Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've Been Called Out

I’ve Been Called Out

It isn’t the first time I’ve been told to get off my duff in regards to writing. This time Yasmin Coleman of told me I need to blog every week. Not something I didn’t already know. I have a million and one excuses but none are good enough. Nothing like someone pointing the finger at you to make one ashamed. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say or write about.

Wednesday night my local book group, Marcus Book Club, discussed one of my and our favorite authors, Diane McKinney Whetstone’s latest release, Trading Dreams at Midnight. Diane McKinney Whetstone is a master storyteller and does an excellent job of placing her readers in the landscape of Philadelphia; a definite sense of place. Her stories give us a view of black people navigating the complexities of urban living in the “City of Brotherly Love” against a backdrop of the social and economic issues of the United States. The city is actually a character in itself. Whetstone has written a complex story that entails an often convoluted storyline involving relationships on different levels, mother/daughter conflict, mental health issues and alcoholism. Our book club has reviewed every book Whetstone has published but this was our least favorite. It was received favorably for the most part. Individual ratings ranged from C- to A with an average of B minus I was the facilitator and I jotted down some of the comments.

It kept my attention
It didn’t keep my attention.
It read quickly.
It was a slow read. I just wanted to get finished.
It wasn’t my favorite but it was well-written.
It was missing something.
The characters were well developed.
Some of the characters weren’t developed enough.
This book was about the complexities of life.
It taught me to have compassion.
I like the way she revealed things little by little.

As you can see we have varied opinions as it should be. My online book club discussed this book about a month ago and we pretty much were in agreement with Marcus Book Club--- mixed reviews. What we all agree is that Whetstone is one of the best and that she can write circles around the many writers who churn out garbage and expect us, the reading public to lap it up. I see there are mixed reviews over at

Now that wasn’t so hard. So yes mam, I need to be blogging every week. A couple of weeks ago I started a folder of topics I want to sound off, tell it like it is. They include:

Stevie Wonder Summer Concert
Black Republicans
The Face of Romance
Cuba Travel Stories
Until the next time. Peace out.

September 18, 2008