Monday, February 28, 2011

#119 Book-a-Licious Author Visit

If you haven't heard about the novel 32 Candles yet, don't worry; you can see it in the theaters as the movie rights have already been sold.

32 Candles is Ernessa T. Carter's take-off on the movie Sixteen Candles, only the main character is African-American, and it's sixteen years later that the main character seeks her Molly Ringwald ending. I came to this book via Twitter that was hot with buzz about Ms. Carter's book. The author held a contest where if you leave a review on Amazon, she'll send you a T-shirt. I did! I sent her my address via Email and she dashed my prize off pronto. The T-shirt has the cover of her book on it, and has become part of my daily wear. I wear it to the grocery store, the gym, the movies, and church. (Ok, kidding about the church. Settle down.)

Also in the Email, I inquired of her whether she had any inclination to attend any book clubs. She said yes, I invited her, she came. It was the largest attended meeting in Book-a-Licious Book Club history. Almost every member brought a guest, which is not only allowed, but encouraged! Thirty people (including two other authors) were privileged to discuss with Ernessa her writing journey and her not-so-circuitous route to publication. She was open with us, and amenable to autographing copies of 32 Candles, and generous to boot, as she brought swag with her!
Having an author visit Book-a-Licious Book Club, Number 119 on my Bucket List. Much love to Ernessa T. Carter!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fab 5 Fridays

. . . where I flash on 5 of my favorite things. This week, it's my 5 favorite words:

1. Kerfuffle - more than a ruckus, less than a commotion. Sarge is always kicking up a kerfuffle.

2. Oxymoron - a moron, but a moron that's been washed OxyClean.

3. Mellifluous - (a) having a smooth rich flow; or, (b) filled with something (as honey) that sweetens. Sarge thinks he is mellifluous, by either definition.

4. Cumquat - say it out loud. It just sounds funny, yes? Then say it again. Cumquat. LOL (I crack myself up!)

5. Opinion - Sarge says I like it because I always have one, but really, I like it because I can type it one-handed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


. . . where you write the caption.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Family Jewel

Anyone who's researched their family tree knows that photographs of ancestors are the Holy Grail of genealogy.

There was an oil painting done of my Great-Grandfather John Johnson (1857 - 1935), and it has become the jewel of the family. A hidden jewel. Hidden so well, no one will confess to having it, but everyone admits it exists. Each says the other "must have it, because I don't." I've yet to lay eyes on it, but my mother's cousin's 3rd cousin twice removed (removed for what, I don't know) shared with me this ink drawing of Great-Grandpa John, ink being popular back in his day.
To forestall any family infighting amongst my future great-great-great-grandchildren, Sarge and I had a portrait commissioned (translation: we paid a guy), and its disposition will be governed by our living trust.
Oil painting of me and Sarge, Number 37 on my Bucket List.
Do you have family members who guard their photos as if their health depended on it?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fab 5 Fridays

In our continuing tribute in honor of Black History Month, here's the top five books I've read in the last year by African-American authors, plucked from the depths of my Reading Bucket List:

1. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter. It's a take on the movie Sixteen Candles, only it's a black woman who yearns for a Molly Ringwald ending of her own. Miramax has already purchased the movie rights.

2. Buying Time by Pamela Samuels-Young is a deftly plotted legal thriller that combines the best of Lisa Scottoline and Robert Crais. Samuels-Young writes like John Grisham with a female twist.

3. Substitue Me by Lori L. Tharps. This book, published by Simon and Schuster, is about a middle class college-educated Africa-American young adult who takes a job as a nanny for a yuppie couple. Tharps writes so well, you don't even realize you're reading. It feels like you're watching a movie instead.

4. Glorious by Bernice McFadden is a powerful novel about Easter Bartlett who travels from violence in the Jim Crow south to the promise of a brighter future during the Harlem Renaissance. Will the promise be realized?

5. The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi Durrow is a book about a biracial girl raised by her white mother, but is suddenly sent to live with her black relatives. Hilarity does not ensue. I read this book in one day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ready, Set, Match

Good shot + perfect form = a perfect storm.
These are all words that can be used to describe my sister-in-law's performance at the Canyon Crest Semi-Finals Tennis Tournament. (She's the same sis-in-law that got me backstage at the Oscars.)

Tera's been playing for years, but this was her first foray advancing to the semi's, so a bunch of us went down to cheer her on. We had to do it very quietly on the sidelines. (Though I had to remind Sarge because he was jabbering like he was at home in front of the TeeVee.)

She is a sensational player, and I got a kick out of watching someone I actually know actually win, thanks to her ace serve and her awesome backhand. She put so much backspin on the ball, it made me dizzy and I fell. . . back in love with the game!

It was fantastic just watching her. I love my family, and you know what they say: Love is nothing in tennis, but in life, it's everything.

Thanks, Tera, for helping a sister out with Number 129 on her Bucket List!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Welcome to a new slice of the Adventure Salon pie, FAB 5 FRIDAYS where we flash the top five list of. . . well, you name it.

This week, in honor of Black History Month, and to commemorate the rich culture of African-Americans in film, we list my top five movies featuring people of color. These are in no particular order, because if they were The Color Purple would headline the marquis.
Grab your popcorn and a watermelon martini, then click on the links for a sneak preview

1. Cooley High - starring Glynn Turman and whatever-happened-to-and-I-wonder-if-he's-still-fine Lawrence Hilton Jacobs.

2. A Soldier's Story - Howard E. Rollins (may he rest in peace) and Denzel Washington (People tell Sarge he looks like Denzel. He believes them.)

3. Dead Presidents - Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker (The most realistic portrayal of cold-blooded killers ever.)

4. The Color Purple - Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and my beloved Oprah Winfrey (who said my favorite line - "You better bop Mister upside his head and think about heaven later.)

5. Lady Sings the Blues - Diana Ross, Lando Clarissian, er, I mean, Billy Dee Williams. (This is my favorite sing-along movie where I play all the parts, too. Favorite line said by Billy Dee: "You want my arm to fall off?")

Friday, February 4, 2011

What's on YOUR Bucket List?

I'm not a poet, and I know it
I'm not a flame-thrower either,
But if I had my druthers
I'd like to milk some udders
Just because it's something different to do.

See, I told you I wasn't a poet. But I just drew a line through Number 131 on my to-do list.
Unlike Citibank, I don't care what's in your wallet. I want to know what's on your Bucket List?
Double click on "Comments" and share.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So that's what Super Bowl is!