Monday, June 20, 2011


Don’t you love it when you see a film and it speaks directly to you? Somehow, you see the film right at the exact moment you are searching for some clarity. This is what happened when I saw Woody Allen’s new film Midnight In Paris on Saturday night. Lately, my workload has been a little daunting. It’s not that I necessarily have a lot to do at this present moment but being a writer and producer on multiple projects at different stages has just left me a lil confused and hazy with my focus. I’m not sure what each day requires of me and instead of taking the time to make a plan I just react to what is asked of me. Never a good situation. As though things seem in the right place, I’ve just been left coming home in the evening not sure what to do next. The busier I become the less I give myself the time to think. I know that sounds crazy but as a writer, I need at least two to three hours a day by myself.

After spending the last year and a half in front of my computer moving from café to café, having to show up and work in an office day to day is still a transition I’m having a hard time getting use to. When being quiet and by myself is part of what I need to create, after spending 9 hours in a room with multiple people asking questions and plenty of meetings to attend, a lot of my “create” time has been pushed to the evenings.

Coming home after work and having the space and the option to do more work I have realized is an asset. A realization that is terrifying and comforting. Whoever I ended up with will have to understand how crucial and important alone time is to not only my career but also my sanity. He doesn’t have to be an artist or work in a creative field but he has to understand what I do and how I think, is a little unconventional.  You see, sometimes that “work” that I need after my 9 to 5 could be watching a movie, sitting in silence, listening to a specific cd, being on my computer or even going to a particular place and listening to people talk. All of it is damn bizarre but it’s crucial and whomever I end up dating is going to have to understand that. There are some days that I’m actually able to get all my work done during the day and like every other normal person, my evening is for relaxing but those days can’t be scheduled or predicted.

Midnight In Paris, a film about Gil, a successful screenwriter writing the novel he always wanted while visiting Paris with his fiancé, confirmed dating a writer is the job for a remarkable person. Someone able to see beyond the tangible and present. Gil’s fiancé Ines thinks his dream of moving to Paris and writing is crazy and doesn’t make any sense when he is making millions rewriting films and living in Malibu. When he wants to walk the streets at night in the rain, she finds him silly and irrational. 

You see, the person who dates a writer has to not only understand our odd antidotes but really truly value art over commerce. Any artist will tell you, even the crazy rich ones, it’s not the money that we are chasing but more importantly validation for our work and creation. And receiving that comes at the cost of wanting and seeking great work.  Sometimes the cost of great work is not going out and being social. Sometimes we have to do the opposite of everyone else.

Midnight In Paris reminded me how important it is to listen to your dreams and desires. They were given to you for a reason. At the end of the movie when Gil finally breaks up with his bitchy girlfriend, life immediately falls in place. He is reacquainted with a woman he met at the flea market over a Cole Porter record and she happily walks in the rain with him, the one thing his ex girlfriend refused to do.

Finding the right person is never hard. It’s actually effortless and perfect. Like the commitment to being a writer; you must stay dedicated to being with the right person even when it seems impossible. Because one day, at the right time and the right place, it will all come together so serendipitous, everything before that moment no longer matters. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


One of the most heated conversations my friends and I get into has to do with cheating. I don’t believe in most situations, it's a revelation the wife had no idea was coming. Most of the time we saw it coming and chose to ignore it. Not at all do I believe ANYONE, man or woman deserves to be cheated on OR do I believe cheating is ok. I just believe that we as women more often then not choose to ignore the signs that point to our man cheating. Men who sleep with anything and everything when they are single are most likely going to sleep with anything and everything when they are married.

For most women, getting married equals to a life of monogamy. I don’t believe all men assume the same. Unfortunately, saying “ I do” in front of a group of friends and family doesn’t mean a man (or a woman really) is making the decision to sleep with one person for the rest of his life. Therefore when it comes to marriage we not only have to talk to our partners about monogamy we also have to take a logical and rational look at their actions and behaviors that they will inevitably bring into the marriage regardless if we like them or not.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a pig and deserves the criticism and the lost of trust he now has to deal with from his wife and kids. But on the other hand, I don’t believe Arnold all of sudden switched up on Maria and decided one day his housekeeper looked good. I’m not saying she allowed this to happen, I’m just suggesting there was probably a couple of instances that pointed to the probability of him having another child she chose to ignore.

We all should have a close friend we can trust to give us the real when it comes to choosing a life partner. The greatest advantage and fault that comes with love is that it’s an endorphin rush. The life you see ahead of you with the one you love is optimistic, full of love, respect and support. Because we don’t consider the hardships or the rocky moments we all need that friend who is able to give us a logical and rational outlook. I told a friend she had every right to sit me down and tell me everything that I wasn’t looking at in regards to the man I wanted to marry. She was willing to take on the responsibility but she didn’t think anything she had to say or anyone else would matter at that moment. Honestly, she’s probably right.

What I do know is when it comes to marriage, a lot of us women are more interested in the wedding, the parties and the fantasy of finally having a man instead of really considering what it means to be attached to this one person for the rest of our lives. With infidelity being a top reason why 50% of marriages end in divorce it’s just silly to not consider what happens if our partner cheats and how it could affect the relationship.

But that would make too much sense right? And when it comes to love, who wants to think rational? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A WRITER'S LIFE COMES FULL CIRCLE - finding career success in the one place I pushed away

I’ve been a writer before I was actually able to write. My parents gave me a beat up typewriter to keep me busy when I was a toddler (guess their weren’t any stuff animals around) so therefore my fascination with words began. As much as writing has been apart of my identity for over nearly 30 years, this year my journey has taken me to a place that I never thought I would be, oddly a place that not only makes sense but feels as if I’ve arrived at the one place I was being prepared for.

After years, of pushing away from being a substantial part of my father’s advertising agency, I am working there leading an initiative to develop and produce original content for the web. For years, I saw advertising as a limited structure that didn’t support the stories I wanted to tell the way film and television did. As I writer, I was lucky enough to have a place to work at from time to time but I purposely kept my role there limited, not fully committing to the business. But now with the surge of branded content, product placement, and new media, my love for story telling and innate understanding of marketing have become beneficial to the business more than ever. For the first time, the two disciplines that I understood but saw separately are working together in a new way. Only a year ago, my resume confused people.  No one knew what do you do with a resume that included film, television and commercial writing and production. Now my skills are not only beneficial but are seen as extremely unique. Here I am after years of running, I am doing exactly what I set out to do in one place I never thought could make it possible.

Though I have gotten to a place where writing and creating is paying the bills, I am still staying dedicated to working on my own projects. At the end of last year, before I started working at the agency, I decided to write a story that I wanted to tell.  I got sick of considering if my idea was marketable, what studios could be interested, and all of the other fallible considerations that I have spent years wondering about as a developed a script.  Instead I wrote a simple story exploring the grey areas of love because I wanted to. I decided I would get a group of friends, shoot on a low budget and put it up on the web. But the more that I worked on the project I started to consider that I was playing small. I had made the decision that my project wouldn’t be of interest to anyone else but what if I actually had something special? Something that could change the way people viewed multicultural characters and more importantly challenge the realms of stories worthy of being told? What if I believed I wrote something worthy of gaining the attention of others who didn’t know me and just wanted to be apart of good work?  So instead of playing small, I started to play strategic. I found a producing partner I started to create a business plan that included my understanding and relationships in advertising. I reached out beyond just my friends and sent my work to recognizable directing and acting talent. Now less than six months later, I am in a position that I never imagined I could be in having to decide between multiple actors and directors with a strong desire to be apart of my little project. This is after my manager read it and dismissed it, after a writer friend told me that playing “big” on the web was useless. Honestly, for the first time, I didn’t consider what others though and went forward with my idea. And it’s paying off in a huge way.

Right now, creatively I am flowing and it feels great. I writing at the agency, producing my own web project and was only hired as a writer on a documentary project. If that wasn’t enough, I am still developing new ideas and have committed to my writing mentor two new features this year. Recently, I was contacted by a producer to develop a remake of a film that I really like and believe in.

 I’m busy. Really busy, but honestly, as much as it all can get overwhelming at times, for the first time in my life I have a strong committed confidence that isn’t worried about how, when, or if – I just do what I need to do. It feels manageable and possible only because I believe it is. 

Early last year, when I was training for a half marathon, I noticed my body would fall into a pattern in my long runs. In the first three miles, I hated every step. My knees hurt, my mind would think about every other thing I could be doing. I’d come up with excuses why I shouldn’t’ be running and think about all of the long hard miles ahead of me.

Somewhere around the 5th or 6th mile, my body would begin to loosen up.  I’d be able to actually think about other things without even really recognizing how many miles I had left in the run. Minutes later, I would be around the 8th or 9th mile falling into “The Zone”: a deep mental consciousness similar to meditation. I’d forget about the miles behind me, not concerned with the miles ahead. Deeply present and focused with my current stride, while preparing to move harder and faster. The focus was intense, passionate, and unshakeable. I feel like I’m in the exact same place with my writing career, I’m In The Zone- effortlessly committing to the hard work required to achieve my goals without any concern with what happened in the past or worried about what’s going to happen in the future. I’m here. I’m now. Stronger, more equipped and skilled than ever before.

Oddly, my comfort with my career has also influenced ease in my dating life. I’m no longer dating online and have pulled back from the “search”. I think for many the pursuit of dating comes from a place of lack.  Especially women, we consider being in a relationship as the beginning of life, the measure of success and advancement. But the truth is, life is happening in every moment and relationships are only PART of the journey. I think the best place to be when it comes to love is a place of balance. You have to be truly happy by yourself but also somehow still open to meeting someone. Being content and single but still open is a hard one for me. Not sure if I am fully there but I am definitely close. Where I am  with my writing teaches me that if you put in the hard work and the dedication, God takes care of the details. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why White Women AND BLACK WOMEN are winning And everything else UPTOWN MAGAZINE refused to mention

Apparently, black women and white women are in some competition. Whoever gets to the alter first is smarter and knows how to play the game.  According to the article Why White Women Are Winning Uptown Magazine published last Friday, the reason that I am still single has everything to do with the fact that I don’t behave enough like a white woman. As the author Andrea Michelle sees it, white women look for a husband in college, value marriage more than blacks, and know how to treat their men without attitude or challenge. And all three of those reasons are reasons that white women get married more than black women. What I need to know is when did my love life became a competitive sport and more importantly why?

Of course all three factors were listed purely based on the writers assumptions and not followed by any statistics or factual information. Its true, white women statistically get married more than black women but I’m not sure if we really can name these reasons as why. How bout the history of African Americans in the United States? Education? Poverty? Or the overall fact that Americans as a whole are not getting married and staying married as they use to?  Although most of the reasons that Andrea states are comparisons made between African American and White American women for years it’s just thoughtless to list those reasons as solutions to the thousands of black women worried about the probability of finding a partner. When did black women become so monolithic that we all suffer from the same issues? And when seeing others with the same blanket racial prejudices we face become okay? 

For black women and white women, making finding a husband a priority at an early age doesn’t guarantee marriage and more importantly a good one. What bothers me the most about this article, (aside from the racist and baseless racial assumptions) is the belief that the act of marriage alone makes one person superior over an other. When I was 23, my Canadian struggling actor boyfriend who I knew no more than 2 months proposed to me. If I married him, I would have been married to a deeply insecure man with anger issues. But according to Andrea, “when it comes to playing for the ultimate title of wife, white women are the All Star MVPs”. So does that mean if I chose being trapped in an abusive marriage with a couple kids would I be idolized on a pedestal as well?

 What happened to being in a healthy and productive relationship? Finding someone who loves you and supports you? Placing getting married alone as the ultimate goal in life is damaging to women as a whole and takes us back 50 years ago when women got married simply because they needed someone to take care of them. Our grandmothers and mothers fought for us, regardless of race, to have options in life and marriage is one of them.

I have lived with two white girlfriends.  We shared dating horror stories love victories and heartbreaks. We are all still single and none of us see our love life as some racial sporting game. Honestly their love life hasn’t been any “better” than mine. We are all women interested in finding the right person for us and know that search comes with bumps and bruises along the way. Though it’s ignorant to believe race doesn’t affect my love life in Los Angeles, I don’t believe if I studied the behavior of my white counterparts my love life would miraculously change for the better. Sure our struggles as women are different because of our racial experience and culture but our life is our own- so individually identified it’s just crazy to compare.

Andrea Michelle then gives the example of a white friend in college who said “Well, if I don’t find my husband in undergrad I will just go to grad school – that’s what my mom told me”. Andrea Michelle uses this quote to illustrate that white women as a whole are getting married before black women because they are simply planning ahead. The quote is an example of a woman who is interested in getting married more than building a career but unfortunately, there are plenty of black women who feel the same way. We all got black girlfriends and family members who have never been interested in going to college or even getting a job. Gold diggers and women looking for a Mrs. Degree come in all shapes and sizes.

The author then asks “at what point, should pursuing an Mrs. take precedent over building professional success?” This is a great question that all women should ask themselves. But again this question has nothing to do with race, but more importantly has to do with the struggle between career and family that all educated women seem to face. There are plenty of white women that are just like me, pursuing her dreams, living her life to the fullest in hopes of finding the right partner for her along the way. And there have been plenty of black women married with professional careers balancing their job and family. With high divorce rates and less people getting married all over the world, there are plenty of white women struggling to find love in their thirties (Have we forgotten about Sex And The City, Lori Gottlieb, or Jennifer Aniston) and do not see getting married as the answer to all of life’s problems.

There are plenty of black women that are single because they have an attitude, don’t believe in marriage, and come from broken homes and there are white women who are single because they choose the wrong men, stay in abusive relationships and couldn’t flirt themselves out of a getting a parking ticket if they needed to. The point I am making is our issues are our own, and comparing oranges and apples ain’t going to get us closer to figuring them out.

So if I wanted to be like Andrea and write an article based on assumptions from my own life experience, I could argue a completely different reality. When looking at the 12 women that I am close to and hang out with on a regular basis, three of them are white and nine are black. Of the three that are white, none of them are married when six of my nine black girlfriends are. Apparently the relationships that surround me affect my own beliefs when it comes to love and marriage. As far as I’m concerned black women have every opportunity to be married and in successful relationships as white women. My black friends that are married are married because they want to and because they found the right person at the right time in their lives. The truth is we are in control of our lives, not statistics or silly racist assumptions.  

So Uptown Magazine, it’s not just white women who are winning - it’s strong women who stay committed to what they want in their lives regardless of the thought and opinions of others. It’s the women who build their own life structure based on their own needs and personal values who are the champions in my eyes. And all women, regardless of the cultural and racial struggles that we all independently face, has the opportunity to do so. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've been doing a lot of dating lately. But in some ways it's been almost more frustrating than those points in my life where my social life was pretty bare. Even with all the dates, I don't think I've encountered the right one for me. So many women (I've been one of them) use the excuse that men in LA are not looking for a relationship or there aren't any good one's out there. Not true at all. Even for the doomed professional black woman that apparently no one wants. I've gone out with multiple attractive, career oriented and respectful men looking for that special someone. But what I'm learning is the issue with dating really isn't about statistics of the population of men and women in one city. It's a personal journey simply wrapped around finding the right person at the right time in your life.

Again, as much as it's comforting to believe it will all work out when it's suppose to, as a recovering control freak it's extremely frustrating to know there really ain't nothing you can do about it. You can't compare your life to others or see your current life as a mirror of your future. You got to live your life dedicated to your own happiness. If it's personal health goals, spiritual growth, career advancement, travel or taking on a new hobby, you have to build your life around what you need to stay happy. One thing that I have learned from my past relationships and from observing the relationships of others is that finding a life partner doesn't all of a sudden take away your burdens. Depressed people without relationships end up being depressed people in relationships. Happiness and progression is really only up to you in all periods of your life.

This morning I read this letter from God posted by Arielle Ford on The Daily Love Blog. Seemed fitting.

Dear One,
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively, but I say “No.”  Not until you are satisfied, fulfilled and content with being alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, will you be ready to have the intensely personal and unique relationship that I have planned for you.  You will never be united with anyone or anything else until you are united with Me. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and start allowing Me to give you the most thrilling plan in existence – one that you cannot even imagine. I want you to have the best.  Please, allow Me to bring it to you.
You must keep watching Me expecting the greatest of things.  Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I AM.  Keep listening and learning the things that I will tell you.  Just wait.  That’s all.  Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have or that I have given them.  Don’t look at the things you think you want. Just keep looking up to Me or you will miss what I want to show you.  And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you have dreamed of.
You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready (I am working even at this moment to have you both ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I have prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me. This is Perfect Love.
 And Dear One, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection, and love that I offer.  Know that I love you utterly.  Believe it and be satisfied.

Monday, April 11, 2011


“The problem is, the only thing I can do with this is send it to B.E.T”

That was my sometime lit manager’s response to my latest project. Of course this comment came after telling me that it was strong and provocative writing piece but because my two lead characters where described as African American, immediately there was only one place in the market for it. For anyone who has watched B.E.T’s original programming would know that my script, the story of a conflicted couple exploring an open marriage, with or without black characters doesn’t fit into the networks line up.

As a black woman growing up in a very multicultural world my life and perspectives are full of various colors and cultures. Because of that, the majority of the work I write often has nothing to do with “being black” but happens to have black characters. BUT according to Hollywood, seeing a black person on screen alienates outside audiences. When Will Smith took the lead in Hitch, determining the race of his love interest was a huge deal. Two black characters would have made it a “black movie”, a white lead would piss people off, therefore a Latina woman (Eva Mendes) became the best of both worlds. Even though Hitch was a commercial success, we haven’t really seen a romantic comedy with an ethnic cast since.

For every argument that race alienates, there is the huge blanketing example that a white cast equals mainstream. Everyone can relate to the lives of white folks but ethnic people make it race specific. So of course two black people in love automatically becomes only culturally relevant to black people so but somehow two white people in love is a movie for everyone. As a teenager I feel in love with Julia Roberts and My Best Friends Wedding. As an adult struggling with heartbreak I identified with Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I wonder how many white people have seen Love Jones and was able to identify with the complications of falling in love?

When are black people or any other race going to be held to the same standards? When is the rest of the world going to see our stories just as relevant, just as important as theirs? Oddly in our “post racial world” interracial relationships are more celebrated then the possible love of two people of the same race. Why does it have to be one or the other?

Faced with this predicament a lot more then I would like to admit, I erase the race description of the my lead characters and the story moves on without any change. But as much as that is the cure to dispel any judgment my script can face when being read, does it really help the situation I face as a black writer? The truth is, the stories that I do write are not racial or cultural specific so taking race out of it is only a formality but why do I feel like I’m taking the easy way out? My good friend, a successful TV writer reminds to “play the game” and another friend a development executive reminds me that wanting to work is different than fighting a cause. I’m not interested in fighting any cause; I’m just a struggling writer who dreamingly believes there is room for the stories that I have to tell. If Nancy Myers can brilliantly write about middle aged women why can’t I write about a black woman in her 30’s struggling to balance love and career?

Of course, the main and most important difference between Nancy Myers and me is a career. I just hope that being uniquely who I am is strong enough to actually build one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I wasn’t happy everyday when I was single… why would I expect that when I’m married?”

That’s Scott’s, my lead character in my latest project response when his therapist asks if he’s happily married. Like many writers, my characters’ dialogue is a direct reflection of my own perspectives. But even after having written that dialogue only a couple weeks earlier, it was my friend’s relationship woes that reminded me that being in a relationship doesn’t guarantee happiness.

Sure it’s a simple and rational lesson but I think single life often helps us forget that. Somehow the pairing of your life with another becomes the remedy for loneliness and wandering purpose but sometimes with that pairing we trade independence for companionship and silence for complication.

 As my friend discussed her own issues I heard hints of anger. She didn’t say it but I can tell part of her complaints of her own relationship were purposeful backlashing to my numerous phone calls about bad dates and aversions to being the third wheel. 
“ Sometimes being in a relationship isn’t the answer. Sometimes, it can be the problem”. 
As much as she was mad at him, a part of her was mad at me for being single and having the freedom to be unhappy about it.

I got off the phone with the revelation about my own beliefs- Relationships and finding love is only PART of the story. If you took all of the pieces of our lives, the memories of what is good and substantial, our relationships, the goods ones and the bad ones are only part of the picture that makes up our lives.

People fall in love, out of love, fight, struggle, feel complete, become lost, and do it all over again and again. Finding love and being in a relationship is sometimes no different than being single – just a stage of life that we all hope to experience.

That conversation with my girlfriend just reminded me of the crazy expectations we create and make up. Life doesn’t owe us anything other than the experience. That’s it. Our only duty is to make the best of it.

Not that long ago, the option of being single until meeting the “right” person was a luxury for us all. Women got married because that’s what they were supposed to do. They had children because everyone else was doing it. But today we get to explore who we are beyond the titles of wife and mother and still have the option of taking on those titles if and when we want to.

As much as Scott’s dialogue sounds cynical, I see him as the romantic in the marriage. He doesn’t expect anything out of his marriage other than the opportunity to be with the woman he loves for the rest of his life. He chooses her when he’s bored, when sex isn’t great, and when life couldn’t be anymore perfect. He’s not married to an expectation; he’s married to her and only her.

If only the majority of people viewed marriage that way. Less people would do it and more people who actually get it right.