Friday, November 28, 2008

Annointed Authors on Tour - Phoenix 2008

It was so exciting to be able to go to a book signing event since I moved here to Arizona. This is something that we used to do all the time when I lived back East.

Kendra Norman Bellamy, Michelle Stimpson, and Shewanda Riley graced us with their presence and provided great knowledge to aspiring writers.

This is very interesting though. Cooky and I went to a few book stores looking for Kendra's books and could not find ANY. After the event, We picked up Kendra and hung out for a little bit before dinner. We made the mistake of taking her to a bookstore.

Here is a copy of Kendra's post on her blog about or experience Go to her site to read the full article and comments.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Empty African American Fiction Shelves

This past weekend, I had a marvelous time during my first visit to Phoenix, AZ. I was there along with others of my Anointed Authors on Tour sisters, on the last stop of our 2008 tour. Almost everything about this tour stop was perfect. The weather was ideal (low 80's during the day, high 50's during the night). The hosting book clubs rolled out the red carpet, showered us with wonderful Arizona souvenirs, fed us well and provided us with limo escorts (two thumbs up to Girlfriend 2 Girlfriend Book Club and Shades of the Desert Book Club). I reconnected with two wonderful fans-turned-friends that I met three years ago in Baltimore, MD who have now moved to Phoenix (big shout out to Yulanda and Cooky). The community of readers came out and supported our appearances (not just in attendance, but they bought books).

So, there was very little that didn't go wonderfully under the Arizona sun. However, there was one thing that I found unnerving. Saturday afternoon, Yulanda and Cooky, came and picked me up from my hotel between functions and took me on a brief tour of the city. I'd been told earlier that AA books were difficult to find on bookshelves in Phoenix, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw. We stopped by a very busy area mall and strode inside the Borders Bookstore there. After browsing for quite some time, we finally located the African American section of the store. There was only one bookcase to embody that section and that bookcase only contained about four shelves. And on those shelves, there was one AA fiction title. One. O-N-E (big congrats to Jacquelin Thomas for being our sole representation).

Of course, with my sister-girls being the avid readers that they are, and me, being the avid writer that I am, we couldn't dare leave without confronting the store workers about their empty African American section. When asked why they didn't have more of our books, the worker replied, "Oh, we had some, but they just sell so quickly." My challenging response was, "So, if they sell so quickly, that means the demand is there. Why didn't you restock when you sold out?" His answer, "Because the publishers and distributors won't send us any more."

One of my sister-girls asked whether or not he'd placed an order for more books and he responded by saying, "We don't order books. The companies just send them to us. All the other companies for all the other books you see just sent us these books for the shelves, but none of the publishers for the African American titles will send us any." At that point, all the three of us could do was look at him. Apparently, we looked a whole lot dumber than we were for him to think we'd buy that. The publishers and distributors won't send any more? Are you kidding me? The publishers and distributors make their money by sending out the books and having them sold. Why would they not restock the shelves?

"Are you disappointed?" That was the question he asked with an almost sneering smile as we stared at him. At that point, leaving just seemed like the right thing to do.
What does it mean for African American writers when there are stores who won't stock our books? When the buying public has no option other than to go to the counter and order our books any time they want to get one, how many book sells do we lose? The thought is disheartening.

Barack Obama is president-elect, yes. He smashed a barrier that just a few years ago...just a few months ago...maybe even just a few weeks ago, seemed unbendable, let alone unbreakable. The bar has been raised and a new standard has been set. Somehow, as creators and supporters of African American literature, we have to find a way to overcome the obstacles that are set in place to limit our achievements as well.

We've come a long way, baby.....but the battle ain't over yet.

Posted by Kendra Norman-Bellamy at 10:39 AM 10 comments

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello to all of you that read my blog. I hope that you had a wonderful, safe, relaxing thanksgiving day. We all should be very thankful that we still have have the strength to be alive and enjoy this special day with our friends and families.

What did I do: Wow, I did not mom did. I woke up around 7:00 am, looked at the time and realized that it was not a work day so I went back to sleep. Guess when I woke up again...11:30 am. Thanks right, 11:30 am. I guess I was kind of tired there, you think. By this time my mom has already cooked the potato salad, the collard greens, the canned yams, and was preparing the stuffing (my favorite). Oh yeah the homemade macaroni and cheese was in the oven. Man o' man. We ATE some food!!! And watched football of course.

WHAT ABOUT THEM COWBOYS!!! That was a good game. They beat up on the Seattle Seahawks...Sorry Julie. And the Tennessee Titans came to play some football as well. Now I can not say that about the Arizona Cardinals though. Kurt Warner was not on his A game yesterday. He threw 4 interceptions. That game made Donovan McNabb look like the superstar that he has been for many years now. They scored like 2-3 touchdowns in the first quarter ( I don't feel like looking it up to be certain, but you get my drift). Westbrook came to play some football as well.

Well I am going to go to bed now. I have been doing some homework and now my head is hurting. But I am busting it out with the grades.

Good night and remember to be thankful for everything that we have each and every day. Do not sweat the small ain't worth it.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ahwatukee Bowl results

Well it saddens me to say that our season did not end in a win. We ended up loosing the game against DV. The first quarter showed some hope for the Pride. But the second quarter was a different story. DV got a good run and they continued to run with it.

All and all, I believe the boys had a great season playing together as some of them will be going off to college. Their biggest accomplishment was they all became to gel before the end of the season.

Next year will be very exciting!!!!!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Ahwatukee Bowl

Well well well. Today is going to be a great day in Ahwatukee. Almost as big as the historical election we just had on Tuesday. Well maybe not that big.

Tonight at 8:30 pm Mountain Pointe High School will be playing Desert Vista in the Ahwatukee bowl. It will be televised on ESPNU. This is going to be such an honor for alot, no all the players of both teams, especially the seniors. For some this will be the last time they are playing high school football.

Good Luck Pride!!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Darius Update

Hello All,
Here is an update on Darius. Last week was a challenge as he was still having a headache on Monday. We went to see the doctor on Tuesday and he did not do the computer testing. We had to go back to the doctor on Wednesday for the testing. This actually had to be done while I was home sick. So not only was I trying to take care of Darius, I was taking care of myself as well. I will spare you the details. Well he was feeling much better on Wednesday. He tested pretty well from this. They did not fully clear him to play yet though. Which to me is a good thing just because of the nature of the injury. The doctor wanted to school trainers to run him essentially until he fell out. And they did just that. He came home on Wednesday and barely was able to eat dinner he was so tired. Ha!!

He told me that he felt like he was so out of shape in those five days of not working out. I was like whatever man!! You have played sports all of your life and you are telling me that you are out of shape after five days. To those of you that know Darius, he is now working his way to thinking that he is a professional player. He is very serious about his sports and what exercises to do depending on what season he is in. It is totally cool and funny at the same time.

So we had a football game on Friday and he was on the side lines cheering his team on. He was so eager to get out on the field but truly understood why he couldn't play. But he is totally determined. He will be playing this Friday (11/7) in the last game of the season. We are playing DV. The cool thing about this is that the game is on ESPNU. How sweet is that for high school athletes.

Well the long and short of it is, he needed some rest and now he is back!!!

Lets go PRIDE!!!!