Morning Inspiration: Ava Duvernay Gets Your Mind Right (@avaetc)

Filmmaker Ava Duvernay keeps it trill about what new filmmakers (and artists) need to do to make it: stop being thirsty and get PASSIONATE.

This is just in time for NaNoWrimo. Who else is participating this year??? Ava gathered me like whoa with this vid.


H/T to Film School Rejectsfor the vid.

You Should Read This.


A moving essay about the passing of a mother over at Very Smart Brothas:

About home, and it’s many manifestations, over at Buzzfeed:

On language, Basquiat, and Rachel Jeantel over at the LA Review of Books:

And Caribbean countries demanding Europe run them their checks:

On an author’s need for tweets. #addicted:

One writer’s struggle to get Cat Daddy scriptures published:

Oh! DC’s City Paper is having a fiction contest:

What are y’all reading this week? Share in the comments section.

In Loving Memory.

I will keep this brief.

A writer friend of mine, Damon Young, recently lost his mother. He has been a big brother to me, helped me when I was just a newbie writer trying to figure things out, always offered interesting advice, writing awesomely funny things that made me laugh and think. What I most appreciate most about him, though, was that he always asked about my mom when she was undergoing her own struggle with cancer. That has always meant a lot to me.

Please donate in his mother’s memory via this GoFundMe campaign. And keep him and his family lifted in your prayers.

#NBR Tonight – How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America

Y’all, I’m so hype. Tonight at 9PM EST, the book club I’m a part of Ninjas Be Readin’ (or NBR for short) is discussing the first three essays in Kiese Laymon’s “How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.” You know how I feel about this book, and I am really excited to be one of the co-moderators for the discussion. Join by following hashtag #NBR and weigh in!

#LiteraryManicures: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Hey y’all!

This week I decided to do a Literary Manicure for the book Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans. She’s a young writer from the DMV, and her first book was awesome! It was one of the first books in a long time where I felt I could recognize myself in the stories. Also, the cover had lots of great autumnal colors, so I wanted to give it a shot. Peep the tutorial below:



1. Always prep your materials! From left to right: some random maroon color from my beauty bag, “L’orange” by L’Oreal, French Tip White by NYC, Diamond Flash clear coat by Sally Hansen. Also, note the sponge, the nail brush and the mixing rod.



2. I did an ombre for this mani, so go ahead and paint the base color (L’orange). I gave it about 3 coats because it was thin and dried quickly.




3. Alright, so for the ombre (check this post from last week for more info). Add some droplets of orange and maroon polish, stir with the mixing rod, dab your sponge in and apply to the nail around the tip. Make sure your base color is completely dry so that when you apply the ombre it doesn’t lift off with the sponge. Also, don’t mix your colors on a Jordan shoe box, it creates a film on the polish. Use a plastic sheet or a sandwich bag. I was being a bit lazy, lol.




4. Next, grab that nail brush and the white polish and get creative! The cover of BYSYOFS has free form white lines, so I kinda just did whatever. Enlist the help of others if you are not ambidextrous.



5. Apply a coat of quick drying clear polish and voila! Book nails! Let me know what you think in the comments section, and what books I should do next.



200th Post + Mini Book Haul


This weekend took a lot out of me. It was my college’s homecoming and so of course I had to go and get my party on. One of my Twitter followers (who also went to my alma mater) spied me getting my twerk on and was surprised.

News flash: book nerds get it cracking too.

Anyway, after a long drive, terrible weather, and dancing until my back hurt, it was good to get home to my own bed. And look what was waiting for me when I got back!


I was soooooo hype. Here at DopeReads we’ve been clocking this project since last November – it’s cool that it’s finally complete! I’d forgotten that I had even ordered it. Anyway, my first coloring masterpiece was of my boo Big KRIT. Thoughts?


I’m kinda sad Kendrick wasn’t in the book but oh well. My Portuguese language books came in too, I’m super excited about that. When I go back to Brazil for my 30th birthday I want to be able to get around on my own. Duolingo is an awesome *free* app for learning the a second language.


Lastly, this shirt. WANT. I don’t know if the vendor is legit, but I’m tryna take that gamble.


What are y’all reading this week?


Free Stuff + New Novella + #LiteraryManicures Pics

Hey Friends,

Meant to post yesterday but got lost in the sauce. Wanted to share a few updates:

Felicia Pride is giving away free Kindle versions of her book “To Create: Black Writers, Filmmakers, Storytellers, Artists, and Media-Makers Riff on Art, Careers, Life, and the Beautiful Mess in Between” through TODAY so get it while you can. It features articles on writers and creators like DopeReads fave Edwidge Danticat, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and actor Blaire Underwood. Cop it here.

The homie Britni Danielle recently released her novella “Turn It Loose.” Check it out here, it’s only $2.99.

Speaking of free lit, writer/creator/scholar Carrie Kholi has an essay entitled: if God can Cook/you Know I can: Pedagogy of Those Opting-Out of Oppression. Cop it here.

Here are more literary manicures from my Instagram page. I’ll have a new mani up on Tuesday. And yes, I do them all myself :)




Have a good weekend!