Monday, July 25, 2011


It’s a covert marketing tactic of sorts, a type of back door marketing strategy.

Randall has had success in the entertainment industry. He’s now written a book about that success, a guide to the trappings and pitfalls for those aspiring to his dream career. His book details his twenty-five year career, covering everything from the movies he’s worked in to the album he recorded in Nashville.

To get the word out about that book, Randall has stepped outside the box, his nontraditional methods gaining some momentum. Craigslist has become fodder for Randall’s exploits. For those unfamiliar with Craigslist, it is a local classifieds and forums site - community moderated, and largely free. You can find most anything on Craigslist, including jobs, housing, goods, services, romance/sex, local activities, and advice. Craigslist gets about twenty billion page views per month, with more than fifty million persons in the US alone utilizing the site. Randall posts daily listings to promote his book but his listings have nothing at all to do with him or his writings.

Recently as I scanned Craigslist ads for a discounted electronics item I became quite excited by the prospect of finding said item for a fraction of its retail value. I couldn’t hit the message send button fast enough to inquire about its availability. In response I received the following autoreply message back:

Thank you for contacting me, I'll respond to you as soon as possible. Until then please check out my book here on my website. Respectfully, Randall

Needless to say I’ve never heard anything else from Randall about that electronics item that I now know he doesn’t really have, but I was intrigued enough to check out his website. I wasn’t, however, motivated enough to actually make a purchase. Being played left a bitter taste in my mouth.

But Randall, his book, and his method of drawing attention to himself hasn’t left me. It continues to play in my mind which ultimately makes what he did quite successful.

Marketing my newest book, RESTED WATERS, has been my nemesis, wholeheartedly challenging me. I’ve paid for advertising, made use of as many free promotional venues as possible, passed flyers out on the corner, sold books from the trunk of my car, and I am just now beginning to see some momentum but definitely not the results I had hoped to see.

So I’m thinking I may need to pull a Randall. Clearly, I need to be more imaginative with my marketing ideas instead of falling back on more traditional methods. I need to navigate my way outside the box.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


So what does a woman do when the man she’s in love with tells her that his life would be so much easier if she were not in it? That if she did not share his space or consume his time then things would be better for him with his family and his friends.

I suggested that she leave. From the outside looking in, his words would imply that she is not wanted so why would a woman stay with a man who does not want her?

Dara is broken and the depression is building. She never expected to hear that she was a burden in her guy’s life. When she did, his words ripped a hole through her heart. No one, and nothing, seems able to fix the hurt. She feels as if her spirit is bruised beyond repair.

But then he concluded their conversation by saying that he loved her. He really, truly does.

So what does a woman do?

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Gerald is a family man. His entire existence revolves around parents, children, siblings and a host of others in his bloodline. His mother is his best friend in the whole wide world and he cannot imagine a day going by where the host of them don’t see each other or spend hours on the telephone. Gerald is a man who cannot fathom family not being the center of his existence.

Theresa didn’t have Gerald’s family. Her mother was indifferent to her, the woman’s behavior bordering on abusive. She doesn’t know her father and she and her brother are not the best of friends. Neither really cares if they don’t show up in each other’s lives.

But Gerald is about showing up and he believes if Theresa invested more time and energy trying to build the bonds between herself and them then things could be different for them all.

But Gerald didn’t live Theresa’s disappointments. He didn’t shed Theresa’s tears and never experienced her pain. Theresa doesn’t have the words to help him understand that sometimes showing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Theresa loves Gerald because he is a family man. She considers herself blessed to have found family with him and his. And him and his are enough for Theresa. She wishes it was enough for Gerald.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


She has proven herself to be such a valuable resource that there are some who cannot wipe their own butts without calling to consult her on the toilet paper. It takes its toll when she is supposed to not only have knowledge about the next coming, but be accurate with the date and time as well.

The pressure to know all and be all, able to relay concepts in such in a manner that even a kindergartener can understand, leaves her with little time for herself or her own pleasures. Her personal life dangles between incessant telephone calls, her fielding questions and scoring answers when she would much rather be relaxing on an island retreat with her man. She’d rather someone else field all the how-to questions and be the sage oracle family and friends have come to see her as, but no one seems willing, or able, to step up to the plate.

The obligations and expectations have diminished her quality of life and those who should be concerned aren’t because they’re too busy wanting her to read their futures and fix their personal messes instead of learning how to fix their problems for themselves.

As she whined into her margarita I really didn’t have much sympathy for her plight. I’ve watched enough Oprah to know that she entertains the madness because she can. She wouldn’t do it if she wasn’t getting something from it. She’s an enabler and even if saying no and letting go would be better for everyone concerned, she cannot bring herself to do it.

So when she asked me for my advice I had to shrug my shoulders and laugh. As I slid the tab for my own drink in front of her, I told her if she really wanted to make it better, to just hang out a sign saying she charges for her services. Guaranteed, if compensation for her time and advice was required, folks would quickly figure out a way to solve their issues without her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It's been a good day. Did that exercise thing bright and early and got it out of the way, then visited one of my favorite places, the NC Museum of Art, to see the exhibit 30 Americans.

30 Americans highlights the work of 31 contemporary African American artists in an exhibition organized by and drawn from the Rubell Family Collection. Mera Rubell and her husband Don, together with their children, Jennifer and Jason, have amassed one of the more ambitious private collections of contemporary art.

30 Americans consists of 75 works of art and includes painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture, and mixed-media installations. The exhibition features both established and emerging artists and illustrates how a previous generation of African American artists has influenced the current generation. The exhibition focuses on artists who explore similar themes and subject matter in their work, primarily issues of race, gender, identity, history, and popular culture.

I was both disappointed and pleasantly surprised by the exhibition. Disappointed because there were a few installations that I personally, did not feel represented the quality of artwork I know exists and pleasantly surprised to discover one or two artists whose works I did not know and who wholeheartedly blew me away.

Of course the images by Carrie Mae Weems were classic and I absolutely LOVED everything by artist Kahinde Wiley. The Nick Cave sculptures were fun and the work of performance artist Kalup Linzy was strangely interesting. I liked his artwork much more than his video performance, which I found uncomfortably vulgar. The untitled piece of “found carpet” by Rodney McMillian didn’t move me at all and made me question its relevance in an exhibit of this nature.

My midday jaunt reminded me of things I've been missing and wholeheartedly enjoy. An afternoon nap as thunder storms raged outside was relaxing and refreshing. The evening has ended in the company of my bestest friend and most favorite people sipping mocha mudslides and eating barbecued ribs and macaroni & cheese.

It's been a really good day!

Friday, July 01, 2011


They have been acquainted for a lifetime. For most of those years she considered him to be her very best friend in the whole wide world. Together they navigated high school, college, her marriage and then his. They were godparents to each other’s children, helped bury each other’s parents, and shared the various stages of their lives with each other.

When her husband left her for another woman, he held her hand and told her things would one day be okay again. When he went back to school, she encouraged him to reach for his dreams. They supported each other because they were best friends.

Then he began whispering into her ear that they should be more. His friendly touch became something other than friendly. His calls always alluded to things they could do to and for each other that had nothing at all to do with being friends. But he still had a wife and a family and no interest in changing that dynamic in his life. He wanted to cheat and he wanted to cheat with her.

She laughed it off at first. After all, they were lifelong friends and had joked about everything imaginable. He had to be joking because she couldn't imagine him being serious about such a thing. Then his persistence became aggressive, him refusing to understand that she truly had no intentions of crossing that line of no return. Eventually, there was no more comfort to be found in his presence.

She no longer answers his telephone calls, nor does she search out his advice when in need. She avoids him like the plague and he cannot understand what has happened to his best friend in the whole wide world. He doesn’t see that she won’t be his friend because she knows, if given the opportunity, he will cheat. And she has no respect for a friend who will cheat.