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Showing posts from October, 2019

A Review of HIM: After the UFO Crash by Koos Verkaik

Two years ago, I virtually met the author Koos Verkaik when he had read my blog in the Netherlands and reached out to me to interview him for his book The Dance of the Jester. And most recently he reached out again for me to review his book HIM: After the UFO Crash which has been contracted by Three Corners Entertainment for film. So, I feel honored to be selected as a reader of this multi-layered, highly detailed and complex sci-fi novel with various twists and turns.


My interest was piqued because I’m a big X-Files fan---love Mulder and Scully and yes, I do believe the “truth is out there.” Anyway, the big question this novel poses is “What does a thief, a transient, a handyman/builder, a psychiatrist, and a rocket scientist have in common?”And the response after reading and putting together the various storylines is one word…synchronicity. 

The novel takes place in the 1960s and opens with two strangers meeting in Paris at a bistro called La Gargouille that was being renovated.Jasper…

A Review of the Play, Thoughts of a Colored Man, at Baltimore Center Stage

I recently saw Thoughts of a Colored Man, the second play of the 2019/2020 season at Baltimore Center Stage. This play is written by Keenan Scott III and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III with co-production with Syracuse Stage. Per Keenan Scott II, “I’ve lived in New York and in Maryland. I’ve lived in the inner city, a suburb and a rural area. This play is influenced by my upbringing and the things I have experienced in and out of my community in these locations.”

In this play, there were seven facets of the Black man (wisdom, passion, depression, lust, happiness, love, and anger) that were explored over one day in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City. Although I had the program which indicated which actor played which part, I wanted to watch the play and guess which facet they each represented. I was right most of the time, but there were moments when an actor exhibited more than one facet (e.g. wisdom and love and happiness; happiness and depression; depression and …

Interview with Gaváta Smith, author of Get Yourself Together First

Author’s Bio:Gaváta Smith is an author, mime, motivational speaker, and Christian educator who is an active member of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, in Washington, DC, under the leadership of Archbishop Alfred A. Owens Jr. There she serves on the Intercessory Prayer Ministry, “The Greater” Magazine, and as the Vice President of the Silent Witnesses Mime Ministry. She holds a Leadership in Ministry Degree with Teaching Credentials from Evangelical Training Association. Currently, she’s studying at Calvary Bible Institute to advance her academic and ministerial gifts while seeking her Degree in Ministry under the Greater Mount Calvary umbrella. Gaváta ministers in Mime at various Christian Faith-Based Organizations under her individual ministry entitled “Mym4Christ”. 

Aside from her church activities, she is an Executive Administrator and Human Resource Specialist, who also volunteers with Catholic Charities in her spare time by mentoring women reentering society from incarceration. …

Derrick Adams - Where I'm From Art Exhibition at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall

A month ago, I attended renowned artist from Baltimore, Derrick Adams’ opening reception of his art show – Where I’m From at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall. This was his first solo show in Baltimore, a place where it all started.

In Where I’m From, Adamsshowcased ten (10) new large scale paintings depicting his family and his childhood in Baltimore. These pieces pulled you right in with its vibrant colors…each of which told a different story…each of which told a story of love. It was a joy to see a few familiar faces like his sister, Victoria Adams-Kennedy and other family members. I really enjoyed the show, meeting new creatives and seeing the love of all his supporters!
Per Adams, “These paintings are expressionistic scenes taken directly from my family’s photo albums, archiving our history and functioning more broadly as reflections on representations of kinship and close-knit relationships.” (Press Release from Baltimore City Hall).
Adams’ family portrait series will be availabl…

Black Writers' Guild Workshop - "Marketing Boot Camp for Writers" Presented by Kira Ming

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, the Black Writers' Guild of Maryland presented a workshop by Kira Ming titled “Marketing Boot Camp for Writers.” The audience included writers working on creative projects and published authors like myself looking for new ways to market ourselves and our books.
Kira shared her background with us and how she started her magazine (Graffiti On The Wall) before graduating from Bowie State University. From then she has made strides as a writer, editor, author of Small Business, Big Business, contributor for Huffington Post, Entertainment Journalist and the list goes on.
The workshop was chock full of marketing strategies. Here are some that Kira talked about: Branded emails (make sure folks know who you are and what you write).Create flyers to advertise your books and events (Canva, etc.).Create original quotes or use quotes from www.brainyquote.com.Have an email list where folks opt in to follow you as part of your email marketing c…

Interview with Rayne Moniquè Stewart, author of Perfectly Different

Author’s Bio: Rayne Stewart is a newly self-published author. Stewart is a 15-year-old high school student from Baltimore, Maryland who was inspired to write Perfectly Different after being diagnosed with the skin condition Vitiligo at age 8. After dealing with various life challenges Rayne’s mom intrigued her to write her emotions down. At age 12, Rayne began to write her story. 

In the children’s book Perfectly Different, Rayne shares her story about the challenges she encounters while her appearance is changing in her middle school years. Rayne discusses being different and how she dealt with all the changes that were occurring in her life while maintaining her confidence and acceptance of herself as being Perfectly Different. 
Rayne hopes to reach all the Perfectly Different children of the world with her story. To let them know that being different isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually awesome to be Perfectly Different in your own unique way.
DL: What inspired you to write your book? RMS:

A Review of the Play, Miss You Like Hell, A Musical Without Borders at the Baltimore Center Stage

A few weeks ago, I saw Miss You Like Hell – A Musical Without Borders, the opening show of the 2019/2020 season at Baltimore Center Stage. This play is the adaptation of the book and lyrics written by Quiara Alegría Hudes and is directed by Rebecca Martínez.

In this play, a mother Beatriz (played by Lorraine Velez, twin sister of Lauren Velez from New York Undercover) is undocumented and is facing deportation. Before this happens, Beatriz must see her daughter, Olivia (played by Stephanie Gomérez) and take her on a road trip from Philadelphia to California. On the way, they meet many folks who helped them gain a better understanding of their bond.
Relationships are hard enough but when a mother has been gone out of a daughter’s life without a fight and without an explanation, there are lots of unresolved issues. Olivia is headstrong and rebellious. She doesn’t like wearing dresses and is promiscuous. All this is new to Beatriz who despite the fact she could lose her immigration hearin…