Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Well, I haven’t spoken with Chuck Spears in a minute. I know he recently found a new job, has been working at his comic book art and rekindling his love for spittin’ rhymes. I have not been around here for I have been working hard at building a platform and home base for my book.

Maybe this means that it’s time for this blog needs to go on hiatus – for a while. It’s not a sad thing, because in the process of the both of us contributing here, we have been able to discover or reconnect with our passions. Chuck has always been an artist kind of guy, so I’m happy he’s gotten back in that groove. Me? Well, I’ve already told you about my current venture.

This blog has been important to the both of us throughout the past twelve months. Its been a place to vent and voice our opinions and frustrations on the bullshit that life throws our way. It also gave us an avenue to exercise our minds creatively. I know Chuck has been messing with the blogging world longer than I have, but managing this blog has given me good practice for running the blogsite for my book. Writing on here was also good for knocking the rust off;  I had not touched my book’s manuscript for over a year before Chuck and I founded this blog. When the spark came back to me to pick up working the book again, I was already in some sort of writing shape… kind of.

The biggest thing for me though is that I finally know that I have an answer, a solution to “stop being played”.  This blog was born from me and Chuck’s frustrations with our lives being stuck in a standstill, wondering if things would ever get better due to the career paths we pursued.

Let’s just say over the course of the year, I’ve undergone an attitude adjustment.

“If it is to be, it starts with me.”

While I was attending Morgan State, the chair of the Communication Studies department had us recite that line in one of my classes. I used to think that was corny motivational ploy he was using, but ultimately he’s right. If you feel life is playing you, do something about it. Take some time to analyze yourself and your current life standing. Be honest about your strengths, your weaknesses, and your habits, both good and bad. Understand what truly motivates you, what you are passionate about. Begin to build on that, brick by brick, step by step, regardless if you are single, married or have kids. There are many books and classes that can teach you how to turn your passions into business ventures. But most importantly, before you learn how, you need to first look at yourself. Robert Kiyosaki teaches you how to change your view of money. Dave Ramsey teaches you how to look yourself in the mirror and hold yourself accountable for your actions and your budget. Tim Ferriss implores you to conquer your fears one step at a time as well as how to view time and productivity differently. Susan Orman illustrates how your first childhood interaction with money helps to shape how you view money as an adult. Ramit Sethi, among other things,  specializes in how to position yourself in the best light for various negotiation situations. All of the above named understand that your mind’s thought processes must be changes first before you get to the how.

So then… Off I go to continue on my “how”. I refuse to be played anymore – I will learn to turn the tables in my favor.

***

UPDATE: Chuck hit me via text and agrees that a hiatus likely is in order, but has asked me to periodically post on my progress with the book. I will do that, but in the meantime, if you want to check in on our progress, by all means:

BoobieTrapped.com – The video blog for my upcoming book

UngowaSoulPower – Chuck Spears’ blog for his comic book work and rhymin’

Thank you for following our blog for over the past year. We appreciate all the comments, Facebook Likes and page hits!

(even if half of those hits came from me and Chuck, lol)

Has it really been almost a month since I wrote here?

I should feel apologetic, but my lack of action here has not been due to lack of motivation or laziness. In fact, I’ve been very motivated, and rather active.

Pimping a book is hard work. And as you go along the process, you realize that writing the darn thing is barely half the battle. I’ve read on different author resource sites that many writers don’t want to get involved in the business aspect of putting their book out and selling it. The task is daunting, very involved, multifaceted and somewhat complex. Just looking for a quality editor took over three weeks. But I’m happy: the editor understood where I was coming from and combed through every word and sentence. I did not have any concerns over her quality of work because she had the experience.  I knew what kind of qualifications to look for because I had expert advice. Even if my book doesn’t make a dime, I can trust that manuscript will be in top shape.

Like I said, the process is multifaceted – I am approaching this as a business and brand, not a mere hobby.  Here’s the current stages and steps I have mapped out so far.

LLC

My LLC will be in the form of a self-publishing company. Why am I creating a company just to publish a book? Because there are costs: I need a cover designer, interior designer and marketing manager – the latter of the three the most expensive.  From my research, 5K seems to be what’s figured for startup costs. I don’t have 5K, nor do I see myself with the ability to save five-grand before the year is out. Funny thing is, the leader of the RichDadNYC group whose monthly meetings I attend says he didn’t have $5,000 either for the marketing of his book, and he owns more than a handful of rental properties and businesses throughout the country. So he had to get the money somewhere, and he’s a big believer of OPM (Other People’s Money). A business credit line is looking like a good idea.

Manuscript

Last Saturday, I submitted my manuscript to the Library of Congress for copyrighting. Next step is to find a proofreader to make sure my script is pristine. After that, I need to find a cover design and interior designer. Once those are done, then I will look at self-publishing options.

Blog

THE BLOG IS LIVE! THE BLOG IS LIVE!

It is my online home base for operations. The meat of the blog is the video entries, which I will do one per week. I also have a written blog section to talk about the progress of moving from manuscript to paperback/e-book.  It is also my beginning baby steps into the book’s marketing via building up a following.

***

I was prepared to say that due to my book venture, and Chuck Spears pursuing his comic book blog, that this blog will take a hiatus. But Chuck Spears came through with a great Father’s Day post, so instead I’ll talk to him about whether to keep things going.

Til next time…

Whomever said that writing a book is the easiest part wasn’t kidding.

Wait… I didn’t tell you I was writing a book?  You sure I never mentioned it?  Maybe in passing?

Okay: I’m writing a book – a guide for fellow top-heavy lovers like myself (I find “top-heavy” to be a bit more tasteful than “big boobs”, “big breasts” or “big-ass titties”).  The title of the book will be Boobie-Trapped; right now, the subtitle reads One Man’s Guide to a Top-Heavy Love Affair.  I say “right now” because recently I spoke with a web-savvy author whom believes in search-engine optimization.  He feels the way people use Google and such to look things up, it would benefit me to have an SEO-friendly subtitle versus something that’s clever.  Once I decided on an editor, I’ll play with the subtitle some more.

So back to the book: the best way I can word the book;s purpose is to quote myself from a donation page I just created (more on that in a bit):

I am a man who has many interests.  Among the top of these interests are helping others, defeating ignorance and top-heavy women.  I am combining all three elements in a book tentatively titled Boobie Trapped. The book will serve as a guide that will speak to, and educate, my fellow top-heavy lovers on how to not just better appreciate a woman of such physique, but to look beyond the breasts and consider the woman as a whole.”

I recently spoke with an editor at AALBC.com, a site dedicated to African-American books and authors.  She believes I will need to self-publish (as I plan to) and to amass around $5,000 to kick things in gear, especially for marketing efforts.  Coincidentally, the group facilitator for my monthly business meetings stated he has spent $5,000 on his new book as well.  I had not planned on using (or needing) that much money, but it sure would make for a nice launch pad.

Of course, there’s the question of how on Earth am I going to raise that much gwop.  I budgeted carefully to put aside the bit of money I have now – even with a higher paying job, I would be pressed to save that much in one year.  I’ve started looking up writer’s grants online and in reference books at the library, but as of now it feels like I’m looking for the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack.  So today I venture onto Facebook and after wasting over an hour playing Marvel Avengers Alliance peeped that my longtime friend Stacey has created a donation page on this site called GoFundMe.com.  Even better, she’s already raised almost $700 in about three weeks’ time.  Since one of the 23 Billionaire Principles states: “Copying is Better Than Innovating”, I went on ahead and copied her by creating my own donation page.

So check out the page, and feel free to pitch in a few pennies.  Even the smallest amounts help.  Thanks.

My next post regarding this project will discuss my process of finding an editor.  I’ll keep ya posted; in the meantime, its off to watch the Knicks stave off playoff elimination at the hands of the eeeeeviiiiiilllll Miami Heat…

Apologies yet again for the near two-week absence.  Chuck’s been working on some comic book design stuff; you can check his material out here.  As for me, my energies have been pointed in other directions lately.

“This sounds like another excuse, Diggy.”

It is, but just roll with me on this.  It’s hard to write coherently when your mind is other places.  So at least let me share where some of those places are or have been.

Some of you reading this may know that I’ve self-published a book back in 2008.  Some of you also know that I am very much into voluptuous (read: top-heavy) women.  Thus, I wrote a book about my passion – reaching out to other similarly passionate men to help them appreciate such a woman better.  It was a “shits ‘n’ giggles” thing – dipped heavily in guy-humor to reach out to the unsophisticated man.  It was a great experience, but in terms of being able to spread the word effectively, I saw four major problems:

  1. The book was only 27 pages.  Any avid reader could flip through the whole book while in a store without buying it.
  2. I self-edited the book.  As I learned later, it’s very difficult to edit your own words.
  3. I may have laid the man-talk on a little too thick.
  4. A title such as “The Guide for Big Breast Luvas (pronounced ‘luv-ahs'” may be a bit too direct.

So a year later, I began a rewrite of the book.  I knew that in order to give this thing a real shot, I’d have to be more coherent, with research to back up my opinions and thoughts.  the book would need more than 27 pages, which meant it would definitely need a lot more material.  So I spent most of my time during the summer of 2009 working on the book… along with finding a job.  In September I found work, but a funny thing happened: my interest in the rewrite waned.  I was stuck in a career and life crossroads, trying to assimilate back into a “normal” job field after spending more than a decade pursuing a career in radio and TV.

Fast forward two years and another breakup later: I end up reading Rich Dad Poor Dad in August and September.  And wah-lah… I feel not the need to assimilate any longer, which feels even better given than me and the word “assimilate” have always been like oil and water.  Later in September, I meet this dude at a after-hours social who has his own publishing company.  I sent him a couple of my drafted chapters, and at the end of the month we sat down for two hours to talk about how I can improve things.  These two events re-sparked my desire to do the rewrite.  And this time, I had not only a direction, but an inner voice that started to speak something about “true independence”.

As of today, I have all but drafted the entire book.  I’m currently researching editing companies and services because I want my manuscript to be me, but in the best light possible.  The book has become a driving force, because I know there’s an audience for it.  I know the book will educate people on things that are overlooked, as well as things that are not common knowledge yet not hard to understand either (sort of like the radio business).

I know I cannot do this alone – not if it is to be done right.  I need the right people around me to help, people whose strengths are my weaknesses.  I’ll need funding too, but I’m not overly concerned to the point I’d let it stop me.  I truly understand now there is more than one way to skin a cat, and money is not the end all of life… I even say that last line now with more confidence and a new base of knowledge than before, when I would simply duck money because I truly thought it was evil. 

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  I know I’ve only truly begun the process, but I look forward to solving for “x”.

And by the way, the new title of the rewrite will (tentatively) be Boobie Trapped: One Man’s Guide to a Top-Heavy Love Affair.

___

Not related: I hate having a crush.  More on than in another post… maybe.

I know I know; I was supposed to be blogging every day from Chicago with a summary of the day’s events – my utmost apologies.  A few things got in my way of such a lofty goal:

  1. My sister’s camera was not as fully charged as she claimed.  This was made worse because:
  2. She gave me neither the charger for her camera battery nor her USB connection to upload pictures off the dag-gone camera to my laptop, which led to…
  3. I had to use my phone to take pictures, GPS, take notes and make calls.  With a Samsung Epic, that means your battery gets sucked dry faster than blood to a vampire.
  4. I had my backup external battery with me when I walked around town Saturday.  That got sucked up to.
  5. I don’t think I fully charged my phone or backup battery at any point during the trip.
  6. Remember that horny MILF I told you about back in January?  Well…

Here’s a day-by-day summary of my trip:

Friday, April 6th: Flight landed around 6pm CST, a half-hour ahead of schedule.  Had to wait 45 minutes for my ride because she got stuck at work due to a no-call no-show (typical Murphy’s Law rearing his head).  Settled in at the hotel, then went out for dinner.

Saturday, April 7th: My friend had to work during the day, so I tabled this day to venture to downtown Chicago via mass transit.  And by the way: you know you’re a veteran transit rider when you can spot someone “slow” boarding the bus and you’re the one out of town.  Something about this slow chick having 50-something CTA fare-cards, but not one of them had full fare on them. The bus driver had to relent and tell dizzy to take a seat.  And she’s one of those loud cellphone talkers, smh.  Either she’s slow or coked up – and she almost spilled Pepsi on my new Nikes.
Any-whoo… took the bus to the subway (yeah yeah they call it the “L” here but yanno).  My first stop was the United Center to pay the statue of Michael Jordan a visit:

Here's what I think of your six rings, buddy!
NYK4LIFE!!

After that, I ventured over to Union Station.  The outside looks a bit like the post office on 34th Street in Manhattan.  The inside is kind of a cross between Grand Central and a smaller Penn Station:

Okay, back outside:

This is the river I saw in all those segue shots on Family Matters

How you know you're not in Manhattan: Elevated "subways" running through downtown.

Waiting for the "L". The platforms are very old-school.

A shot of downtown from the "L" (it's still a damn subway, lol)

One of the entry/exit points of The Loop. Looks like a four-way intersection, but of tracks.

Hopped off the Orange Line at State & Lake to walk down and transfer to the Red Line northbound.  Destination: Wrigley Field.

From the "L": the staircases leading up to the rooftop seats outside Wrigley.

Historic Wrigley Field.

The back of Wrigley. As you can see, it's game day.

Rooftop seating view from the front.

There were a lot of people outside given the game was in the 8th inning. Then again, the Nationals had taken a 7 - 4 lead.

After a full day of walking the streets of Chicago, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet my friend after she was done with work.

Waiting for the Blue Line train at Addison. The train actually travels in between the median of I-190.

I made it back to the hotel around 5:30pm.  Wasn’t a moment too soon, for all of my electronic devices were D-E-A-D.  Great day – and I was proud of myself because my studying of the area rail and bus schedules before my trip paid off.  Go me!

P.S.: Leftover Mexican food should definitely be refrigerated.

Click here for Days Three to Five.

I condensed the last three days of my trip into one post because, well, I’m lazy.  It’ll work though… trust me:

Easter Sunday, April 8th: My friend’s daughter had a play date scheduled for noon – seriously, who the hell dumps their kid off on Easter??  Nevertheless, we spent the day at her house.  She cooked dinner, and later we watched movies while her son played on the computer and her daughter entertained her friend.  And let me say that I was thoroughly amused by the daughter’s analysis of why she’s lazy and doesn’t believe she should work for money.  I remember when my youngest sister had similar disillusions about money; she’s just now getting over such thoughts, and she’s 18.

Monday, April 9th: I scored some discount tix to some rides and attractions at Navy Pier off of LivingSocial.com.  My friend had never been miniature golfing (perish the thought!), so I had to take her.

My friend looking out the subway car window as we pass Addison/Wrigley Field

Bubba Gump seafood restaurant

Entrance to Navy Pier

Southern view from the Pier

We ate here...

After lunch, we ventured inside the mall/exhibit area and found a “museum” of stained glass:

I like the pic a lot. My friend as a silhouette against the glass as the outside light comes in.

Next stop: upstairs to hit the mini-links:

Me getting my putt-putt on.

My turn again - I was rusty.

Freakin' beginner's luck - she had not one, but TWO hole-in-ones. Oh, she beat me.

Time for the ferris-wheel.  I took some pics through the plexiglass…

They had a Build-A-Bear Workshop there too…

She's looking for a new stuffed friend.

After she “birthed” the bear, she took him home and dressed him.

ta-dah... Chef Winny.

Back to the Pier: final stop was the indoor garden:

Her outfit blends perfectly with the scenery, like a more attractive, far less scary Poison Ivy... lol.

From the Pier, we walked 40 minutes to Harold’s Chicken Shack – one of the two food spots my other friend D told me I “must” visit.

Tuesday, April 10th: It’s time to say goodbye (aww) and head back home to the Big Apple.  But not before having a late breakfast: eggs, country fried steak and hash browns for me; Belgium bacon waffles for her.  Healthy portions too – so healthy that I stated, “I don’t know if I can finish all of this”.  Well, somebody interpreted that statement to mean, “he’s not going to eat all of that”: my dear friend reached over and stole swiped commandeered my damn pancakes.  I’m over it now… promise.

As you can see, I definitely enjoyed myself.  And as I posted on my Facebook update a few days ago, I’mma need to run it back in the not-too-distant future.  Sorry it took so long for the post… escaping out of Chicago 15-pounds heavier due to forest cake and cheesecake wasn’t easy.

IT’S HERE!  THE DAY FOR MY TRIP HAS FINALLY COME!  PUMP-PUMP PUMP-PUMP ME UP!

You want a breakdown of my day?  Of course you do.  I even wrote a story ’bout it. Like to hear it? Here it go:

12:15pm EST: Left out the crib and hiked to the library to AGAIN print out my travel itinerary for the airline and hotel (did the same yesterday, but left the damn papers in the computer lab).  Returned a call+text+voice-mail from my Dad who was momentarily worried because he called me while I was in the library and some woman answered the phone.  Sounds like the signals got crossed – or he could’ve misdialed my number, which is hard to imagine since I’m sure he has it, yanno, saved on his cell.

1:10pm EST: Hopped on the Bee-Line 4-bus to the Bronx to catch the 4-train to 125th.  I could’ve taken Metro North, but I figure I had enough time.  Oh, and I was being a cheap bastard… again.

1:50pm EST: Reached Moshulu Parkway without incident.  Caught the 4-train, which seemed to have a LOT more people waiting for it than you’d think given the time of day and the stop (typically not overly busy).  Found out the uptown 4 was skipping stops due to God-knows-what.  I still got a seat thankfully.

***NOTE TO SELF: there’s just no smooth way to go through a turnstile with wheelie luggage.  I almost clotheslined myself – twice.

2:35pm EST: Reached 125th St.  Got a sandwich from a deli nearby.  Asked for hot peppers on it… not my wisest choice given my itinerary for the rest of the day.

2:47pm EST: Boarded the M60 bus to LaGuardia.  And let me tell you how God is good: that bus was PACKED, I mean butt-cheek-tight.  Had the driver not pulled up and opened the doors right in front of where I was standing, I would not have made it on.  Praise Jesus.

***NOTE TO SELF #2: Bum sister for a ride back home when I fly back Tuesday. 

3:25pm EST: Made it to LaGuardia unscathed.  No holdups passing the security check.  Only holdup was that I had to wait at the gate counter for the agent to confirm where I was sitting.  It made for a few slightly tense moments, but I got a window seat.  Yea me.

4:29pm EST: The plane rolls out of the gate, but the pilot announces that there’s a lot of rush-hour traffic.  I thought he was joking until he stated there were 15 planes ahead of us on the runway.  Fifteen???

5:00pm EST: It’s finally our turn to hit the and take-off!

5:10pm EST: We cross the Hudson.  Looking outside the window, I’m 99.999% confident we just flew over my house.

somewhere over New Jersey I believe.

5:30pm CST: We’re crossing over this large body of water, and it ain’t the Atlantic Ocean.  Lake Michigan is pretty fucking huge, man.  The pilot also announces that we’re just “a few hundred miles from Chicago” and that we should prepare to basically sit our asses back down and buckle up.

5:50pm CST: The plane lands safely.  And I am happily surprised that my ears did not pop.  And is it me, or did we get here kinda fast?  Wow – I must take this flight again.  Best flight ever!

6:39pm CST: So here I am at Chicago O’Hare waiting for my friend to pick me up.  Why couldn’t she be here when my flight landed you ask?  Well, there’s this little thing called Murphy Law that tends to want to rear its head.  She had to work today, and she already feared that would run a little late.  Well, she had a no-call no-show and had to cover; I guess someone decided to take Good Friday off but forgot to tell her.  I’ve definitely been in that situation before; you got shit to do or places to go after work, but something fucks up and you HAVE to stay a little later than planned.  Yup, definitely understand.

6:52pm CST: My friend called!  She’s on her way.  Let me pop another Dentyne Ice… okay I’m good.

45 MINUTES LATER: She picked me up.  And either she was really excited to see me, or she literally ran out of work when her shift was up… she still had on her work apron when she got out the car.

ABOUT 8:45pm CST: Got to the hotel.  Check-in was smooth, but it took me 15 minutes to get into my room because the keycard slot int he door did not want to be bothered apparently.

ABOUT AN HOUR LATER: Went out for dinner.  I had baked chicken and rice pilaf.  My friend had some chopped filet mignon on a toasted roll with a side of mashed potatoes.  She wasn’t crazy about the steak (they cooked it medium-well vs. well-done); in fact she mused that she would’ve been happy if they made a sandwich out of the bread and mashed potatoes.  Um, wtf??? Who does that???  My friend is not well upstairs.

11:45pm CST: I am about to call it a night.  Two buses, a train, a plane and three pieces of gum all on the same day – whew!  What’s most important is that I got here safely and I wasn’t stranded – that’s all one can truly ask for.

More from me mañana…