Big tings.


Yesterday, I boarded a Magic School Bus and journeyed back to 1998 after a few days in DeeCee. ‘Twas a much-needed break from the madness. I went up to participate in the DC Black Pride Writers Forum, moderated by Sir Tim’m West.

I sat alongside writers and authors La Toya Hankins, R.L. Norman, Otis Randolf, Benjamin Robinson III and Michael Sante-Andress (my new uncle in my head) as we said wonderful things about ourselves and read excerpts from our work. 'Twas a thoroughly Blackety Black affair. It felt pretty cool to be there sharing my shit alongside these gifted fellow chocolate homos, in front of homies old and new. 

I read my love letter to my precious boothang, which I first read at Colored Boy and Friends in New York in March. After the closing Q&A situation, and after a few hugs, handshakes, and heyboos, I hit the streets with Verdell, William and Tiffany (one of the first people I met when I walked into Broadway Dance Center in 2006 as a wide-eyed young gay lad) in search of comida. 

You know how some misguided souls don't evenly distribute all the meaty, cheesy, saucy beguacamolied goodness atop the nacho chips, and you run out of said goodness long before the nacho chips dem finish? 

I hate that shit. 

And that's what happened at Capitol City Brewing Company. Fortunately, the meaty, cheesy, saucy beguacamolied goodness AND THE SERVICE were pretty damn good so nobody passed away on that day. Of course I still devoured the nachos. 

I even warned mis amigos: "Look. I'm about to fuck these nachos up, so don't judge. Okay? Okay."

And I did, sparing a family of sad, dry nacho chips at the bottom of the pile from devourment. 

And the turkey burger is excelente. Te la recomiendo.

Before that, I was in Nueva York for the spring edition of Colored Boy and Friends, which I called Colored Boy and Friends: Spring Edition, because I'm so creative.

My guests during this edition of my conversation series and literary showcase were blogger, media personality and author of Don't Waste Your PrettyDemetria Lucas (seen most recently on Bravo's Blood, Sweat & Heels); world traveler and Founder/CEO of Tastemakers Africa, Cherae Robinson; and pop culture connoisseur, literary superthug and Jezebel staff writer, Clover Hope.

Reminiscing with Demetria
The night was 81.3 times more beautiful than I had anticipated. My homies were there. I got to hug a bunch of splendid people I've met throughout my travels through Internetland and elsewhere, and my hair stayed in place all night.

Win upon win, monica. 

My brother Blue Rivera (mixologist and mastermind) made a mighty fantastic peachy rum punch situation happen that had a few folks tipsy. André handled the social media situation, Gypsy held me down on the video front, and Eric was my motherfucking superhero. The staff of Nola, Darling helped everything run smoothly. The audience was awesome. I'm happy with everything. 

Me: "Okay, so you can curse." Cherae: "Great!"
Since the show fell on "Put on Purple for Lupus" Day (I left my purple situation in a bag on the train), and May marks 10 years of thug life since my lupus diagnosis, I read a new piece about that journey called "round two." Well, I read most of it and opted to stop and just talk because I felt an ugly cry seeking release and I wasn't trying to give snot-nosed and puffy faced on such a night.

Not gonna have me looking flustered and sloppy on Instagram, Satan. Nope.

Fun fact: Somehow, Clover's favorite Huxtable is Vanessa. But we love her regardless.
I then accompanied The Blacks to Cafeteria and Santos Party House with our friend Bottle of Hennessy and got my sweaty, Black mess on for a few hours pon the dance floor. Wonderful night. I may have shed a tear of relief or two as I laid down to sleep the next morning at 8:20.

Oh. On June 20th, I'll be teaching my first writing workshop at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in Harlem. This will be a personal essay/memoir writing workshop that pushes writers of all levels to trust, celebrate and experiment with their writing voice when telling their stories. It's gonna be great. A ball of excitement I am. Registration info should be available next week.

And I just completed my first piece of advertorial writing as part of a campaign for Courvoisier which should be dropping this summer. And I'm planning the third installment of Colored Boy and Friends in Washington, DC this summer.


*grunts victoriously*

So that's what I've been up to. Things are moving in the right direction. Lessons are being learned, opportunities are appearing, chicken is being devoured and life is being lived.

Shoutout to progress.

Meanwhile, if you need daily personal motivation or a passive-aggressive anonymous gift for your boss or co-worker,

or something for pride purposes:

I've got you covered, right here.

Love, peace and cheese grits.

Yours in Negritude,


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