Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Natural Hair Movement

It sounds cool. 

This is a blog by an author about author-type issues and books and stuff.  But I really want to talk about my hair today.  It’s a hot mess.  I need to get a touch-up and a haircut. 

Truth is, my hair does not like the relaxer.  I get about two years of great hair, then it just dies.  One day, it’s lovely, shiny, and vibrant, then the next day, it’s, dull, brittle, and dry.  It doesn’t shed or anything quite so drastic, it just starts to feel like barbed wire and it begins to break.

To this, most people say: “Go natural.  My hair has been sooooo healthy since I went natural.”

Well, kudos to you, natural ladies.  I can’t go natural just yet.  No, it is not because I have poor hair image or because I am succumbing to the white man’s version of what is beautiful, or because I like to run my fingers through my silky tresses.  None of that.  My reason for having a relaxer is that maintaining natural hair is work.  Hard work.

“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

I am a science professional, in a predominantly male field.  The last thing I need is for my colleagues to start associating me with their ideas of a mad scientist.  And yes, if I go natural, I will look like a mad scientist, because I simply do not have the time or the inclination to spend 30 minutes a day on my hair, just so I can look presentable.

So, one may ask, why not go with locks or braids twists or weaves or wigs to keep my hair looking nice with minimal daily effort on my part?  Because my hair doesn’t like them, either.  I have not tried dreadlocks, but braids and twists thin my hair, as does weave, which also breaks it.  Wigs break my hair at temples and crown. 

What my hair likes is to be continuously pampered.  It likes to be washed every day, lightly oiled, combed out, and scalp-massaged.  I’m not going to work with an afro, big or small.

So, as I cogitate on the conundrum of my hair, I often wonder: To have or not to have?  How much makeup will I need to soften my angular face if I go bald?  Do I even want to wear makeup?  Ever?  Perhaps I could do braids for a year and deal with the thinning after my new hair has grown out to a more manageable length.  Or perhaps, I should just stick with my status quo.

I’m sticking with the status quo.  I’m getting a touch-up and a haircut.  My finicky hair is relaxed and I’m not afraid to admit it.  So there!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Despite what many people think, it really isn't a dirty word.

Erotica.  According to Etymology Online, the word is derived from the Greek erotikos, which means  "caused by passionate love" or "referring to love".

Clearly, it's not a dirty word.  So let's say it again.  Erotica.

Having said it, I am forced to admit that I've never been fully comfortable broadcasting the fact that I am a writer of erotic fiction. I'd like to blame that discomfort on my upbringing, but maybe I'm just uptight.  I've been in the United States for most of my life, where attitudes about sex are not all that restrictive, but I spent my formative years in Nigeria, where having sex was grounds for expulsion from school.  I don't know if things are still so drastic in Nigeriaif I have any Nigerian readers, please feel free to commentbut you see what I'm getting at. 

Perhaps because of my upbringing (or my uptightness), my erotic writing is very tame.  Some people have called my writing Romantica.  Not that there is much romance in what I write; my characters just like having sex.  Often.  And all of my characters are different, so my writing goes from mild to raunchy, depending on whose head we're in.

When, you ask, is she going to give us an example of this Romantica and let us judge for ourselves?  

My answer:  right now.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a celebration of his birthday and his legacy.  The man was, indeed, a prophet and a visionary.  While we, throughout the world, have continued to move forward in making his dream a reality, we still have a long way to go.

As I am in no way the orator that Dr. King was, I leave you with his speech.  Let us reflect and remember.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Today I did a web search for “Interracial Historical Romance”.  Of late, I think I have been a bit preoccupied with historical romance between couples of differing races.  Why?  Because, having listened to a few dozen historical romance novels, it occurred to me that the authors never include any characters of color.  Their characters include Europeans from various countries—including the Euro-Mediterranean countries—but no people of color.

So I began to wonder, where were all the people of color in Victorian England?  Were there not even servants of color?  Was it beyond the pale (pun absolutely intended) for the gentry to employ servants who were not as white as themselves? 
I did some research on the subject.  What I found was not particularly promising nor was it unpromising.  Some mention of a queen who may have been the descendant of Moors, a Dahomeyan princess who became Queen Victoria’s ward, models, actors, and such.  In recent years, there was even an exhibition that included images of Victorian people of color—I wish I could have seen that.

I once read an article, which noted that there was a thriving community of Black Londoners in Victorian England.  It was a community of blue collar workers and poor laborers, but thriving nonetheless.  I can’t remember where I found that article.

It seems there is incomplete information on the history of blacks in Victorian England (and the rest of Europe, for that matter).  It leaves the imagination wide open to create history in works of fiction.  I, for one, am open to a plethora of possibilities, though it would be wonderful to know the truth in its entirety.

additional links:,9171,1118305,00.html


Black Victorians, Black Victoriana

Dark Victorians

At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Since this is a blog about me as an author, I thought it might be a good idea to post some samples of my writing... in case anyone wanted to see for themselves whether my stories are any good.  For tidbits, you can look over here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Alright, I suppose I should talk about what I write.  But let's start with what I read.

For the better part of my life, I read nothing but SFF and classic literature, unless forced to do otherwise by teachers who would then force me to write a paper on what I had read.  Until about three years ago, I had a rather narrow field of vision where literature was concerned.  In my defense, I have always been rather busy and thought I should spend my free time reading only the books that I am sure to enjoy.  My library at home is filled with books by CS Lewis (my favorite), Octavia Butler, Piers Anthony (I am not ashamed to say it!), Alan dean Foster, Robert Asprin, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Larry Niven, Shelley, Dickens, Hugo, Flaubert, Wilde, Steinbeck... the list goes on. 

Then, I discovered the joy of audio books!  So, while more and more Middle Grade books make their way onto my bookshelves, my preferred genres are expanding to include true Historicals (sans fantasy), Romance (historical in particular), Crime, and Mainstream Contemporary.  And, of course, I read stories written by my fellow Africans. 

My non-fiction writing is mostly scientific.  I will not bore you with it.  My fiction is mostly SciFi/Fantasy, heavy on the Fantasy.  My Fantasy is best described as Mythical/Magical Realism, whichto dateis set in West Africa.  I think Africans (people of color, in general) are underrepresented in Western literature.  I hope to remedy this issue... at least a little bit.  All of my main characters (by nature, rather than design) are people of African descent.  And it doesn't matter whether the story is SciFi, Fantasy, or Erotica.  Yes, I also write Erotica.

Truthfully, my Erotica is very tame.  I don't like "blue" words, so I tend not to use them.  Some of my characters have potty-mouths and I can't always control what they say, but for the most part, my erotic descriptions, while graphically detailed, are softly worded.

I have an early morning tomorrow (and every day), so I'll end here tonight.  More later.

I logged on today with every intention of being more interesting, but nothing really comes to mind.  So, once again, I'll tell you more about myself.  I am of West African descent.  Actually, born and raised there, now living in the U.S.  So, I guess, my children are actually of West African descent, while I am simply West African. 

No worries.  I am neither the widowed wife of a deposed king nor do I need you to send me five thousand dollars for a nonexistent puppy.

We—my family and I—moved here when I was sixteen days shy of sixteen years old.  I am told that I have no accent, which means that my accent is, in fact, American Midwest.  I now reside in North Carolina, though my heart is in Michigan and my soul remains in Africa.

As soon as I figure out how to post a picture, I will.  See?  I am thinking.  Right?  :-/

Friday, January 11, 2013

So, I've had this site for months now (probably closer to a year).  I still don't know what to write.  Hence, the whole "still thinking" theme.  I suppose I could just start by introducing myself.

I am a married mother of four wonderful children, who make me prouder with each passing day.  I have a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and am foolishly seriously considering a PhD in Molecular Oncology (it will actually be out of the Pathology Department).  I am a bonafide nerd.  I'm Geek and I'm Proud!  I love SciFi and Fantasy, comics books (Batman is my absolute favorite comic book character), and off-center humor.  This year, I may even join the cosplay crowd!

On top of all the characteristics I've described above, I am an author.  I actually have some published works, though they are mostly of the scientific variety (I'm in the process of writing another paper).  When I use the term 'author' I much prefer to use it in reference to my works of fiction, which I have not published.  Well, not entirely.  I'll post a link when my four sold short-stories are published.  That said, I've also written a a full-length novel, which is rather good.  Sure... don't take my word for it.  But finding a publisher for a Historical Fantasy set in 16th century West Africa and written in a style that is neither strictly historical nor strictly SFF is damned difficult.

More about that another time.

Well, there's my first post!  Hopefully, I'll sound more interesting as I get the hang of this.