Saturday, April 24, 2010


I am in another depressive state. Don't really feel like expressing the exact details of why that is here but just the consequences. I have no real desire to do anything. Especially the things I NEED to do or things I WANT to do. Classic symptoms of depression, no? For instance, I like my classes in school. I like the instructors and class conversations. However, I have been insanely shirking the required work for each and every one of my classes. Most of which is writing. Which is something I happen to like doing and am particularly good at. I actually did the required research, reading and/or thought processes needed for each assignment, I just haven't sat down and written anything. I mean, I KNOW I'm a procrastinator, but this is ridiculously pathological or something. I have these moments, like everyone else I'm sure, but they don't usually last this long. And I am literally running out of time. The semester is almost over. How the hell did it get to the end of April so fast?! I just celebrated my Bornday on April 1! So, I'm sitting here at my easy ass night job STILL avoiding having to do my assignments! How retarded am I?! I've had fun for the last couple of weeks but the serious stuff I've been avoiding. Some of the stuff floating around in my head (that I'm not going into) I thought I came to terms with. I now realize I have not and unfortunately it is affecting other endeavors, i.e. school, and that is just not acceptable. April is always a good month for me, it IS my birth month, and I usually have fun the whole month. That just might be a part of my problem. I don't like to do anything I don't want to do in this month. It's mine. (It's an old habit.) However, that has not usually affected school. I'm trying to remember if I had the same problem this time last year. My memory is not reliable and I haven't been keeping up with my journal, so I really have know idea.

Another byproduct of my depressive states is that I do not eat. I don't starve myself in the extreme sense of the word but I don't eat nearly enough to properly nourish my body. Which leaves me with not a lot of energy which means I really do not want to DO stuff! Stupid vicious cycles and shit.

I need to do my work for my classes and I want to go back to aikido, so, I have to find a way out of this really really really soon. Done ranting for now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My main man, Tennyson Hardwick

I must say I am very happy. No. I am ecstatic! I was one of a fortunate few to be able to get an advanced copy of the new Tennyson Hardwick novel, From Cape Town With Love, written by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes in collaboration with Blair Underwood. This happens to be the third Tennyson Hardwick novel and I must say it is every bit as excellent as the previous two, if not more so. The growth of Tennyson is a very carefully crafted and wonderfully written example of character development. Few authors take this much care with their characters as Tananarive and Steven do. And I'm talking about all of their published works. The fact that this wife and husband writing team can bring their considerable experience and craft together to create not one but a series of novels focused on a close cast of characters, with Tennyson being the foci the others are attached to, is a testament to hard work and love of what one does. In this case: Storytelling. I'll do a small review and try my best to leave out any spoilers.

In this installment of the whirlwind life of Tennyson Hardwick we go international. South Africa, to be exact. All of Tennyson's journeys so far had a personal element to them and so does this one. The previous two dealt with Ten investigating the death of people Ten knew, but this one deals with saving the life of a child, so the personal aspect is still there. The intricate weaving together of independent story lines and intricate details is just wonderful. Tennyson's journey towards himself is furthered along masterfully. We get to see more and more of the man underneath struggling to emerge. His relationship with his father took a giant leap forward in the last book and it continues right along in this one. And the same goes for his relationship with his adopted daughter Chela, which is a particularly favorite storyline of mine in the series. Ten is still working out his women issues but I think he is making progress. But he is as freaky and bad ass as ever, which is always a good thing. I'm not certain I liked the way the book ends but I love the way the main storyline ends.

What I love most is the masterful use of language! And also the wonderfully expressed points of view on various issues and topics. And done within the context of the story, no preaching. For example, "Suddenly, the answer to the question Why do celebrities adopt these children was obvious. Because the children need them. Because they can." There you go. Now, normally I don't like marking in books at all but I realized I was going to have to: 1. Because this was an ARC and I knew I needed to do a review, 2. Because there were just too many literary gems throughout the entire book. I had to use a highlighter. I'd list one of my favorites but don't want to deprive anyone of the poignant hilarity of the thought Ten had about his new client. Makes me smile just thinking about it. All I'll say is 'pixie dust'. Damn.

Also another favorite aspect of the Tennyson novels I love is the fight sequences. You can just see the gleefulness Steve must have when writing these down. He brings all of his very considerable martial arts and fight experience and knowledge to the fore. I love the description of the art he made up to scare the crap out of Ten. I could just see it in action in my minds eye. Furniture-fu indeed! I'd add in a few techniques of Running-away-Gun-fu if I ever saw someone coming at me with that! Like films, in books you know the people who have real experience with fighting by the way they write the fight scenes and Steve is a fighter. I love that he brought in a character based on his real life Guru. As a long time fan of Steve's and avid follower of his blog I recognized the character immediately.

I think that is vague enough to not spoil the story but keep the interest there. I've been an admirer of Tananarive and Steven for a long time now, and I have to say I'm an avid fan and supporter of the Tennyson novels. Also, as a writer myself, I'd just like to say to all those writers and aspiring writers out there, especially those who write 'street lit' stories: If you want to learn how to properly tell a story read every single Tennyson Hardwick novel. Casanegra, In The Night of the Heat, and now From Cape Town With Love are a Masters Class in how to weave a tale in written form. That means write/tell a story.

I am greatly impressed and immensely pleased with this novel and can't wait to read it again when it gets it's public release. Oh yes, I WILL be buying this book when it hits the stores. I strongly suggest you do the same. And get the previous two if you haven't read them yet. Each book can stand on it's own, but why should you deprive yourself?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So what's your answer?

I always liked the show "Inside The Actor's Studio." I'm just really curious about people, even the people most other people are way too interested in, ie. actors and other film people. I'm a huge admirer of films and movies so I have a real interest in how they think and do things. Well usually at the end of every show the host asks the guest the following ten questions. My spirit-brother David answered them on his blog so I figured why not follow suit. Here goes:

01. What is your favorite word?
Defenestrate. Sounds nothing like what it means. I love that.

02. What is your least favorite word?

03. What turns you on?
A beautiful smile with a beautiful mind behind it.

04. What turns you off?
Rigid minded people

05. What sound or noise do you love?
A well played guitar or piano

06. What sound or noise do you hate?
Fake crying or whining

07. What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck in all its variable forms

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Musician, particularly a Rock Star

09. What profession would you not like to do?
Nothing that has me going underground.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Either, "Ready to go again?" or "See, what had happened was..."