writer


Some people felt that I was being too hard, or one-sided with my post The Man Rules. Here I have decided to decode some common phrases that men use when speaking to women. I wrote this to give women some much needed insight into ManSpeak. This list is in no particular order.

I don’t want a serious relationship right now.
This is relative to mental age. If he’s a “youngin” then he’s just setting you up for the booty call. If he has sense then he means I ONLY WANT A RELATIONSHIP with a woman who already has her act together, which most likely isn’t you… which is why he’s telling you this.

I want an independent woman.
This also depends on mental age. If he’s a “youngin” then most likely he’s just saying that because it sounds good, he thinks you want to hear this or he’s gauging your response. If he has sense then he means that he wants a woman who doesn’t get upset about petty things and who knows how to keep her head when things get tough or confusing.

Hello/ Hi/What’s up?
Do you want to sleep with me?

You want me to come over?
If I come over are we going to have sex?

I’m a virgin.
I am a virgin, as far as you know.

I’ve been celibate for 3 years.
I’ve been celibate for “3” weeks and I didn’t mean to write that in months.

I don’t like that.
Really, I don’t like that!

I don’t want any (more) children.

I really don’t want any(more) children!

Books that are changing everything

Times are tough.
This statement has a few meanings. It could mean that I date a lot so I wont have enough to take you out. Or that I have multiple children that I have to support so I wont have enough to take you out. Or a combination of the two. Either way he’s not trying to pay.

I’m a rapper.
I am unemployed.

Announcing that he has Washed the clothes/Cleaned/Took out the trash.
Foreplay is now over.

I had to leave my ‘ex’ she couldn’t handle a real man.
I got dumped, and I cried about it in the car.

I’m an author.
I’m broke, but I’ve got skills.

Would you mind if I poured you some wine?

I have no idea what I am doing, but I’m trying really hard.

I cleaned the whole house.
I tidied up a bit.

Hello baby/dear/honey/darling/love.
Do you want to sleep with me again?

Nice shoes/dress.
Do I have any chance of having sex with you? (I mean really what the hell does he know about fashion)

She’s cool as hell.
She is exactly what I have been looking for.

I like women who are physical and affectionate.
I like to be touched, but don’t go overboard.

I need to be alone right now.
I want a woman who will make me FEEL better when I’m with her than I do in my everyday life as a single man and since you’re not her…bounce.

Can I call you?
Let me present my resume and you can determine if I can have sex with you?

You ain’t gonna give a brother your number?
Please, don’t embarrass me in front of all these people.

Good Morning.
Is it too early to see if I have a shot?

Hey “derogatory word”!
I have no clue how to speak, act or treat a woman, but do I still have a shot?

I’ve got to get up early in the morning.
This is often uttered when it is pretty clear that sex is going to go down, so I am setting up my exit strategy, so that I don’t have to sleep over.

I’ve got somewhere to go.
I have nowhere to go, but I rather be somewhere else or be with someone else.

I appreciate it.
Ladies don’t get it twisted this was hard for him to say so believe that it is sincere.

Now remember this list is a generalization and does not necessarily apply to “your” man, but it might. On a side note: if you are flirting with us, even in the least of possible ways, the possibility of having sex with you will be entertained, so don’t get upset when you are the one flirting with us.

The Man Rules The Woman Rules

The concert begins

on wood, dirt, blacktop, concrete

even packed snow.

Participants come in all shapes,

sizes and colors.

From all walks of life they come,

They come to show their affection,

Their love.

Do You have the love?

Center stage is 96′ by 50′

The performers are chosen

and take their places.

All eyes follow the orange sphere.

Running, spinning, leaping

Grunting, sweating, passing

Execution, chants, shouts

Breakaway! Explosive.

Timeout…

Do you have the Love?

Offense is Learned,

Defense is pure hard work

Can you feel the ebb?

The flow?

The Momentum of game one

with 81 more to go.

Old, New, Schooled

Post up, cross over

Black Mamba take over

Pull up jumper,

Power, Finesse.

The score is tied, 16 seconds left,

can’t rest.

Slam, Bank, Luck, Skill

Inside, Outside

Block, Steal

Cheers rain down from the sky

Cameras flash from nowhere,

Posterize.

Do You have the Love?

Penetrate, fake, jab step

hang time, pass dish

don’t foul, rebound,

fast break, barely miss.

Half court trap, or full court press?

Triangle, Isolation… Wrong guess.

Step back Three silence

…swish.

Beautiful.

I Love This Game.

MG Hardie © 2010

Every day countless authors make the error of thinking that covers don’t matter, well at least it appears that they think that it doesn’t matter. But that is precisely the point, how much time and thought you put behind your book cover can directly translate into sales. It can not be understated that your book’s cover is the most effective sales tool you have. Making an appropriate cover can be very tricky but it must be done.

But what is a good book cover? If you go to your local book store you will see hundreds of approaches to this question. Some try a minimalist approach, while others try to connect to the buyer through images. It is a new day and age in America, times are tough for everyone, so your book cover must say to the consumer “I am worth your disposable cash”.  It is also a new day in publishing, but what still seems to be true is that sex sells. The overdone shirtless model and uncovered sensual body parts still move books from the shelves, but this is not always the case.

Early on in the publishing process you’ll need to decide between photos, illustrations, sketches, computer generated images, 2 color, 4 color, or subliminal messages. You will have to decide on color schemes, what colors looks great against this background and whatnot. The type of cover you decide on usually depends on what kind of book you are publishing is it for children or is it very adult. It can also depend on what everyone else in the marketplace is doing. However, by going against the grain is where the unique cover can really stand out.

Available Now

If you don’t have a background in graphics and design it may cost you a little, but you can find many reasonable designers that will give you an original work for as little as $80 or as much as $1500. When I designed my book cover, for EveryDay Life, my mindset was that I wanted to create a book that people could have out on their coffee-table and not feel embarrassed or ashamed about having it out. So for me it started with the question of “Book cover to sell Vs. book cover as Art” I chose Art. Some authors want the cover images to convey what was inside the book and for me, the cover was the longest segment of the publishing process, aside from the actual writing of the book of course. You must decide on the best approach for your work.

Remember that your book will be judged by its cover. If the brick and mortal stores see any hint of an unprofessional cover, a cluttered front, if the cover screams I chose the wrong font because have no idea what I am doing, or my little sister created this cover, your book will be on Special Order so fast your nose will bleed. Error are unavoidable, but I can’t say this enough proofread everything and I mean everything.

Also do not neglect the book spine. Spend as much time creating the book spine as the front cover. You want to be able to read the title on the spine, but keep the same color schemes and fonts. Once the front cover gets someone to pick it up then it is the back cover that hooks them. What goes on the back cover? The synopsis, reviews of previous books, an author photo, bio and any blurb from noted professionals in the business. Usually white type on darker backgrounds is very readable. Make no mistake the back cover is where you will win over the audience.

  

 

For those that need some help, here is a list of rules to live by. Finally a guy has taken some painstaking time to write these Man Rules down. Why you ask? We all need a better understanding, so without further ado this is the male’s perspective.

1. First and Foremost Men are NOT mind readers

Subtle hints do not work, Strong hints do not work, Obvious hints do not work. Just tell us what you want already.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.

We are both adults. If it’s up, put it down. You need it down, we need it up. You don ‘t hear us complaining about you leaving it down. And besides quiet as kept some of us spray, or have pretty poor aim…

1. Sunday sports, It’s like the full moon.

It’s something you have to take in, so let it be. If you don’t then Saturday may also be a Full Moon.

1. Crying is blackmail.

We don’t like it and never will.

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

And so are mono-slavic grunts.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it

We may not be good at it but that’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Oral sex will only used to get out of the dog house.

Books that are changing everything

1. We don’t remember dates.

Write them down. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand. And it is not because we don’t care as much as you do, so don’t even say it.

1. A headache that lasts longer that 2 months is a medical problem

See a doctor.

1. It is neither in your best interest or ours to take the quiz together

No, it doesn’t matter which quiz.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in the argument we are having now.

Most comments that we make become Null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you’re fat.

Don ‘t ask us.  Obviously we love you or we wouldn’t be with you, duh.

1. If we said something that could be interpreted in two ways and one of those ways makes you sad or angry.

Then we meant the other way.

1. Either you can ask us to do something or you can tell us how you want it done. Not both.

If you already know best how to do it, do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

We only pretend to watch those anyway, sorry beer companies.

1. We men see in only 16 colors.

Peach, for example is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit.  Champagne you drink, and we have no idea what seafoam is. And don’t get us started on pastels.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing”.

That’s exactly how we will act. We know something is wrong, it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don ‘t want an answer to.

Expect an answer you don ‘t want to hear .

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine.

Seriously.

1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics such as,

Sports or Sex.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.


Yes, these are all numbered one on purpose and yes fellas I know that if you re-post, comment, link or tag this list you most likely will have to sleep on the couch, ladies we really don’t mind the couch all that much. As a side note Ladies, see the rules for getting out of the dog house.


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I am Daddy, overworked and under appreciated.
The one who let's you sleep late on Saturday and got your
 hair braided.
I am the homework harasser, face washer, with a little twist of bath.
I am the one you told new jokes too, just to see if I would laugh.
I am the one who helped you with History and introduced you to
  relatives you never knew.
And I am the one who spanked you when you filled your aunties
  eye with glue.
I am Daddy, I leave ideas out there for you, to linger.
I am the one who takes care of you when you are sick
  and bandage fingers.
I am the one with little to no income,
 but of every crumb I have, you've had some.
I am the one who lost arguments just to save face.
I am the one who told you not to play so much
  and how to say Grace.
I am the one always pushing, challenging you to do your best.
I taught you how to read, ride a bike, and how to play chess.
I am Daddy, killer of spiders and builder of tents.
I am the one who taught you the difference between
  two nickels and ten cents.
I am the one who showed you how to go to bed without
  any light.
Without me your shoes would slip off because they wouldn't
  be tied tight.
I am Daddy discipliner extraordinaire, the one you told about your
  fears and dreams.
The who who told you that you're not as slick as you think
  and that things aren't as bad as they seem.
I am Daddy... And I love you. 

Today one of the biggest publishing markets is Urban Literature. However, Street Lit has come under fire from many angles. With urban novels being turned into Oscar nominated movies such as Precious, this is as good of a time as any to ask what is the state of Black Literature? There are those that say that Street Literature has no real value to Black Literature as a whole, and that it is equivalent to gangster rap’s relation to the larger genre of Hip-Hop. Then there are people who swear by Urban Literature, as they claim that is type of literary fair is the only kind they will consume. Surprising the people who swear by Ghetto Literature the most are middle class black women.  Many Black authors are  relegated to an existence of selling books out their car trunks at every stop, while their white counterparts enjoy the heights of respected best seller lists.  Thousands of black authors have to ‘grind’, and or’ hustle’, while their counterparts have no concept of those two words. Is it the literature that is the problem, or is it those who are writing the literature?

Before I became an author I knew that urban literature had a credibility issue, I just didn’t know how deep that issue really was. I won’t go into how many authors have four or five books, but still don’t know how to use a simile, yet and still street literature dominates the market. With so many titles selling like hot cakes and its proponents saying ‘I’ve sold X amount of books” , “people are buying it’. So why would anyone think that there is a problem with black literature? I have heard statements similar to these being uttered by crack dealers of the 80s, as  justification as to why they sold drugs.  At a book event I overheard an author say “I am an Essence bestseller”, followed by the publisher snickering, is that respect?  This is not to say that there are not some wonderfully well written positive African American books out there. There are many stories of black success and black triumph, but are black people reading those books? “Any story celebrating the beauty and strength of black family life, the power of education, and the desire to succeed in the workplace and in business is now out of fashion.” wrote Juan William in his article titled “Precious’ Little of Value in Ghetto Literature”.

Since “Urban Lit” began as an often overlooked subdivision of the Blaxploitation era, over 40 years ago. The Film genre was considered exploitative because they took place in the ghetto, played up stereotypes and were mostly written by whites. Today Urban Literature contains many element that were present in its now defunct film counterparts the only difference, no is that blacks are at the helm of these projects. The main argument for this type of literature is that it attracts new readers. It has also been said that Ghetto Lit provides escapism, but for many blacks this type of escapism can be had by not opening a book, but a door. After reading a novel filled with busty women and thugs, overflowing with misogyny, depicting female characters as “dime pieces” or “trophies”, novels that proudly display real gritty scenes of  infidelity, criminal activities and murder that go unpunished or they are glorified, one would have to wonder if Marva Allen owner of Hue-Man bookstore in Harlem was right when she said, “It’s not literature it’s fiction… they offer no literary advantages.” Or is there something more to this “Box” that these Black ‘Harlequins’ have put black literature in? Maybe it has something to do with where you find these books in the bookstore. I have never seen the White Literature section, though I have seen American Literature sections devoid of black authors, except for one dimensional books like Steve Harvey’s “Straight Talk, No Chaser” and sport stories of course. Is a book made urban by the skin color of its characters, the skin color of the author, or its content?

In the New York Times article “Their Eyes Were Reading Smut”, Nick Chiles said ,“On shelf after shelf, in bookcase after bookcase, all that I could see was lurid book jackets displaying all forms of brown flesh, usually half-naked and in some erotic pose, often accompanied by guns and other symbols of criminal life. I felt as if I was walking into a pornography shop, except in this case the smut is being produced by and for my people, and it is called literature.” Is Nick Chiles right? Maybe the problem is in the definition, What is literature? If you solely define it as it as publication of printed material then there is no issue, but historically literature has meant much more than that. Rebecca West once said, “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity.” Apparently many disagree, noting that literature can mean many things to many people Nick Chiles mused, “That leaves me wondering where we – writers, publishers, readers and the black community – go from here. Is street fiction some passing fad, or does it represent our future? It’s depressing that this noble profession, one that I aspired to as a child from the moment I first cracked open James Baldwin and Gabriel García Márquez about 30 years ago, has been reduced by the greed of the publishing industry and the ways of the American marketplace to a tasteless collection of pornography.” I do not believe that these articles, bloggers, or reviewers are trying to ‘hate’ on anyone, or ‘knock’ someone’s hustle and neither am I for that matter, but these are legitimate questions, what is black literature? Where do we go from here? Is Black Literature viewed as nothing more than a collection coming of age Pre and Post Prison tales? “A lot of people complain that most of the Urban Lit books are the same three or four stories with different titles, character names and locations . And that many of the authors have the same felonious background story in their bios. I have been to high profile author meetings where terms like “This is Crip Shit” and “Am a Blood” were tossed around with hand signs. It was comical and something I will most likely write about later, but I digress. “Urban List is just like Hip-Hop nowadays” Was Joey Pinkey correct in his widely viewed article, ‘Urban Lit is Dead? ‘

Part Novel, Part Graphic Novel, All Vampire It's going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

Part Novel, Part Graphic Novel, All Vampire
It’s going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

As an author I feel all of these sentiment, but I also believe that urban literature, like hip hop, is not dead and that the problem, with both forms of entertainment, lies in where you get it from. Many people have asked the question I have posed in the title, but there have been no definitive answers. Perhaps this literary dust-up is equivalent to the one going in among our “Black Leaders”, see Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley.  Perhaps this was summed up in an  article titled ‘The Shaky State of Urban Literature (a book reviewer’s lament)’, “this new millennium of emerging writers and novelists are still struggling to find a place in contemporary literary circles.” For the sake of argument let’s say that the critics in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the blogs are all wrong, or at least mistaken. Let’s say books like mine and The Other Wes Moore are not “really Urban Lit. Let’s say that when you tell a publisher that you are an Essence Best Seller that they do not snicker, not even privately. Let’s say that the media gives black authors the same amount of press and credibility they do their white contemporaries. Let’s say that urban literature isn’t as watered down as hip hop. And let’s say that big publishing houses market African American works as they would the works of others. Does an author not want the respect of their peers? As a people we have always been told to wait for things, that everything takes time, this is what was said decade ago about urban literature. When street literature was young, we heard “it is just starting out, give it some time.” It is now 2011, so the question is has anything changed? Hopefully the documentary “Behind Those Books” answers some much needed questions, regarding the genre future.

Maybe, but now the question  is one of Credibility, but a question for who? Is it a question for The Relentless Aaron’s, Larry Wilson Jr’s, Vickie Stringer’s, and Zane’s of the literary world? Or is our new direction for the Aisha Ford’s, Eric Jerome Dickey’s, and Terry A. O’Neal’s to forge? Or do we follow the examples of James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Phyllis Wheatley, and others? Chances are that those in Ghetto/Street/Urban/African American Literature wont stand up, but the hope is that they will coalesce around something more important than shelf space, money, the thrill of the hustle or fame. Maybe Black literature reader see more of themselves in Rachetville and Grimy than they see of themselves in the future, which is why they haven’t fully embraced black sci-fiction because of how omitted we see ourselves in the future. Unfortunately, like many forms of entertainment, it is all we got.

Perhaps the discussion can best be summed up by what Mo’Nique said when accepting The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Precious, “Sometimes you have to forgo doing what is popular, in order to do what’s right.”

The Shaky State of Urban Literature (a book reviewer’s lament) http://blogginginblack.com/?p=1076 Urban Lit is DEAD http://www.theurbanbooksource.com/articles/editorials/urbanlitisdead.php “Their eyes were looking at smut” http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/04/opinion/04chiles.html “A critical look at Street Lit” http://www.theurbanbooksource.com/interviews/nick-chiles.php “Precious’ Little of Value in Ghetto Literature” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703740004574514260044271666.html

I am the thunder, the sky

I am the stroll along the shore

when the tide is high.

I am direct dark and collective,

not now, but I am funny

and I remain reflective.

I am struggle from start to last

A complicated forest

Simple as a blade of grass.

I am peace. I am love.

Consumed with post-conventional thought

send down from up above.

I am a son and a brother.

I have long admired my father

and always will cherish my mother.

I am hope. I am change.

I am continually conflicted.

I am contrary. I am strange.

I am aware. I am alone.

I am the opalescent one

through who light is shown.

I am an enigmatic vibrant seed

I am an incarcerated soul

now freed.

Part Novel, Part Graphic Novel, All Vampire It's going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

Part Novel, Part Graphic Novel, All Vampire
It’s going to take guts to walk around with this novel.

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