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Ananda’s reflection on Kuumba (creativity), the 6th day of Kwanzaa

Greetings All!

Happy New Year’s Eve!  Happy Kuumba (Creativity), the 6th day of Kwanzaa!

What does creativity mean to you?

How have you been creative in 2009?

What are your creative plans for 2010?

Click on my Cinchcast below to hear my reflection on Kuumba and an excerpt about creativity from my new book, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetic Memoir of Self-Discovery (available on Amazon.com – http://tiny.cc/7uFsg).  I also mention the way African Americans are using their creativity and social media tools (Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, etc.) to tell their stories on web TV shows such as my new five favorites: “Anacostia”, “Buppies”, “Kindred”, “The New 20s”, and “Wed-Locked.”  All of these shows represent a new wave of artistic freedom in 21st century visual culture.  They celebrate the independence of creative folks who are willing to tell a wide range of stories that document the many facets of African American life.  For me, they echo one of my favorite mantras: Black folks are NOT and will never be monolothic!  They also  remind me of my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com ; available on Amazon.com –  http://tinyurl.com/yfxtqyq) are also sources of inspiration for my next novel, Love’s Trouabadours – Symon: Book Two. 

Enjoy your day and New Year’s Eve!  Many blessings to you and your family in 2010! 

Peace, Compassion, and Creativity,

Ananda

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Wed-Locked, another fabulous web TV show and source of inspiration for my new novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

The blogosphere is full of web TV inspiration for a writer like myself.  Thanks to the Black Web TV Facebook page, I learned about “Wed-Locked” (http://www.saint-victor.net/www.saint-victor.net/Projects.html), a fabulous new comedy web TV show about Robert and Denise Davis, a young Black married couple who love each other and are working to keep their marriage together.  They remind me of my own characters in my debut novel, Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com) and the current novel I am writing Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two.  “Wed-Locked” was launched in November.  It features actress Karla Mosley of the soap opera “Guiding Light” and Lawrence Saint-Victor, the creator and executive producer of the series.  Mosley and Saint-Victor worked together on the “Guiding Light” before it was cancelled.  Mosley also serves as a producer for the show. Christina Faison directs the series. 

You can watch the five episodes here:  http://www.saint-victor.net/www.saint-victor.net/Screening_Room.html.   Check them out on YouTube too: http://www.youtube.com/user/WedLocked09

The show also has a Facebook  page:  http:www.facebook.comWedLockedWebSeriesv=info&ref=profile#/WedLockedWebSeries?v=wall&ref=profile

You can also follow the show on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/WedLockedTweet.

That’s all I am gonna say for now. I watched the preview video “Wed-Locked” on YouTube and fell head over heels in love. Yep I sure did!  I will watch the series and share my thoughts about it soon.  Until then, check out the preview video and a webisode about marriage counseling below.

I loved the interview that Lawrence Saint-Victor and Karla Mosley did on We Love Soaps because they discussed the power of creating their own show with their own stories.  Indie artists creating indie content is amazing!  Watch the interview below.

Enjoy your final day of 2009!

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

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“Anacostia,” one of my new favorite web TV shows and sources of inspiration for my second novel, Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

Greetings All,

I started watching “Anacostia”, one of my new favorite web TV shows, this week.  Anthony Anderson, a writer and producer of the independent film, The Ties That Bind, created the dramatic series.  It contains 10 episodes.  I love that the show is set in D.C.  and follows the lives of four friends (three women and one man – a bit different from the “Sex and the City” formula I adore!).  Through the four main characters and the folks who make their lives juicy, you get to see what happens inside and outside of human relationships.   Kudos to Anderson for featuring gay characters in the show.  I think it is important that Black television, movies, literature, and plays show all facets of Black life and relationships.  We are not monolithic (that’s my mantra from my Love’s Troubadours novel series which celebrates Black straight, gay, and bisexual characters).

The cast of “Anacostia” includes a dynamic and talented team of actors and actresses: Walter Maxfield Jones, Tamieka Chavis, Anthony Anderson, Kena Hodges, Wil Lash, Tia Dae, Jermaine McNeal, Rabon Hutcherson II, Marion Akpan, Pasha Diallo, Kareem Petteway, Kristopher Robin and James Oxley. See their photo below.

Since I’m just getting into “Anacostia,” I will hold off on sharing my thoughts about the various characters and episodes.  I promise to blog more about the show and how it is inspiring me to complete my second novel, Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two in the coming weeks and months.  In the meantime, check out “Anacostia” and tell me what you think in the comment section below.  Also include your favorite characters and episodes.  Be sure to join the show’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ANACOSTIA-The-Series/121834845549?ref=ts.

Peace and Creativity,

Ananda

PS:  I am really anxious to see what happens to the model as she returns to her career and the woman who is drinking and pushing her husband away!
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Buppies, a new web TV show & source of inspiration for my new novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book Two

In November, I discovered “Buppies” (http://buppies.bet.com), BET’s new web TV show that chronicles the life experiences of five Black professionals in Hollywood.   “Buppies” is a blend of comedy and drama.  It depicts how twentysomething upwardly mobile Black folks live, love, dress, work, and deal with issues such as  relationship breakups, death, sexual orientation, and pregnancy.

“Buppies” centers around Quinci Allen, a Hollywood Black American Princess (BAP) socialite and publicist.  Quinci is dealing with the death of her celebrity father and recent breakup with fiancé Shaka.  As she navigates the landscape of her life’s ups and downs and discovers who she is, Quinci realizes the importance of her friendships and begins to rely on them as her true family.  Her friends are also engaged in similar journeys of self-discovery.

My thoughts about “Buppies”

So far I like the story line of the series. I wish the webisodes were longer.  They are only three minutes. However, the actors and producers pack a lot into those three minutes! Check out my social media suggestions on how BET can market “Buppies” below.

  • Expand “Buppies” social media presence by launching a Vimeo and YouTube channel so that fans can see what life is like for the actors behind the scenes. The page should be linked to “Buppies” composer Gary Gunn’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/garygunnmusic.
  • Create a UStream.tv channel for the actors and producers so they can host weekly live chats.
  • Launch a video campaign that encourage fans to make their own videos sharing why they love the show and what characters resemble their lives.
  • Increase Twitter followers and Facebook fans.
  • Offer weekly chats on Twitter or Facebook that feature one or more of the actors and producers.  The conversations could create a series of topics that could be featured during a weekly or monthly blogging carnival.
  • Have the actors do audio  blogs with Cinchcast or Utterli about their characters on a weekly basis. Post the blogs on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Invite bloggers to review the webisodes or a topic discussed on the webisode.
  • Promote the show with campaigns on Twitter and Facebook which include some giveaways.

Click here to read a review of “Buppies” by Aymar Jean Christian, a journalist turned academic who founded the Televisual blog: http://blog.ajchristian.org/2009/11/01/buppies-tatyana-ali-and-the-value-of-making-a-web-series. Christian is also a doctoral student in communication at the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania.

I adore the cast of “Buppies” which stars Tatyana Ali as Quinci. Ali is one of my favorite actress from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Young and the Restless.” She is a singer, activist, and graduate of Harvard University.

Quinci’s ex-fiance Shaka McCarthy, a corporate attorney and rapper, is played by Ernest Waddell, a Brooklyn-born actor with childhood roots in Bowie, Maryland (a P.G. County homeboy!).  Waddell is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  As a NYU student, he worked on “As the World Turns” and HBO’s “The Wire.”

Robin Thede, an actress, comedian, writer, entertainment correspondent, host and radio personality, and Northwestern University graduate, plays Priscilla “Prissy” Belle, one of Quinci’s best girlfriends.  Prissy is a magazine editor with a celebrity attitude who is dating Eliot David, a sports agent with a closet full of secrets that involve his relationship with another man.

Preston Davis, an actor and native of Los Angeles, brings the character Eliot to life.  Davis is a graduate of Louisiana State University, has a recurring role on HBO’s “Entourage,” and is starring in the upcoming films, “The Brotherhood V: Alumni” and “The Prankster.”

Chante Frierson breathes “keep it real” life into Quinci’s other best girlfriend Kourtney Bellows, a woman who considers being a music industry heiress a profession.  Frierson’s acting career began with recurring roles on NBC’s “A Different World” and the Broadway production of “Rent.”  She recently appeared in the San Diego Musical Theater production of “Dreamgirls.” Click here to learn more about the cast of “Buppies”: http://buppies.bet.com/cast.

Filmmaker Julian Breece wrote and directed the series.  Breece and his producing partner, Aaliyah Williams co-produced “Buppies” through Game Theory Films and in partnership with Tatyana Ali and her sister Anastasia’s company HazraH Entertainment.

Gary Gunn, a fellow Howardite and composer with D.C. roots, created an amazing soundtrack for ”Buppies.”  Click here to listen to the soundtrack: http://www.garygunnmusic.com/filmtv_buppies.html.

“Buppies” has become a source of inspiration for my next novel Love’s Troubadours – Symon: Book TwoBook Two tells the story of Symon Allure, the last person you meet in my debut novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One (www.lovestroubadours.com).  Symon is a thirtysomething Brooklyn-born African American man with an eclectic background and striking resemblance to actor Courtney Vance.  His eclectic background includes working class Afro-Cuban roots dipped in the southern culture of Richmond, Virginia, and a professional persona that mirrors Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois’ Talented Tenth. Symon earned his BA and MBA in finance from Howard University’s School of Business.  He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.  He works as an investment banker in Washington, D.C. and enjoys a buppie lifestyle with his 15th Street bachelor pad home and BMW.  The novel opens with flashbacks from Symon’s childhood in 1968 and moments from his freshmen year at Morehouse College.  It takes you on a journey of Symon’s dating experiences which lay the groundwork for a major life transformation that helps him discover his identity as one of Love’s Troubadours.

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Ananda’s Reflection on Nia (purpose), the 5th Day of Kwanzaa

Greetings All,

Today is the fifth day of Kwanzaa. We celebrate Nia, the Swahili word for purpose.  Listen to my reflection on Nia  below.

What is your definition of purpose?

What was your purpose for 2009?

What is your purpose for 2010?

In 2009, my purpose was centered in my intention to take better care of myself.  My practice of self-care elegantly unfolded into a commitment to be kind and gentle with myself. Compassion was the elixir that fueled my kind and gentle self-care practice.  As a result, I was able to incorporate more kindness, gentleness, and compassion into my creative/yoga/Reiki healing touch/social media work, service efforts, and interactions with others.

In 2010, my purpose is to deepen my commitment to practice and promote compassion in my creative/yoga/Reiki healing touch/social media work, service efforts, and interactions with others.  I have adopted the Charter for Compassion, a global campaign created by British author Karen Armstrong (launched on November 12, 2009), as a guide for healthy, mindful, and balanced living.  In the coming months, I will mindfully weave the Charter for Compassion’s goals into my creative/yoga/Reiki healing touch/social media work, service efforts, and interactions with others.  To learn more about the Charter for Compassion, watch the video below.

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Purpose, and Compassion,

Ananda

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Happy 4th Day of Kwanzaa – Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics

Greetings All!

Today is the fourth day of Kwanzaa.  Ujamaa is the principle we celebrate today. It means cooperative economics.  Click on the Cinchcast Player below to hear my thoughts.

I encourage you to practice Ujamaa by supporting indie authors like myself and artists such as Eric Roberson – www.ericrobersonmusic.com.  What does cooperative economics mean to you?

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Joy, Creativity, Gratitude, Compassion, Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, and Cooperative Economics,

Ananda

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Happy 3rd Day of Kwanzaa – Ujima (collective work & responsibility)

Habari Ghani!  Ujima!

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa.  Ujima is a Swahili word for collective work and responsibility. For me, ujima means coming together to serve and work for my community’s highest and greatest good.  I contribute my gifts and skills as service.  When I join with others in the spirit of unity – umoja and compassion, I am able to promote and create the reality of collective work and responsibility.

What does ujima mean to you?

Enjoy your day and week!

Peace, Creativity, Compassion, Gratitude, Unity, Self-Determination, and Collective Work & Responsibility,

Ananda