Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Damani

  1. I know I'm late to the party and y'all done ate up all the chips and dip and drank all the punch, too!! But, I thought I'd add a little something - and something quite different than most of what's been shared. I'm an older Brother, who digs a lot of what has been posted already, but a couple of friends (who don't know each other and have different tastes) have recently turned me on to some music that some here at AALBC might dig. First up, the 'British' (really Afro-Caribbean) saxophone player Shabaka and the Ancestors. Most of the band members are from South Africa and they are jamming. A brief introduction: This is one tune: https://youtu.be/TnkjcS_yTfA For a more extensive experience, here's their live performance from a couple years ago, which I really enjoyed. https://youtu.be/IU4vpE2eGho Damani
  2. Thanks to the participants in the "Introduce Yourself / Newbies" thread in the AALBC Forums. Y'all encouraged me when I first came and told you a little about our (my wife and my) work in progress. We have now self-published: CLANDESTINE: The Times and Secret Life of Mariah Otey Reddick. I am pleased to share the Press Release. [Oooops, sorry no Word docs or pdf's can be attached!] So, here's the cover instead... Here's a quick summary of some of the story lines: If anyone would like to receive a FREE excerpt of CLANDESTINE, just drop us a note at knowledge@Clandestine-Life.com. All the best to everyone... Damani
  3. Troy, First of all, THANK YOU for AALBC, all of your efforts and this forum. When I first discovered the forum I posted a few times, but Brother, I got so busy finishing our (my wife and my) eBook that I didn't come back. Several of the Members were quite encouraging to me, and I appreciate them for that. I hope that I was able to add something to the discussion. I think your email about this was actually genius, and the response shows its effectiveness. I would suggest this: An email from time to time offering a new forum topic of interest to authors, or an online (Zoom.us) live video presentation by an expert on a topic of interest to authors. Subjects like marketing, writing tips, etc. That would most likely pull in those who simply 'lurk' or have not visited the forum in quite a while - like me. Damani Keene Clandestine-Life.com
  4. Hello Mel!


    I cannot find the thread where you offered my wife and I some suggestions re: an editor last year.

    I thanked you then and thank you again.

    We did find an Editor right here in Panama, where we live and she did a great job.

    Here's our website: Clandestine-Life.com

    We will soon self-publish as an ebook.  Very soon.


    Thanks to you and to Troy.  He was also quite helpful to us.

    1. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins


      @DamaniCongratulations!  We had our conversation in the readingblack club on this website -


      I would post the link but I keep getting a firewall block notice. 

        I'm glad that @Troy and I could be of assistance.  Also I got a chance to visit your website and it presents well on my mobile device!  Nice! Please don't be a stranger - at readingblack.com (the online club here on aalbc.com where we first met.)  I'd like to read about your book journey.  Much continued success! 

    2. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins

      Edit: I was able to post the link when I tried again.

  5. Allow me to share an essay by my wife and me published on Medium.com.. How The Lies America Has Told To Herself About Herself Paved the Way for Accepting Trump’s Lies https://medium.com/@damaniwvk/how-the-lies-america-has-told-to-herself-about-herself-paved-the-way-for-accepting-trumps-lies-89b2c67a6f31?source=friends_link&sk=f8e1c923ddce61098dbe8d37fd56dd6a Damani
  6. EVO Universe! Very IMPRESSIVE! Creating an entire world and then having to describe it to your reader is a huge challenge. To then develop a series requires a keen and active imagination. You have my admiration!! Damani
  7. @Troy, I remember webrings from the early days, but had/have no real concept of how they worked. Stay strong, my Brother, on fighting for control. Very essential for self-determination.
  8. Are there Webrings for authors? Are they usually receptive to new members? Damani
  9. Thank you,, Wendy! This is valuable information. It is well to remember that LIBRARIES HAVE BUDGETS TO BUY BOOKS!! Damani
  10. @Troy, precisely!!! Like that nugget, there are many aspects of our People's history that are relegated to footnotes in scholarly works. Our objectives as authors/activists include bringing to the fore IN THE FICTION GENRE some of the day to day realities of the challenging circumstances our Ancestors had to negotiate and challenge. That restriction on "Free Blacks" is alluded to in CLANDESTINE. Another example: In Chambers County, Ala (where one branch of my wife's family has roots), a Black woman went to court in the pre-Civil War period to challenge a claim that she, a free woman, had petitioned to become a slave. The Alabama legislature had passed a law creating that pretext for nefarious purposes. A white couple forged documents, but did not count on the Sister taking them to court. Surprisingly, the courts sided with her BECAUSE and ONLY BECAUSE some other whites testified as witnesses because, by law, she could not. That situation, too, plays a part in the decision-making of characters in CLANDESTINE. Damani EVO Universe! Very IMPRESSIVE! Creating an entire world and then having to describe it to your reader is a huge challenge. To then develop a series requires a keen and active imagination. You have my admiration!! Damani
  11. ASANTE SANA, @Mel Hopkins My wife and i are pushing hard to finish this phase of the project! Damani
  12. @Troy and All, Yes, it is an AMAZING story. Transportation for research has been the biggest expense so far - thousand$. Thankfully, there were three local historians/researchers who had already done tremendous work and they willingly shared the documents and information they had dug up. We are forever grateful Three examples of what they shared with us: photocopies and handwritten transcriptions of my great grandfather's trial record where he challenged the all white jury because it was not "a jury of his peers" - THIS WAS IN 1868!!!![/b] handwritten letter from my great grandmother's "owner" seeking a military escort to take his valuable property (enslaved Africans) from Franklin, TN to Montgomery and far from the reach of Union forces - IN 1862 a handwritten statement, decades later, from a founder of the local KKK Klavern listing the others present at their first meeting in Franklin, TN We are EXCITED!!! CLANDESTINE - The Times and Secret Life of Mariah Otey Reddick tells the story of my great grandmother's family. Family lore has it that she was a SPY when she - as is WELL-DOCUMENTED - worked in the household of President Jeff Davis in Montgomery before the Confederate White House was established in Richmond, VA. Out of concern for their safety, records of Union spies were destroyed after the war, so unfortunately we have no confirmation. However, you might remember that another African/Black woman - Mary Elizabeth Bowser - spied for the Union in the Richmond White House!! http://time.com/4350450/mary-richards-bowser/ I'm sorry, y'all!! I got carried away!!!! Damani
  13. Yes, @Troy, it was Edit 1st!!!!! Great job! Damani
  14. Well, Brothers and Sisters, we've made some progress. Troy referred us to an editor who did a wonderful Manuscript Review. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TROY!! @Troy I don't know the protocols, so I won't mention her name, but she gave us positive feedback, some critiques and excellent suggestions for honing our 399 page (much more when double spaced!) manuscript into a book. VERY grateful to her!!! We are - and I hope it is OK to mention it here - now in the last phase of a crowdfunding campaign to help offset some of the pre-publication expenses. Check out our video and more information here: igg.me/at/ClandestineBook The backstory of how and why we came to write our historical novel is here: Clandestine-Life.com We WILL publish this year! Damani
  15. Good info, EVO!! Have you sold books to libraries? They have budgets to buy books and, I understand, they buy ebooks, too. Damani
  16. We appreciate that advice and the very kind words, My Sister. We've been seeking first hand referrals from those in literature and the arts for the very reasons you mention. In our careers, both my wife Ife and I were often acknowledged as good writers, but my background is in non-fiction and businees writing and my wife's was mostly in business and technical writing. However, Ife has written two published fiction works, so that is very helpful. We've had one in-depth discussion with an excellent and experienced Editor, but her schedule and existing commitments may not conform with our desired publication schedule. We have developed an exciting and amazing story and sub-plots based upon true historical events and the results of my Family Heritage research. We are looking for an Editor, hopefuly one with historical fiction experience, to help put some poetry to our manuscript and some music to our story-telling. I have already emailed Troy Johnson re: Edit 1st at the suggestion of W. Paul Coates, publisher-owner at Black Classic Press. Your mention of authentic dialogue is ON POINT. A tip for anyone else who may need it: There is a website devoted to U.S. slang terms as they emerged in various decades. This is not the one Iused. but it is similar: https://alphadictionary.com/slang/?term=&beginEra=1800&endEra=1930&clean=true&submitsend=Search Also, very helpful has been my search for the etymological and time origins of various specific words/terms on dictionary sites. We definitely want to avoid anachronisms in language, science, etc. An example of the latter: The "germ theory" of disease was not broadly accepted at the time of the Cholera Epidemic of 1850, so the precautions taken by our characters would need to reflect that. Again, thanks for your appreciative words and encouragement. As you know - as a published author - writing a book is a daunting task. Historical fiction, as you point out, puts another layer on top of an already challenging task. Damani
  17. TRYING IT AGAIN!! (May have been "user error!!!!!" LOL Sister Mel, that was quite an introduction!!! Impressive. This is my first post, so bear with me if I don't quite fit the format here. By way of introduction: Native New Yorker - African in America Slightly active in Civil Rights - picketing, etc. in high school Attended Howard University and graduated in 1966 Married college sweetheart US Air Force and found that Air Power and Black Power do NOT mix "Taught" a Black History class at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary (Visiting Prof, though!!!) My 'students' educated me!! Ever grateful, Ron Ben jar, Leo 10X, Pep and others!! Graduate school at Cornell University (1970-72) - in the aftermath of the armed student takeover of the Student Union bldg Protested murder of Brothers at Attica State Prison Co-led Operation: STOP - the student-faculty divestment organization - to persuade Cornell to sell its Gulf Oil stock; succeeded in doing so. Returned to Howard to work in Student Affairs - 32 years, including 14 years as Dean for Residence Life (student housing) Active with African Liberation Support Committee and Ujamaa Shule and Watoto Shule Former Member of the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party Retired from Howard U in 2004 Relocated to the highlands of the Republic of Panama Conducted Family Heritage research and discovered AMAZING info about my maternal great grandmother Mariah Otey Reddick Was inspired to write a historical novel inspired by her life. My wife Ife, a twice-published fiction writer, is Contributing Author Finishing the first true "First Draft" and now seeking an Editor Glad to be here and to meet all of you. Sisters and Brothers!! Damani
  18. Hello, Mel!


    A couple of days ago, I wrote a long post on the "Introduce Yourself" thread, but I don't see it.

    Does it have to be moderated?



    1. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins

      Hi @Damani  not that I know of.. but I didn't even get a notification of this message - and my notifications are on.  So let me check.   Thank you for bringing it to our  attention.

      Ok, I don't see your introduction.  I tagged you in the "introduce yourself" thread - do you see it? 


    2. Wendy Jones

      Wendy Jones

      Hello, Damani


      Finding a developmental editor for historical fiction


      I have an idea for you. Go to the library and find books as much like the first draft of the book that you and your spouse have written. Then look in the acknowledgments section.


      Usually, the writer thanks his/her editor. Make a list then research the editors and choose one based on what they can suggest about a sample that you send them to edit. Please let me know if this helps.


      Recommendation for a Copy Editor/proofreader/fact checker/ indexer


      There may also be an association of developmental editors online with their specialties listed. I found a copy editor/fact checker/proofreader/indexer this way. His name is Frank Steele. When you get to that stage in the process do look him up. He's excellent and a dream to work with.


      Success to both of you on your book


      Much success to you and your spouse on your book.

  • Create New...