Brief Update + Shit I’m Digging: Volume Eleven

*Takes a deep breath*

Hey Peeps,  

I started and stopped working on this blog post numerous times within the last couple of months. I wrote a lot, but I think it was more of a brain dump. You know, working through my feelings and emotions? After all was said and done, it wasn’t anything I wanted to share publicly. If you don’t follow me on social media, you likely missed the news. My sister, Denise, my only sibling, passed away suddenly a week after Mother’s Day. These past few months have been full of grief, anger, and enlightenment. It’s a weird combination for sure, but death is unpredictable, leading to a lot of complicated feelings. Anyhow, emotionally, mentally, and physically I’m doing okay. I’m still finding my footing navigating this new normal. Denise’s death has caused me to have a different outlook on how I live my life. It’s hard to explain, but I’m in a perfect place, heavily focused on myself and dispersing good energy into the world. I’m not interested in engaging in anything and anyone that doesn’t contribute to my individual growth. If it ain’t enhancing me in some form, it has to go. I refuse to waste time on non-factors. Time is our most precious commodity and we have to learn to use it more wisely.

This Tina Turner quote is a whole mood and also my road map moving forward. I’m all about stockpiling good karma, drowning out negativity, and contributing to humanity. I strive to become a better person every day.

So, there you have it. That’s why I’ve been silent and under the radar. In other news, before Denise’s passing, I was working on getting this sorta secret project out into the world. Well, that’s still progressing. I haven’t wanted to touch my manuscript because I needed to be in the right headspace. And also, with the new job promotion, I spend entirely too much time at my computer. When I get home after a long day, the last thing I want is to spend more time staring at a screen. My editor suggested I write longhand, and that idea has me like…πŸ™„ GIRL BYE, but maybe I will. I’m soooo close to finishing, and honestly, I’d like to end the third quarter with a bang. I’d also like to get a product out to my audience soon. I value everyone who’s been waiting with bated breath (for years), and it’s about time you get something in return for your patience.
In any case, I’ve been fueling my well of creativity as usual. 

Check out the shit I’ve been digging:

Watch πŸ“Ί

I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel is a goddess. 😍😍😍 I’ve posted here about Chewing Gum, but this series is different. And dark. And wow. Also, can we acknowledge that this show has a predominantly Black cast and highlights millennials who are not only heterosexual but queer? Because of it, IMDY is out here scooping up Emmy nominations like they’re candy. You love to see it. So, the premise? 

Via HBO Max

Set in London, this series centers on Arabella (Coel), whose raw and personal experience of consent is at the heart of the story.

I wouldn’t steer you wrong, peeps, but major trigger warning: Rape is at the forefront of this series. It’s a stellar show, but tune in only if you feel you can handle the difficult subject matter. You can watch it on HBO and HBO Max. 

The Informer 

I love seeing Joel Kinnaman on my TV screen. You know what I love even more? Seeing Joel Kinnaman shirtless on my TV screen. He plays an ex-con recently released from prison but intentionally goes back as part of an undercover operation. If you like action and a good storyline, give this movie a watch. The Informer is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Bodyguard

I had to watch this because Richard Madden stars in the lead role. ROBB STARK FANS STAND UP! πŸ™ŒπŸΎ (I’m still gonna remember the beginning seasons of Game of Thrones fondly, even if the series ended up being trash). I’m of the mindset if you can’t hook me by the first episode, I’m going to tap out of your series. Unfortunately, this series starts off sloooow. I pressed pause mid-episode and didn’t think about it for weeks, but eventually, I came back. I’M SO GLAD I DID!!! If you like action, intrigue, and glorious British accents, this series is right up your alley. Bodyguard is currently streaming on Netflix.

Hit & Run

I finished this series last night after a day of binge watching. I adore Sanaa Lathan. I also adore profound and complex storylines, and this saga takes us from Israel to NYC. And thanks to subtitles, you may end up learning a bit of Hebrew. Segev is a tour guide in Israel. His wife, Danielle (Dani), is a dancer. She leaves for a trip to New York to audition for a dance company, but before she can make it to the airport, she is struck by a car and dies. Segev is stunned, but what’s even more shocking is what he learns about his wife, her death, and the secrets she kept. Warning: the series ends on a cliffhanger (which I despise), but let’s hope that Netflix gives Season Two a green light.

Read πŸ“š

I blew past my Goodreads Challenge for 2021. My goal was to read 15 books and as of typing this blog post, I’ve read 65. I’ve been concentrating a lot on personal growth which leads me to my first book rec:

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

I’ve wanted to read this book (it’s about 40ish pages) for the longest time. It puts a lot into perspective and reinforces the idea that individuals are responsible for their actions, and if you focus on your purpose, you can do anything your heart desires. 

Heated Rivalry: A Gay Sports Romance (Game Changers Book 2) by Rachel Reid

This book was recommended to me by an author friend, and it hit the spot! LISTEN, IT ISMASTERPIECE ON CRAFTING ENEMIES TO LOVERS. Rachel Reid made me care about hockey, a sport I have never watched in my entire life. I was in it to win it, and I highly recommend you dive in.

Homie by Danez Smith 

I listened to this audiobook, and it is Blackity, Black, Black, Black! Danez has a way with words, and he holds nothing back. You will appreciate the material, or you won’t. But I promise you won’t be bored. Pinky swear.

The End Game by Riley Hart (Atlanta Lightning #1)

I love a good gay romance, but I am putty if you throw football into the mix. The key players involved? We have Anson, a closeted football player, and Weston, a young senator. I loved how gentle and supportive West was with Anson. It was delightful reading these two!

The End Zone by Riley Hart (Atlanta Lightning #2)

In book 1, readers were introduced to Darren (Anson’s best friend) and Jeremy (West’s friend and former fuck buddy). I was slightly intrigued by these two, but I I wouldn’t say I was deeply invested in a relationship between them until Riley Hart threw me for a loop. I DID NOT EXPECT TO LIKE DARREN AND JEREMY SO MUCH!!! West and Anson took a backseat to these two. I truly enjoyed this series.

For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes (out August 31st)

I received an ARC of this book, and even with the underlying BDSM theme, it was so charming! April French is a transwoman, and she meets Dennis at one of the local fetish clubs. They spark up a flirtatious banter, and things take off from there. I loved this book’s authentic trans rep. Also, Black men written by white women are rarely depicted well in romance. Most characterization is rife with ridiculous stereotypes. It’s rare to see a transwoman writing romance, but Penny went all out. I loved this debut, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Listen 🎧

These singles and albums have been in heavy rotation. They’ve provided me with solace and excellent writing material.

Wild Side by Normani ft Cardi B.

The Aaliyah sample had me from the very beginning. The single art is gorge, but you need to jump into this music video because it is πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Rumors by Lizzo ft Cardi B.

Cardi is cashing some checks this summer! The song is growing on me, but goodness, I’ve missed Lizzo! I adore the injection of humor into her lyrics and her entire IDGAF attitude. If the execs at Disney haven’t started drafting a contract to cast Lizzo in the live-action version of Hercules, someone needs to lose their job. Like, come on. The Muses aren’t Muses without Lizzo, and this video proves it.

Tragic by Jazmine Sullivan

Not gonna lie; the Maxine Waters “Reclaiming My Time” soundbite is amazeballs! Also, Heaux Tales is one of my favorite albums of 2021. Jazmine never fails to deliver.

ANTI by Rihanna

I listen to this album at least once a week. Correction, I listen to the Deluxe Edition at least once a week. Rihanna hasn’t put out an album since 2016, but it’s cool. No big. I know she’s busy building a fashion and skincare empire. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ Who isn’t?  I know whatever she releases; next, it will be brutal because ANTI was top-tier Rihanna. Every song hits just right.

Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin

You can’t go wrong with the Queen of Soul, but listening to this album has helped me with the grieving process. I cry, I sing. I process the moment.

Drink 🍺

A few weeks ago, my sorority sister invited me to stay with her and her husband at their home in Morristown, New Jersey. They spoiled me the entire weekend. It was amazing! I ate many delicious feasts, hung out with friends I haven’t seen in years, visited local breweries. I cracked open some of my brewery purchases this weekend. Many of you know I’m vegan. However, you might not know many vegans don’t eat honey. I’ve recently decided to loosen my no honey restrictions since most wines aren’t vegan anyway due to the bottling process. I never give it a second thought and drink with abandon. Long story short, The Swarm beer is made with local bee honey, and it is hands down the BEST INDIA PALE ALE I HAVE EVER TASTED IN MY LIFE! I’ve had a lot of beers, y’all, but this beer is magnificent. I will have to get back to that brewery somehow because I can’t buy the beer online. Also, the cider is tasty as heck. I tried one with ginger and turmeric. It opened up my nasal passages and changed my life. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

And this concludes the shit I’ve been diggin’ these last few weeks, folks. 

I wish I could definitively announce when I’ll have another update for you all, but at this point, I’m keeping my head down and working through my to-do list with intention. Things come as they come. I hope by the time my birthday rolls around in October, the secret thing I’m working on will have been released, and I’ll have a few other things to report. 

Take care of yourselves and remember to tell the people who are important to you how much they matter. We say we’ll do it later, tomorrow, soon, but we never know if we’ll get the opportunity. So there’s no better time than the present to express your love and admiration for those closest to you. 

Stay safe! πŸ’•

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