Being the WBW – Random Rant


First, what is a WBW you may be asking, or maybe you are not because you know I have a tendency to be a bit eccentric.   In short, ‘WBW’ is an acronym I made up to describe those of us in this mysterious position.  It means ‘weird black woman.’   This is where the rant begins…

What we are taught…

In our childhood, we are taught, hell, drilled to be unique.  To be the ‘talented tenth’ W.E.B. DuBois wrote so passionately about.   “Be U!” “Be Unique!” were supposed to be our mantras and our banners.    So we did, we were bold, unique… the problem:  being unique meant you were trying not to be black.   If I chose to wear my hair natural, I was being too militant to live up to the long locks of Keisha Night Pullum, Jada Pinkett or Sanaa Lathan.  That meant I wasn’t trying to fit in or get a man because I would not conform.  If I chose to wear my hair in the long tresses, the militant black women would be like: “what’s wrong with your natural hair? Don’t give in to the man.”  What do I have now? a faux hawk.  Damn the militants and the wanna be cover models, and anyone else.  I like it because it is me, it is who I am, and just wait until I get it dyed red and perhaps violet highlights.   That makes me unique.    That also apparently means that I’m ashamed of my blackness. Why are you trying to be something you are not? This perhaps coming from someone who has left more horses without hair so their tresses can be laid and looking like you stepped out of a magazine?    It’s like India.Arie said, I’m not my hair.   I choose my hairstyle not based on my skin tone, but how it makes me feel…

The hair debacle is a decades long argument that can go either way, and the truth of the matter is, it’s a stupid argument.    If I dye my hair platinum and wore it down to my ass like a mermaid, it shouldn’t matter to you.  If I burned down your house and said the hair made me do it, then yes you can make an argument about my hair.

Hair and Race at Hooters (<— Click – Ex-Hooters waitress sues over hairstyle) You can’t apparently work at Hooters with curly hair, or a blonde highlight if you are black.

I was taught that in order to succeed, you have to be stronger, smarter and faster than everyone else.  In order to do that, I had to learn, read, engross myself in world views, and realize that the world did not revolve around the small town mindset of the suburb I lived in.  Unfortunately, that meant not skipping class like most of the black kids in my school.  If I was too smart, I was selling out.  So being dumb was the style… say what now?  Yes, being smart was wrong among your peers.  So I had to kick it with the nerds and goths.  Problem was, they didn’t know how to take me either…No I can’t teach you to dance and I’m not going to drop it like its hot because we won a debate.   Being black and smart meant you fit in nowhere.

So I had an extremely difficult time as a young adult, but you would think the more you learn, the more you grow, this type of stuff would just die.   It doesn’t.

The Here and Now

My music tastes can range from Usher, Eminem, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Creed, AWOLNATION, Three Doors Down, Tupac, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Redman, and Jay-Z.  I can even hum Lady Antebellum and have been known to know the words to a Lady Gaga or a Bonnie Rait song.   I like good music.  Liking good music apparently makes me weird or not black enough to be in the blackest of black circles.   Andre 3000 from Outkast has almost every Metallica album and no one was trying to revoke his black card.  Don’t give me a side-eye because I know  Jason Mraz and Michel Buble.   Either expand your tastes, or don’t say anything.  Don’t tread on me or my mp3 player.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset, I’m not mad.  I’m yelling for everyone to embrace their uniqueness and weirdness.   The point of this post is to be a catalyst to take off whatever glasses we are using to see the world, and view it from a fresh perspective that has not been clouded by jack-hole stereotypes.   I’m unique, yes.  Unfortunately, for me, being black, being unique means you are trying to be everything but black.   Since when did blackness and individuality go hand in hand?

My skin color should have absolutely nothing to do with what I wear, how I speak or whom I speak to.  It is 2013 people, knock it off.    I stand outside with my handsome-as- hell mate, I have cougars looking at him up and down like they want to make off with him to their lair, I really don’t need the drama from some black old man telling me I sold out.    I sold out because I don’t want to date a 40-year-old guy with his pants around his ankles, a starter cap and a dew rag?  Advice to that particular fogey, I can read four different languages, I can effectively cuss you out in three.  Get on my level before you try to criticize my level, mmmm k?  I’m an author, I can deal with a negative review.  I can’t deal with negativity born and bred out of ignorance.

I’m tired of seeing the same old news reports and articles… Has this person sold out because they cut their hair? Has this person sold out because they dated this person? Its getting old, and actually so are we.  We’ve grown the hell up.  We are not defined by our skin color, our hair, our parents, or what we eat.  I like McDonald’s fries but does that mean I’m a sloth? No, it doesn’t people.      We are all different and unique.  Whether you are white, black, brown, yellow, blue or green, embrace that part about you that sets you apart from the rest.  Only sheep are sheep, we are not sheep.   My eyes are not your eyes, my hair is not your hair.  Be proud of whatever, whomever you are.

I’ve embraced my weirdness.  I relish it. I’ve come to love the fact that people look at me and can’t figure me out.   I’m not here to break down walls of stereotypes; I’m here to annihilate stereotypes with TNT, C4, furry boots and red hair.

Sincerely, uniquely yours,

Nevea Lane aka Weird Black Woman

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Getting Better, All the Time


Can you believe that it has only been one year since I was actually published?  (Thanks Beautiful Trouble Publishing for taking a chance on me.)  Today I stopped and wondered, how do authors improve?   That being said, let me state that writers/authors/songstresses/singers all get better over time.  I don’t think anyone can look back and say they haven’t grown in some way, shape or form.  I don’t want to be the same I was last year, I want to be better.

How do we get better?  Taking criticism for starters is the only way that you can get better.  Some of us may get down in the dumps after being criticized.  I used to be one of those that would sulk and wonder why don’t they like me (cue sad puppy eyes and violin).   After a while, I got tired of hearing the same sad song and decided to let the violin be a fiddle.   I looked at everything with the critical eye and said to myself, yes, this could be better, longer, easier.

So back to my original point; how do we get better?   Run towards everything with fresh eyes and with courage.  We are going to be scared to try new things and we are going to always be skittish to step out of our comfort zone, but do it with courage.   Courage is one of those things that separates the movers and shakers from the wallflowers.

How else do we get better? We listen.   Sometimes the best things you get out of life is when you just shut up and listen.  Say nothing.  Be Silent for a moment and listen, let it come to you.

How am I improving?  I’m writing longer works for one.   I love the short story format,  a lot of yum in a little space.  I realize that sometimes people need, want and earn for a longer work.  I’m trying to do that but to do so in a way that makes me proud of my work and not something that is just long for the sake of being long.

So that was my quick check in… Back to the races people… some of us are chained to our laptops .

Resurrected and Ready


The Resurrection –

           It has been four months.  Four months since I took a moment to breathe for myself.  Four months since I’d put a pen to paper.  It had been four months since my last day off.   It took me four months to realize that I was on the verge of a burn-out and breakdown. 

How do you know when you have just compiled too much on your plate?  How do you know when you have just bitten off more than you can chew?    We all want to be helpers, we all to show ourselves to be kind, caring, loving of the world philanthropists, super-moms, outstanding students, humanitarian royalty. Guess what though?  We are all human.   We can’t do it all; we can’t always know the right things to say. Most of all, we can’t stop ourselves from being tempted to run for our responsibilities.

For the readers out there, please don’t take this particular post as being overly pious.  I’m not, at least I don’t try to be.   I can be crass, rude, annoyed, hopeless, helpless, and just as every bit human as you are.  Which brings me back to my point.  We, as humans, try to do too much.    When the MN rivers began to flood during the spring, we volunteer to sandbag.  Someone needs diapers, I’ll go.  If a friend in need wants to talk for hours, I’m right there with them.   So when are we going to admit to ourselves that sometimes the stress that we feel is our fault?  Seriously, there are just some things we do to ourselves.

According to my particular translation of the Good Book, it says “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13)  Temptations don’t always mean naughty, although for some of us, yes it is always naughty temptations.  However, what about being tempted to pick up someone from the airport when you really don’t feel like it, yet you volunteer to do it anyway?    Or, what about offering to cat-sit someone’s lovely furry feline knowing dang well you are allergic?

Now, are you really being nice or are you trying to perpetuate the myth that you can and will do it all?  Again, not being overly pious, but it is for these reasons that everyone needs to be resurrected.  Your breakdown may not come after four months like mine.   It may take you years to get there.   However, I realize that we all have one thing in common; we are human.  We are human in the fact that we all want to throw a temper tantrum when our trusty laptop goes down.  We are all human in the fact that when someone mentions another pot luck, you have the overwhelming desire to call in sick that day.  We are all human in the fact if someone asks you “how’s the weather?” one more time you will commit a felony.   Face facts people, we are undeniably, incurably human.

So, what does being human have to do with writing and having too much on your plate?   Simple, it is like I said above, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  I threw everything off my desk, grabbed a mug of hot cocoa, refused to answer my phone, and did nothing.    To be resurrected, you have to kill something, or die right? So I let my technology driven, always trying to volunteer, gotta be the greatest friend in the world self die.  Just for a day.  That is just a part of my character, I can’t let her go.   Yet, sometimes, she needs to take a back seat and let my more selfish self walk proud and preening every once in a while.

The Ready…

So now, bet on me.  I am ready.  I took a much-needed break, and now you won’t be able to get rid of me… So I’m ready, are you ready?   Let the fun begin!  I will have a new release coming soon, so be on the lookout for that.  I have some great ideas that keep on churning in my head that I am prepared to make happen.  Most of all, I’m ready for whatever comes next.   Stay tuned everyone… great changes are happening.

Pulling, Tugging, Screaming and Finally a Hot Toddy


To borrow a line from one of my favorite lyricists, “Some people ask where the fuck I’ve been; shit I don’t know, but what I do know, is that I’m back now!” (Eminem, “Underground”, Relapse)

Where have I been?

I will only answer that if you promise not to squeal, scream or tell my probation officer (The probation thing is a long story). I’ve been trying something deliciously new.  I’ve been attempting to write with a plot line.  Rarely do I ever actually plot a story.  More often than not, I’ll hear a line in a song, or hear a funny anecdote and I take off running, and my fingers will only leave the keyboard long enough to wipe my brow.

I know, I know.  Some true writers will probably want to blow up my condo with a nuclear missile for that approach.  However, it works for me.  Except on this last particular story.  I haven’t been in the habit of posting excerpts of work in progress lately because of the fact that there are some characters that I’m keeping close to my heart, but my work, before it is edited, is probably atrocious.   If you’ve read most of the free works that I’ve posted here, you realize that I don’t contract all that much.  So one new approach that I’m trying is to actually contract while writing instead of going back and using the beloved ‘find and replace’ feature.

Still not answering the question of where you’ve been Nevea….

I digress then.   Where I’ve been is writing.  I hate going back and re-reading what I’ve written.  (If you ask how do I edit and re-write, it is this simple, I usually start over).  So I’ve gotten to read some of the things that I’ve written, and I found myself wishing things like, this should have been longer, or his eyes should have been blue. So how does one deal with those I Wishes? I just do it.  I’ve got enough chips on my shoulder and so on where I don’t need another one, so I would rather re-write it than wish I had.     When do we get to the point where we just stop wishing?  So I did it.  I’ve begun the process of re-writing some of the works you’ve seen here.  Stay tuned on what happens with these free reads.

Now, I’m working on some delicious stories with my beloved publisher; and I wish I could tell you just how delicious these stories are, but I’m still tweaking and working various plot twists.  But I can tell you this much, they are longer.

Speaking of longer, and you would have had to been there to understand, I just celebrated my birthday for about a week.  A week-long celebration for a heck of a milestone… one over the big 3-0.   Why would I celebrate that occasion for a week?  We don’t do things for ourselves often enough with purely selfish intentions.  We, as people, do things because it seems like the right thing to do, or it would look good in someone else’s eyes.   This is commendable, respectable even, but that is why I chose to do a 180║ on my moral compass.

I hung out late, stayed up for two days straight, had great times with friends and lived each day as a celebration.   At the end of the week, I caught a cold but it was so worth every single minute of living each moment to its fullest, and it gave me an excuse to have a hot toddy and nurse my cold.

So there is an update on where I’ve been.   Just wait till you see where I’m going…

Friday Playlist – Hip-Hop with Soul




So you are wondering… this is quite a detour from the old school jams I usually list. That is just me, I’m eclectic, get used to that!

Why am I putting this particular playlist in cyberspace?  I am one week into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I had already fallen behind.  I was finishing WIP’s and I just needed something to get me going.  What, no Eminem you say?  This particular playlist was meant to mellow me out, not plot world domination, and to be honest, listening to Eminem’s music makes me want to take over the world or at least sing about taking over the world…

Anyway, music is a gateway to feelings.  Music is a way to tap into those emotions that don’t come out otherwise.  Sometimes you just have to slip in a zone and music is the only way you can get there.  Sometimes you can take their angst, their anger, their fear, and let it flow into a story…  Music is, in my opinion, just an audiobook set to a beat.

Without further ado… here it is, my choices for hip-hop with a touch of soul.

1)      Sooner Than Later by Drake on : http://tinysong.com/jjUz

Drake is a new comer who is really growing on me!

2)      Sweet Memories (Original) by Mary J. Blige on : http://tinysong.com/jQin

She is the original queen of hip-hop soul.

3)      Dreams ft. Brandon Hines by J. Cole on : http://tinysong.com/glHt

 J.Cole, again, another newcomer that has studied the art of the game.

4)      Ghetto Rich (Remix) (ft. John Legend, Lil Wayne & Nas) by Rich Boy on : http://tinysong.com/f9ju

 Just listen to the way John Legend sings and then listen to the verses… this should be a classic.

5)      Smile (feat. 2Pac and Johnny P) by Scarface on : http://tinysong.com/zcZJ

 Oh come on, this is Scarface and Tupac, need I say more?

6)      Shook Ones Pt.2 by Mobb Deep on : http://tinysong.com/juiv

 Mobb Deep had cold flows under the guise of mellow beats.  Wonder why Havoc is producing such hard music now???

7)      It Was All A Dream by The Notorious Big on : http://tinysong.com/fYrf

 This song is a classic..

8)      Hip-Hop Saved My Life (ft. Nikki Jean) by Lupe Fiasco on : http://tinysong.com/vflq

 Lupe!  love this dude’s mellow flow with a conscious attitude.

9)      Paper Planes by M.I.A. on : http://tinysong.com/t4FO

 Um…don’t know what to say about this one except I just like the song.

10)   Yesterday by Atmosphere on : http://tinysong.com/1H9V

 This is some homegrown talent and the dude’s flow is just a nice ride, no matter what he is talkign about.

11)   Desire (feat. Showtyme) by Pharoahe Monch on : http://tinysong.com/7XNw

 One of the most underrated MC’s….

12)   You Got Me (feat. Erykah Badu) by The Roots on : http://tinysong.com/6VAH

 The song is just classic and Eve’s verse is on point.

13)   Ms Fat Booty by Mos Def on : http://tinysong.com/6XYD

 Can you actually have a playlist on hip-hop with some soul without Mos Def on the list?

14)   This Way (featuring Kanye West) by Dilated Peoples on : http://tinysong.com/icK4

 The song is definitely one of those self-examination songs…

15)   Misunderstood by Common on : http://tinysong.com/nXX9

Deep lyrics, great hook…

Sometimes I Wonder…


You know, sometimes I wonder at what started me with writing.  I realize that it could be sheer boredom that makes me position my fingers over the keys to type out a manuscript.  It could be because I have all these funny characters running through my head that are like, homeless. *smile* These characters come barreling into my life and demand that I give them attention.

So I wonder, if I didn’t write, would I be considered crazy because I have characters talking to me in my head.  If I didn’t write, I wouldn’t have a place to put all the sassiness that I have into one person.   I believe that my characters have the ability to say the things that I ‘should’ have said in response to some remark or another.  

I also wonder what people think about my characters.  I know that sometimes being an author of romance, especially erotic interracial romance, it can be a thankless job.  I know that sometimes we can always forget that hey, there are people out there reading your words and your thoughts and they have an opinion too.   Which is why I am glad that the internet has progressed the way that it has.  I am glad that there are now Author Groups where you can sit and gab about your favorite authors and even maybe chat it up with the author if you choose.  I am glad there is a Twitter to follow your favorite authors even if they only tweet a *sigh* every six months.  (They are human beings and they do have a life, and do not merely exist to satisfy our word-cravings, even though we wish they did). 

I also sometimes try to figure out if I weren’t writing, what would I be doing with all my free time?  I would be watching t.v. shows and thinking that I could write a better plot line.  So even if I wasn’t writing, I would be thinking about writing. 

There are other times when I sit down to write, and the plot doesn’t hit me.   I have about sixteen WIP’s on my flash drive where I didn’t get further than a conversation.  The conversation is good, and I refuse to let it die, but what do I do with one good dialog?   So there they sit.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a writer is to let the book evolve on its own.  I’m so thankful to eBooks because it allows me the freedom to write something that is either 3,ooo words or 9,000 words and not feel as though I didn’t tell all of the character’s story.  I love the flexibility that being e-pubed allows. 

I’m thankful that we live in a day in age where books, news, gossip and music are so easily accessible.  If it weren’t for eBooks, I would have never discovered the world of multi-cultural/interracial story weavers.  

So those are my musings…which normally come after I have submitted a manuscript.  I bet you are wondering what the next book is…stay tuned and find out… 🙂

Friday Playlist – Taking You WAYYYY Back…


Ok, so I have mad love from where Hip-Hop has come from and where it is going.  Yet, if you don’t check your history every once in a while and learn from it, you will be doomed to repeat it, as the saying goes. 

So, for the love of Dance/ska/reggae/pop/hip-hop and where it has been – here is an old school playlist just for kicks….

1)      10% Dis by MC Lyte on : http://tinysong.com/jWNt

2)      Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson on : http://tinysong.com/cv1Z

3)      Basketball by Kurtis Blow on : http://tinysong.com/iMpA

4)      Gangstas paradise by Coolio on : http://tinysong.com/74LF

5)      Gonna Make You Sweat by C+C Music Factory on : http://tinysong.com/1rlY

6)      Hey Young World by Slick Rick on : http://tinysong.com/hxGJ

7)      Hip Hop Junkies by Nice & Smooth on : http://tinysong.com/alZp

8)      I Got a Man by Positive K on : http://tinysong.com/jYZ8

9)      It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock on : http://tinysong.com/7ePf

10)   Say It Right by Nelly Furtado on : http://tinysong.com/6Imb

11)   Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic on : http://tinysong.com/rh6m

12)   Tootsie Roll by 69 Boyz on : http://tinysong.com/jMFu

13)   Whoomp There It Is by Tag Team on : http://tinysong.com/hBAF

14)   Supersonic by J.J. Fad on : http://tinysong.com/ojyi

15)   I Feel For You by Chaka Khan on : http://tinysong.com/jWGm

Bonus Track- Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa on : http://tinysong.com/nuDo

Not Sure If I agree – Top 10 Movie Franchises That Won’t Die – TIME


Ok, so I am rummaging through the news for the day, and I run across this on CNN: Full List – Top 10 Movie Franchises That Won’t Die – TIME.

So the list goes:

The Karate Kid

Indiana Jones

Star Wars

Die Hard

The Friedberg and Seltzer Movies

American Pie

Friday the 13th

Bring it On

Shrek

Saw

You wonder, are these movie franchises meant to die?  I mean come on, American Pie is pretty much guaranteed to go straight to DVD.  Bring it On is straight to TV at this point.   Die Hard..That is where this fan has to hold up a hand.  I happen to like the campy fun of the Die Hard.  It is easy on the eyes, you don’t have to think, and who else can start a movie fully clothed and end up in a dirty white A-shirt 30 minutes into a movie besides Bruce Willis? 

Star Wars?   Um, are you really going to try to go up against all of geekdom, nerd-dom and well pretty much a whole generation to try and stop Star Wars. Good luck with that.

Some of the movies on here are no brainers, but why leave out Fast and the Furious, the Scary Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, Superhero Movie… you get the point.

I mean there are some that just refuse to die… and you pick on Star Wars? 

You can rag on me if you want, put to the test, there are some franchises that make no sense:

Final Destination – We get it all ready, you can’t dodge death.   This is getting reminiscent of the Hellraiser franchise…stop fucking with the box.

Mission Impossible – Please stop.  No seriously, just stop.

Step Up – More like Step down?

Got any others to add?

My Review of Red Stone of Passion


Originally submitted at CyberRead

When Winifred Waters contacts Greedy Girls, Inc. to retrieve her stolen Garland Garnet, the infamous Red Stone of Passion, Riana is sent on the mission. With her partner's aid, she steals back the gemstone from the unscrupulous museum curator. Unfortunately, two sexy men are sent after her. Whe…

Red Hot Read!

By N.E. Lane from Grand Marais, MN on 6/10/2010

 

4out of 5

Pros: Interesting Characters, Well Written

Cons: Too short, Same Plot by Same Author

Best Uses: For a quickie read, Older Readers

Describe Yourself: Bookworm

The Red Stone of Passion was a hot read, when you like MMF. It seemed as though in this case, the MMF aspect of the relationship was forced; meaning that the two male leads didn’t even like each other. They were of separate species and after two different things. Yet they were forced to like each other for the sake of having Riana?

The story opens plainly, as I was just looking for something quick to read before I decided my next major purchase. I found myself having to re-read the first five pages because I couldn’t get a grip on who was who, but once you start to really get into it, the story moves quickly. There is barely time for you to catch your breath as you move from a chase scene to a bedroom scene to another scene. The dialog was great, the banter between the three main characters made sense.
Tuesday Morrigan is definitely a talented author, there just needs to be a different genre for her to write in.

(legalese)