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FerociousKitty last won the day on January 20 2020

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  1. Thank you, Maurice!! Are you English by way of someplace else, native born, or both?
  2. Yes, Pittsburgh is a wonderful place to visit. But to live? If you're Black, especially a Black single woman? Nah. lol
  3. I visited NYC for the first time in 1989. So not at the height of the epidemic, but it was still going strong. I didn't see anything as graphic as what you did saw, but I watched people go in and out of a crack building one day, and I noticed one woman who came back so many times, I lost count. And while I couldn't see exactly what she was doing inside the building with the dealers, I could guess. This was on my second visit to NYC, in Harlem, which I had previously romanticized because of James Baldwin's books. I was terrified of NYC as child because of police/crime dramas on TV, and even the sitcoms joked about getting mugged. My mom went to NYC when I was 5 and I cried the whole time she was away. I was a sensitive child lol. Even when I went in '89 and '90, I was scared to ride the subway. I was still scared when my then-fiance lived there in the early 90s and I'd come in every other weekend from Connecticut to visit him in Brooklyn. And I still drove everywhere once I was living in Brooklyn with him for the first 4 months of our marriage. I got a busted tire from a pothole, and I felt like that symbolized my time there lol. But looking back, I didn't take advantage of the time there at all. We lived on Eastern Parkway, right across the street from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and I don't think I went once. I didn't enjoy Brooklyn until around 2005/2006 after my first divorce. I had friends in Brooklyn and Philly, and we'd meet up usually in Brooklyn (and once in Philly; no one ever wanted to come to Pittsburgh lol) for a weekend. We'd go dancing until 4 am at APT in the Meat Packing District, then go to breakfast, and then crash as the sun was coming up. Then go to Chez Oscar (in Ft. Greene, I think) for brunch. Those were good times! NYC to WV? That's a lot!
  4. @Mel Hopkins We eventually got paid, but only after #EBONYStillOwes! We agreed to a schedule where they would pay us in groups over 4 quarters. I was in the last group; we were paid based on oldest invoices first. After the Q2 folks got paid...*crickets*. We had to threaten to take them back to court, and we started the new hashtag. Eventually, everyone was paid. Sadly, one of the writers died before receiving his payment. But the writers' union made sure his family got his check. The wildest part? The venture capitalists who now own EBONY tried to shame us for insisting that they pay what they owed! Are you in any of the Binders women writers' groups on Facebook? There are some editors in the groups, and the writers share editor contacts as well as info on calls for submissions/pitches and who pays what. I'm in several of the groups, but I'm most active in the Black women's group. Few places are paying well these days, but it's good to know who not to waste your time with. Message me if you'd like more info about it. Do you really need a reason other than discomfort to move? lol Seriously, I feel that way about the cold here, especially having come from Florida. I'd rather be hot than cold any day. Speaking of New Jersey, I'm going to be on a panel at the Montclair Literary Festival in the spring. This is my first time. Have you been to that festival?
  5. @Mel HopkinsThank you! Re: EBONY, I was among the freelancers who had to sue them to get paid. I wrote four pieces for them and had a great experience with the editors. So many good people suffered because of the terrible new owners. Good luck with your (eventual) relocation!
  6. @Mel Hopkins, thanks so much for the warm welcome back and well wishes! And thanks for the scoop on ATL metro. When I toyed with the idea of moving there--caught up in the headiness of a fun visit with some friends--I also thought about whether or not it was a good fit for me, if I'd find my people (besides the ones I already knew). I'm originally from Florida and still identify in many ways as a Southerner, but I'm a lot more left of center than many of my friends who are still in the South. So you did time in WV and PA?? Whew. Bless you. Incidentally, speaking of WV, my book is coming out from West Virginia University Press. It's the first of its type from the press, and it will lead their fall 2020 catalog. I never envisioned an academic audience for the book, but now that's a bonus. Are you currently working in broadcast journalism? Also, if I may ask, what's keeping you in ATL? Are you looking to relocate?
  7. @Troy, I'm confident none of those cities are as provincial as Pittsburgh, but I was trying to avoid using that word. You cut to the chase, lol. I visited some friends in ATL and had a blast, but I don't think I can live there, for the reasons you gave. Plus, I've heard the dating scene is abysmal, for black women. And to answer your question, I don't see swirling in my future, lol. Thanks for profile! I will email you the rest.
  8. Welp, @Troy, you just told me everything I need to know about Tampa lol. I want to be somewhere with a decent-sized Black middle class. Pittsburgh's is ridiculously small. And I'd like to be somewhere where it's fairly easy to meet new people and build community, especially as an artist. Also, the dating scene sounds like Pittsburgh's, and I'm trying to upgrade lol. By the time I leave here (once my youngest graduates high school), I will have been here 25 years, longer than I lived in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. So I have a great community of friends and fellow artists here, and it's affordable, but that's about it. I go to DC, Baltimore and Philly and just stare at all the Black folks everywhere, owning businesses, out living and thriving. Those cities are also on my list, along with Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Ft. Lauderdale. What do you think of Ft. Lauderdale? Brooklyn is also appealing, but I would need a sugar daddy to live anywhere in NYC lol. I'm glad you had a good support system during/after your divorce. That is critical. I didn't tap into my support system enough after my first marriage ended. If I had, I would never have gotten married the second time, honestly. Cliched though it may be, you really do live and learn. But like you said, that's my process in a nutshell. Learning and healing is complicated. And books have been central to that process. Books have been saving my life forever. I checked, and I don't have a profile on the site. I'll email you. Thanks!
  9. Agreed, @Troy. Divorce--like money, politics, and religion--is one of those things many of us were raised not to discuss, but we should discuss it more often. I think there's also a degree of shame associated with it. Not treating it like some deep dark secret or a personal failing can go a long way in destigmatizing it. That would help more women to not feel like they have to stay in bad situations, and it would help more men thrive after divorce. Women typically fare worse than men financially after divorce, but men fare worse by almost every other measure, mostly because they have fewer social supports, are less likely to seek professional help for depression, and are more likely to die by suicide (related to the depression). I don't do any writing related to co-parenting and divorce anymore these days, but for almost a decade that was my "brand." So I still have all those stats in my head. Which brings us back to doe. Big Social was (is) great for building a brand in order to attract traditional publishers for a book deal. And unless you were established before the rise of social media, many publishers and agents require writers to have a platform/following before they will even consider them. So that's what I did for our co-parenting book--build a platform. It was a full-time job. My next book is a completely different genre, and now I don't feel the same pressure to "be/build a brand." I'm going to have to continue to be present on social to promote the book, but it's a different kind of engagement now. I've changed, the platforms have changed, how people engage has changed. And I don't feel anywhere near the same pressure as I felt with the first book. In other news, did I read correctly somewhere in here that you are now in Tampa? I'm looking to relocate in 2022, and Tampa is among the cities folks have encouraged me to consider. What do you find to be the pros and cons of living there?
  10. @Troy Congratulations or condolences on the divorce? You don't have to answer , but as a two-time divorcee myself now, I try not to assume one or the other. I'm glad AALBC had a banner year! Seems like everyday now I see someone talking about giving up Big Social, but not being sure what the alternative is. I think they're looking for all the same amenities without all the crap, and that simply doesn't exist. Good to cyber-see you!
  11. Greetings! I poked around a little bit, but other than @Troy, I didn't see anybody here from my days of posting, the early 2000s until 2010 or so. I thought about AALBC because I met someone here who became a dear friend (Yvette Perry), and last week she sent me a very thoughtful gift. I started reflecting on our friendship, and it took me a minute to remember where we'd first met. And then it came to me: AALBC! Troy, thank you for providing a forum for some unforgettable characters and conversations. I'm glad to see the conversation continuing, and I hope you and your family are doing well!
  12. Cynique, having had the pleasure of meeting you and hearing your speaking voice made me LMAO extra loud at this. I can hear you, lol!!
  13. I just finished Michele Grant's Heard It All Before: It was a good read, the first in her 3-book deal, and I'm looking forward to the others. I put down The Talented Miss Highsmith, to read Michele's book, so now I'm picking it up again.
  14. Chicken, french fries, spring rolls, sesame noodles. And we feasted on gossip about you, Chris Hayden!
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