Saturday, September 30, 2006

Abuse and Worthy Causes

Today I will be joining several of my friends to raise money for an organization called, Southwest Women Working Together. Barbara Keaton, of Cupid and Nights over Egypt coming out in Dec from Genesis Press is on the board. She asked me to....I'll have to take that back. She told me that I was going to be there as well as Lisa G, Riley of At last and her newest, part of an erotica anthology, Wicked Delights, Deatri King-Bey of Caught Up and, her newest, Beauty and the Beast coming out from Parker in Dec, that we were all to come to this event and being the good little friends that we are we said sure.

I almost forgot. She strong armed Nikki Woods of Easier Said than done into being the M.C. Then she got Angie Daniels and Earl Seawell to be our guest. She managed to get great prizes one including a dinner with Earl for whoever brings in the most guests.

Okay, I know you're wondering where the heck I'm going with all of the above but you know how friends are mention one's name and not the other and well....things can get pretty ugly. LOL. OOPS. Sorry. Kelle Z. Riley author of Dangerous Affairs is also a participant.

Anyway back to what the reason was for me writing this. Barb gave all of us jobs to do and kept adding to them I might add. The latest thing was to go to the dollar store and buy ten red bags. She had earlier asked us to post all of the information on all of our sites which I will admit here in public that I didn't do. I try to walk the line between spamming people and telling them things that they might not want to hear so I only posted it one place.

Well yesterday I was in the dollar store and besides the red bags I found tons of things that I will use later when I'm making up gift bags for my readers. So the cashier finally asks me when she's ringing up the bag what they were for so I told her about the event today.

She proceeded to tell me with a full line of customers behind me that she was a survivor of spousal abuse, that her throat had been slashed, both legs broken, ear drum shattered and numerous other things. Then she told me that her fourteen year old daughter was being abused by her fifteen year old boyfriend and that her daughter ended up in the hospital because she had begun cutting into her flesh. The boy was telling this child where she could go, whom she could see, and what time she had to be home. I was in stunned disbelief even as I stood there looking on the woman's battle scars.

It was then that I knew that spamming or not this subject is important enough that I said it. If anyone out there needs helps getting away from an abusive partner and that include men who are abused by women please contact me if you can't find any of the many places that offer help on your own. For the people living in the Chicago area I will post the information on my website.

If you're an abuser please get help, if you're a victim of abuse, you're not alone there are people willing to show you a safe way out of your situation. Please call someone. No one knows you have a need unless you tell them.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

If Women Ran the World

God bless Ted Turner.

Say what you like about the man, he's never short of an opinion. Like the one he gave during a Reuters Newsmaker appearance. You can read the entire article here but let's talk about this gem:

"Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world. ... It would be a much kinder, gentler, more intelligently run world. The men have had millions of years where we've been running things. We've screwed it up hopelessly. Let's give it to the women."

So that begs the question...what would the world be like if women ran it? Do you agree that it would be better? Would we have a kinder, gentler universe? Do you think Ted's been eating too may buffalo burgers? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Authors Cite Problems with Publisher Genesis Press

Click here to read the PW article, then come on back.

It’s not an easy thing for writers to complain about their publishers, especially to this extent, which goes way beyond the “teacher’s lounge” decompressions of many a writers group meeting. It may be even more difficult for women, most of whom aren’t raised to be anything other than decorous and polite and long-suffering.


For most of us, writing is not a hobby. For most of us, writing is something we want to make a career of doing. We all dream of combining our love of something with making a living. While many of us write because we can’t not write, we publish and enter into contracts because we want to make money. When we agree to a contract, we believe what it says, that if we do our part, they will do theirs.

We expect to get paid the advance as contracted, before the book comes out (which is what “advance” means).

We expect to receive royalty statements and payments as specified in those contracts.

We expect to be notified of book club sales, reprints, and new publishing editions, because all of those impact our career, and our monies.

We expect to get our rights back when the book is no longer available to purchase through regular channels. This is a good definition of “out of print.” Having a few dozen misprinted copies in a dusty corner of a warehouse where someone may be able to get a copy if they call the publisher and the office staff can track it down if they can even find it in their database does not count as being “in print.”

I think these are reasonable expectations. I would hope most people think these are reasonable expectations. I hope people understand why authors felt they had to speak up. I’d like to think that people would sympathize with an author who hasn’t seen any information from the publisher on a book published in 2000 that is still making sales. Or the book in 2002, or 2004.

Writing is an art, but I don’t want to starve for it.

Monica Jackson wrote in her blog about it. I don’t think I can add anything more than that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Pledge Stupidtiy

File this one under "What Were They Thinking?"

According to the Associated Press and UGA's, the University of Georgia suspended the Chi Phi fraternity last Friday for flashing images from a porn magazine at passersby on campus.

Here's the kicker: the magazine is called Black Tail, so you can guess the ethnicity of the women in the magazine. And the pledges photographed people's reactions as they flashed the photos.

Chi Phi president Matthew Hughes said the fraternity is "embarassed" by the incident, disavowed any prior knowledge, and refused to explain why the pledges were showing this magazine in Tate Plaza in the first place.


1. SHowing porn to the unsuspecting and photographing their reactions without their consent.
2. Showing this particular magazine, as if no one would be upset at a predominantly homogenous university (which is actively seeking diversity) who has pledges who think this is "funny." (Yes, one of the pledges actually said that to a reporter. Funny.)

Don't women have a hard enough time as it is? Especially black women? We're either objects to decorate a rap video or overweight grandmothers playing the movie going audience for laughs. And don't get me started on the MTV cartoon that showed black women on leashes squatting on all fours. It's one thing to be into bondage, but this was something else.

At least in romance novels, black women can be portrayed as the intelligent, successful, well-rounded women we are. Women who demand and receive respect. Women who get wild because they choose to, not because it's the only option. Women who are not objects, but object to being treated like one.

So to my romance-writing sistahs, thank you.