Black Girls Rule!!!!

Okay so my short, Monsters, has been shipped off as has my novella, West of Sunset. I’m currently typing another short story. While working, I was inspired to pen an upcoming short story piece featuring two extraordinary heroines.

The premise: True Blood’s Tara Thornton teams up with the Vampire Diaries’ Bonnie Bennett.

Oh yeah. I’m geeking out just thinking about it.

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Consultant

So confession time. I’ve been smitten with actor Clark Gregg and think that he was the sexiest thing in both the Avengers and the Iron Man films. Agent Phil Coulson was one of my favorite characters and he brought an understated cool, mystique and hint of an adorkable charm that was rare, nuanced and refreshing. And let’s keep it 100, the man is hella sexy. Case in point.

Monsters and Other Projects

Been busy writing like a madman. Just finished transcribing West of Sunset. Just need to do another round of edits and I’ll be shipping that off to a prospective publisher.

Also completed a short story, Monsters, and submitted that to a magazine.

Got another short story to work on for a quarterly and a few more projects after that.

Right now this pretty much sums up me these past few weeks:

21 Lessons Learned As A Debut Novelist

 

So a little over a year ago, something very special happened. My novel Hollowstone was released. To say it changed my life forever would be a vast understatement. From traveling across the country to promote the book, to connecting with extraordinary people all over the globe, I’ve had so many wonderful experiences thanks to one little book.

That being said, I’ve learned a lot in the last year. Some has been self discovery, some was advice from experts. And then there was “advice” from “experts.”

Being a published novelist has been a wild ride and at times a very crazy one, as you’ll see from this list. So below are 21 Lessons I’ve learned since publishing my debut novel.

Continue reading

Going Medieval

This post was inspired by a recent discussion with my internet wife, Shawn Harris.

I’m always amazed at how many people are so quick to argue that people of color did not exist in Europe in medieval times or that black people for instance weren’t around during the Greek and Roman times. And to include said POCs during such time periods would be unrealistic and another example of shoving a PC agenda down our throats OH-EM-GEE.

This usually comes up in medieval fantasy stories. Like say for instance, Guinevere  in the BBC’s Merlin. Actress Angel Coulby is catching heat yet again for daring to be a beautiful black queen.

This usually makes me laugh A LOT for two main reasons:

1) It’s a huge double standard in that whites can always be placed in stories revolving around Egypt, China, Africa, or pre “discovered” America and no one blinks an eye. Yet if a POC shows up in medieval fantasy tale, it’s unrealistic. Talking animals, elves, dragons, gnomes, all totally plausible. Black people in Europe? Too many people can’t suspend disbelief at that.

2) People of color existing in the Greek/Roman era and Medieval Europe is HISTORICALLY ACCURATE and those who think they’re experts, don’t know their history. AT ALL.

First of all people of color have been in Europe for ages. Think about it’s common sense. Between all the wars, travel and trade that countries and nations have done, it would only make sense that some have traveled and relocated to other lands.

-Many of the Egyptians who dealt with the Romans and Greeks were black. Rome and Carthage went to war and Hannibal to gave the Romans a run for their money. Which anytime you can give the ROMANS a fight, that’s purely badass.

-If you’re a Greek Mythology buff like myself, look up a brother named Memnon.

-Speaking of Greek Mythology, look up Andromeda, Perseus’s wife and see where she’s from.

-Blacks actually ruled in some parts of Europe and could be found in Scotland as early as the 10th century (funny how that isn’t taught in school).

-Don’t believe me? Look up Othello.

-Some of the knights of the Round Table were people of color such as Palamedes, Safir and Segwarides, as noted in TH White’s: The Once And Future King. These three were also royalty in their own right from their own lands. Trust I was geeking out when I found this out when I read this novel my senior year of high school.

-Oh and Alexandre Dumas, the author of the Three Musketeers and the Counte of Monte Crisco, a brother. Also look up Beethoven.

-I haven’t even touched the endless accomplishments of my Asian brothers and sisters.
So if your’e one of those who constantly gripe about the presence of POCs in medieval fantasy as being unrealistic, your history, do learn you some.

Also Angel Coulby has a response to all of the racist Gwen haters:

tumblr_lnb7ziADT71qzngmpo1_500

NOW STAY MAD!!!!

Why I’m Team Canada Or Rather Team Canadia

 

A lot of people are usually dumbfounded when they discover my deep love for Canada or as I affectionately refer to the greatest country on Earth as Canadia: The Magical Land of Awesome (though Britain makes a worthy contender for the title).

Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to relocate to Canada, I mean Canadia, and for many good reasons: Universal healthcare, beautiful people, gay rights, Due South, their tendency not to cause wars. Canada is like America, only….well….better.

Needless to say when I finally got my passport, I knew the first country I would be visiting. My visit to Vancouver was practically surreal for me and in many respects bittersweet.

I was actually able to finally exhale and not be on guard about everything required to survive as a minority in the US. For instance I was able to be out publicly without fear of rebuke. When I went into a store, the white cashiers actually treated me with respect. They didn’t think I was there to rob the place and was actually grateful for my business. People were actually friendly to me and didn’t treat me like a pariah or a savage.

I visited Whistler Mountain and on the bus trip there I was the only black person on the bus. Other passengers included Canadians, French and Australians. They asked about my experiences living in America and what I thought about the job President Obama was doing and the challenges he’s facing as the first black president. When I shared my experiences as a minority, do you know what those white people did? Something I didn’t think was possible. They actually listened. They asked questions for better clarification but they listened and accepted my experiences as my experiences and were respectful. There was none of this gaslighting, bigotry denying/defending or victim-blaming that too many White Americans engage in.

And on Whistler Mountain, I only saw maybe four POCs and I felt completely safe and comfortable. Can’t say the same about any mountain I’ve visited in the South. In fact in the South, the rule is black folks avoid mountains whenever possible. I’m not saying that standing atop Whistler Mountain is similar to looking down from Heaven but……..I actually have no other way to finish that sentence.

In Canadia, even the LGBTQ community was an actual improvement. I went out and enjoyed myself.

In Canadia, I learned that black is indeed beautiful and sexy. And many of the locals were willing to point that out to me over and over and over and over again. Let’s just say Denny made a lot of friends that week. Hehehehehehehehehehehehe.

But the damnedest thing was that one night I was walking back to my hotel and I passed a police cruiser with two white cops inside. I tensed up because I knew this couldn’t end well. Do you know what happened? They smiled at me and resumed their paperwork.

I didn’t want to leave. In fact I seriously contemplated ways to get arrested just so I could be detained in Canada. Roof over my head, three square meals, a bunch of rugged inmates who want to do some “hard time,” not the worst thing that could happen just saying.

Real talk. I know Canada is not perfect. Its got its problems, its bigotries and its sordid history just like every other country. But for me personally (and the next person’s mileage may vary), it’s light years better than “Amerikkka, FUCK NO.”

So I will continue to visit Canadia every chance I get and hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to be a citizen.

America, for better or worse, played a part in making me the man I am today. But it was Canada that allowed me to proudly be the man I am today.

And for that, I will forever be grateful.

TEAM CANAD(I)A REPRESENT!!!!!!!!!!!

By Dennis R. Upkins Tagged