a cold sweat. “More.”

Blood To Blood is currently available in pre-release through Amazon Kindle. Buy or borrow it today!

Blood To Blood Available in Pre-release

Blood To Blood: Available in pre-release via Amazon (Kindle). Buy or borrow today!

Blood To Blood Novel

Blood To Blood Novel

Finally, after 3 years of writing, re-writing, editing and querying over and over again, my book is out and in the world. Blood To Blood, available in pre-release, is my first novel.

*Major exhale* Phew!

I am so very excited to be sharing these characters with everyone! There’s something very liberating about knowing that I did my part to infuse these characters with the personalities they showed me, and now it’s out of my hands.

During pre-release, the book will be available exclusively through Kindle where you can buy or borrow it. The official release, which will see it available across multiple platforms as well as in hard copy, will be in October 2012.

There’s nothing more I can do with this book except hope that readers enjoy it and fall in love with Angel, Sawyer and Justin, too.

By the way, you may wonder how I chose to celebrate this momentous occasion. I went to see Dark Knight Rises. It rocked. However, my prayers and love energy go out to the people whose lives were forever changed by the senseless killings at a screening this past weekend.

Well, I’m off to write the next story. Hmmm…it may include at least one of the above-mentioned Blood To Blood characters. In the meantime, enjoy an excerpt.

 

My Muses: Cosby Show

Inspiration for the family in Blood To Blood came from what some may consider to be an unlikely source: The Cosby Show.

Cosby Show: The Huxtable family

The Huxtables

Long ago (early 2000s), in a land far, far away (Los Angeles) when I was working on a different project (Star Trek) the idea for a TV show came to me. The family was based, in part and very loosely, on the family from the show, the Huxtables.

Since the theme of family comes up again and again in my work, it’s no surprise that the Huxtables inspired my writing. The series gave us a strong mom and dad who were both successful in the professional world, and managed to translate that success daily on the home front by making their family the priority.

Interestingly enough, when the Cosby Show first came out, some people were blown away by Black American characters who didn’t display any of the stereotypical dysfunction heretofore marketed to TV audiences. The reality of educated, upper middle-class Black American family life had been unseen on prime time. Millions of viewers became fascinated by a typical American family that was once considered The Other.

It’s the concept of Otherness disguised in the packaging of The Everyday that fascinates me.

As with the other family that inspired Blood To Blood, the element of otherness percolating within the framework of day-to-day life (or, as in the case with Dark Shadows, the ordinary percolating within the framework of Strangeness) inspires me to create characters who deal with the same issues we all deal with, but in a slightly “different” context.

Like most families, Angel Brown’s family grapples with the daily challenges of raising children into responsible adults, making good decisions, living a moral life, etc. The fact that they’re witches and blood drinkers is the stuff that makes them different, but it’s the commonality, the connection to all families, that makes them familiar.

 

 

Muse 2012: Grub Street

You all know I’m a big fan of Muse but this post’s about a writers conference I recently attended.The annual conference is put on by Grub Street, an independent writers’ center in Boston, and has quite a reputation.

Especially thought-provoking was a talk given by Richard Nash:

Whether it’s a multi-day conference or a local writers’ support group, these types of events are beneficial for writers, both aspiring and seasoned. There’s nothing like being in a room with 3000+ writers or a room with just 3 writers for making new connections and getting invaluable information on the business side of writing. Thanks, Grub Street!

My Muses: Dark Shadows – RIP Jonathan Frid

Jonathan Frid: Dark Shadows

Jonathan Frid: Dark Shadows

I was raised on Dark Shadows. Literally.

My mom loved this show. She watched it religiously, and I sat right beside her watching it, too. I remember the excitement both of us displayed as the eerie music rose at the top of the show. I’d look at her, she’d look at me and then we’d turn to stare at the dark stories unfolding before our eyes.

Real mom-daughter bonding.

The anticipation was the highest during the opening:

It was truly an event.

The funny thing is I cannot tell you anything about the plot. Yeah, I know it was about a weird family, that witches were involved and that the main guy Barnabas Collins was an ancient vampire. But I can’t remember the plot lines or even one episode. I was too young to even understand it much less absorb the story lines.

Nonetheless, Dark Shadows became, and will forever remain, part of the foundation of my creative subconscious. I grew up loving gothic mansions, strange unusual families and of course anything related to vampires.

The show was even an inspiration for Blood To Blood.

So now that Jonathan Frid, the actor who portrayed Barnabas (at the time of this posting his website, www.jonathanfrid.com, was “unavailable”), has passed on, and Hollywood has decided to revisit the show with a major film starring Johnny Depp, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to delve into one of the deepest parts of my subconscious. Thanks to the magic of YouTube and the miracle of Netflix streaming on my laptop, I can explore scenes from the original Dark Shadows and even watch an episode or two.

Maybe, this exploratory activity will uncover something about my writing that I was unable to figure out. Like why it’s always easier for me to write after the sun goes down. Or it might shed light on my personality. Like why images of brooding gothic mansions near cliffs pounded by waves give me the warm fuzzies.

 

 

Weekly Word: Inspiration and Work

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” ~ Chuck Close

Part of the writer’s dilemma is writing, and finding the time to write in a busy schedule. Writing on a daily basis is ideal, but making the time to write, for many of us, is an art.

saraswati I like this particular quote because it reminds me that the work of writing is the most important thing. When I’m writing my creativity flows and I feel the need to write more. There’s a connection with the practical doing of writing and actually getting it done. This doing can be applied to anything, not just writing.

So yes, inspiration is great, but without the doing the inspiration is wasted. Even if you don’t feel inspired, do what you need to do anyway. Whether it’s writing or any other creative endeavor, just do it.

Make it a habit, break it down into manageable steps, tackle the biggest job first, and before you know it you’re not stuck waiting for inspiration. You’ll be actually taking action to make your ideas a reality.

Weekly Word: Your Habits = Your Life

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

This is one of so true it stays posted on my wall. When things are not working smoothly in my life I usually take a look at how that connects to my personal habits. Then, adjusting my personal habits accordingly fixes the issue, or at least improves the situation, the majority of the time.

Angel Heart

For example, when I for whatever reason start putting off doing little chores at home, that procrastination builds and spreads, like a disease, to all the other parts of my life. Soon I am putting off big things and not staying on top of important things. Once I reverse this and address even the smallest of matters in a timely fashion (like finally washing those dishes, or replacing the batteries in the chirping smoke alarm) that energy also reverberates to the other sections of my life (staying on top of my work schedule, paying bills on time, etc.). Effective planning  is a habit I am currently in the process of building (emphasis on effective).

So the message here is to make sure that what you do repeatedly, your habits, are serving you and facilitating the type of life you want to live. If they aren’t let them go, replace them with actions that do serve you, and watch how your life changes for the better. As Zig Ziglar says, self discipline is the key to excellence!

 

Hello world!

I’m a writer, a mom and an avid music lover. Not necessarily in that order, depending on what day and/or mood you catch me in. But I am always a mom. And always will be a writer. And will always love music.

And I will forever *know* that life is magic. Know that it is a spell weaved by us and those around us. I will always know that we can have and be whatever it is we believe we can be.

I know this for myself and I know it for you.

So something here on this blog will always relate to something above. One of those passions listed just now. These passions comprise who I have chosen to be. And who we have chosen to be is all any of us really are.

So here are some quick and dirty facts about me:

  • I’m obsessed with angels.
  • I’m obsessed with some of my characters. Some are angels.
  • I like almost any genre of music.
  • I’m a strict but fun-loving parent.
  • I like to save money but I like quality.
  • I believe that our thoughts create our reality.
  • I am a die-hard romantic loner.
  • I want to share my ideas with as many people as possible, and hope they will gain something from it.
  • I have to force myself to go to sleep 89% of the time.
  • I  can’t remember a time when I didn’t write Fantasy or Science Fiction.
  • I am starting work on a novel based on an idea I had when I was 6 years old. Can’t say much about it now, but when you read it you’ll see what a strange childhood I had.
  • I sometimes fall asleep with my face in my laptop.
  • I would like to meet Adam Levine and am trying to figure out a way to put him (or someone really like him) in one of my books.
  • I am 5’2 3/4″.
  • I could care less about my weight. It’s how I feel that’s important.
  • I drink at least 3 cups of green tea everyday.
  • My mom was a medium.
  • Coffee gives me the runs.
  • I really really want to read much more than I do now.
  • I am jealous of writers who effortlessly spout new, bleeding edge names when asked “Who is your favorite writer?”
  • I like bullet points.
  • My favorite book of all time is still The Hobbit.
  • I was raised on the following: Dark Shadows, Lost In Space, 80s music, Creature Double Feature (Saturday back-to-back B-movies aired in Boston and usually starring Godzilla), and endless daydreaming.
  • My current workplace will be the setting of future writings.

At any given time I might start talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. Please bear with me as I continue to work out the details of my mind. Thanks for visiting.

Ifè Oshun