Movie Mondays: If Beale Street Could Talk

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It’s Monday again! So of course I’m back with another #MovieMondays post. For those of you new to Blu Moon Fiction, Movie Mondays is a series I started to pay special homage to my two loves, Books and Film. Each week we discuss a new movie that was adapted from or inspired by a work of literature first. In previous weeks, we’ve discussed Lionsgate’s upcoming horror/thriller, Antebellum. This week’s post is brought to you all courtesy of Mama Bleu.

My mother has a bit of a shopping problem. She buys DVDs and now Blu Rays just because they are sitting in the New Release section. Yesterday, she calls me to tell me that I can borrow her copy of If Beale Street Could Talk. She says she didn’t care for it much and later, having 1e4f33c40ad4450cb7d6aa0e30d228b17490071535662542664.jpgrealized it was based on the James Baldwin novel, decided to let me borrow it.  

I won’t pretend to be well-versed in Baldwin. The titles i’m looking at while writing this post are being added to my TBR s we speak.  I can only recall reading a handful of essays for high school and maybe college, but, I do recall hearing a lot of buzz about Beale Street around awards season. 

Originally published in 1974, If Beale Street Could Talk, was Baldwin’s fifth published novel.  It’s the love-story of Tish, a nineteen -year- old girl and Fonny, an aspiring artist and father to her child. Set in Harlem in the early 70’s, Tish and Fonny’s plans to be married are put on hold when Fonny is falsely If Beale Street Could Talk Castaccused and unjustly incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. The two must endure uncertainty over their futures while fighting to clear his name. 

The film adaptation of Baldwin’s book was released in 2018, has won awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The 2019 Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Adaptation and the NAACP  Image Award for Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. The cast featured; Regina King, KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Michael Beach and  Teyonah Parris. 

Check Out the Trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk below!

 

 

Have You Watched If Beale Street Could Talk? What’s Your Favorite James Baldwin Book?

 Leave a comment below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

 

 

More Than Basketball: Kobe Bryant: The Author & Filmmaker

fd88f45b864b174c887a160f6d60992e1710479935580106781.jpgI’ve never done a tribute post on the blog before. I’ve done author spotlights, on known writers, who’ve long since shuffled off this mortal coil. Yet, never before has a reason presented itself to halt my planned writing and create something new. Something to commemorate the literary achievements of an individuals who’s light was dimmed too soon. 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say at first. In the time it takes me to write this blog post billions of media outlets everywhere will have broken the story and shared the sad news. We frequently look at our entertainers and athletes as unbreakable.  In fact my fiancée often jokes that today’s athletes are the modern day superheroes we should show homage to.

Yet here only 48 hours removed from the news about the fatal helicopter crash that claimed the life of retired basketball great Kobe Bryant and his teenaged daughter Gianna. We are all still reeling.

I could spend this post rehashing the tragedy, or chronicling the many stats about his sports career. But, this is Blu Moon Fiction and here we talk about books. So this post istextgram_15807350178752127303591187710.png dedicated to Kobe Bryant, the author, filmmaker and podcast producer. Who walked off of the court a basketball legend and entered the arena where his entrepreneurial spirit could really shine.

His first book was the Mamba Mentality, Mamba the nickname he’d earned on the court has become a mantra he’d lived by. Bryant’s personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court and his exceptional, insightful style of playing the game can be found in those pages. 

His ode to basketball, a poem titled, “Dear Basketball” which later became an Oscar -award winning short film,  was a bittersweet chronicle of his childhood passion for the sport while also serving as his farewell as his body was no longer to support his desire to 77a8f9555fb859e96e7ef7c25eb425551840022950490357012.jpgplay.  The short-film adaptation is still known as the best-known effort by Bryant’s production company, Granity Studios.

“Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer — that’s cute. I got that a lot.”

Bryant was met with a lot of skepticism when deciding to leave sports and venture into other markets. He’d never let the doubters hinder his success. Partnering with Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology,  he released his 2015 documentary “Muse” in China. 

Kobe founded Granity, formerly Kobe Studios, his objective was on creating projects that screenshot_20200203-160909_chrome1186532426579637927.jpgmarried his love of storytelling and sports. Those who worked with him during that time, recalled the inspiration he drew from brilliant minds like; Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling.

Other projects from Granity, included the ESPN Plus sports analysis series “Detail,” written, produced and hosted by Bryant. He also produced “The Punies,” a podcast featuring fictional stories about a group of youths chasing big dreams in sports, and collaborated with author Wesley King on the Wizenard Series, a young-adult franchise that combined fantasy and sports.

Wizenard tells the story of the, West Bottom Badgers. Lowest-ranked basketball team in their league, living in the poorest neighborhood in Dren. New coach, Professor Wizenard arrives on the first day of training camp, promising to change things.  Every player experiences unique and strange visions,  challenging  everything they thought they knew about basketball, their lives and their secrets off the court. 

I do prefer to keep my books and my sports separate,  because of this, I would never have known this series even existed if he hadn’t passed away. Before his untimely passing, Kobe had been working on another project with famed Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who wrote Bryant’s favorite book, “The Alchemist.” The loss of his writing partner caused Coelho to tweet, 

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There is so much more that could be said about the award winning- athlete and entrepreneur, whose spirit and motivation served as a catalyst and even as a testament to others. His passing will be felt worldwide, but the mark he made on not just the world of sports but the world in generation will be a legacy no one could forget. 

 

Which of these Kobe Bryant Projects Have You Heard of?  Leave A Comment Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

Movie Mondays: A Fall From Grace (My Netflix Addiction)

I am a big fan of Tyler Perry’s work. The Madea franchise was the backdrop for my teenage years. The Haves and The Have Nots back when I had cable was one of my favorite shows. So when I saw that Netflix was trending, A Fall From Grace, I was super excited. When I saw the cast, (all of the stars from Tyler Perry’s TV shows) I was thrilled to see what was happening. 

My love affair with Tyler Perry films has been on the downswing lately. The Madea franchise for me has fizzled out and there are only but so many Christian themed films I can watch, where the matriarch is dying thus bringing the family together, before I lose my mind.  I even allowed his recent video discussing how he is the only person who writes his scripts to lure me into a false sense of security regarding  this movie. 

I.WAS. WRONG.

Despite the social media buzz this movie generated I was not a fan at all.  I even let my homie from Florida suggest when we watched it since she saw the ending and wanted to watch 102c82ff6629ac42eb394b7ab72f364e2460398002016005849.jpgfrom the beginning.

This movie had me looking at her sideways and vowing to never let her choose another title again. There were so many plot holes.  The acting was subpar, and I found myself wondering, How Long Is This Movie Again?

Why hadn’t she sought legal assistance or counsel after finding herself victim to the wiles of a con-man especially for the felony?

Why would she not just divorce him? How was his behavior not considered a form of psychological or emotional abuse?

How were there no resources available to her? How does a woman that age even allow herself to put up with that especially after a divorce. 

The more questions I asked the more I got irritated by the movie, it’s many plummeting plot holes. The weak storyline held together with chewing gum. The piss poor acting job done by all of the cast, despite several of them being so talented. The movie failed on so many levels for me it’s hard to pickf0a07d38acba3a1894977a555f69d8345284428940055181309.jpg something I did like. 

The character of Grace was just unrealistic, I don’t care how old or lonely you are no one is going to sit there and put up with that especially after they’ve already been divorced once. 

Regarding the lawyer…

WORST.LAWYER.EVER. not even from a novice standpoint. The character of Jessica was a disgrace to her title and should’ve been disbarred. I don’t know a lawyer in the land who doesn’t understand you should cross – examine your witness, but to then get yourself thrown in jail for contempt when you’re supposed to be defending me? 

FIRED! and then I’m suing the law office from my cell. 

The best part about this movie was Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson. Not their characters or their performances, just the fact that Mr. Perry has been able to cultivate and nurture such great working relationships with these women, that they’ll happily join his projects no matter what. 

I’m over it, the credits have rolled and I’m on to the next. I hate to say it but after that movie, I’m looking forward to seeing the second season of YOU. The internet has been going crazy about that too but i’m not sure if I still trust ya’ll.

 

 

What Did You Think of A Fall From Grace? What’s Your Favorite Tyler Perry Movie?

 Leave a comment below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

 

 

 

The Random…

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Woke up this morning to two separate YouTube videos from my sissy. Both from a new series called First by a woman named Jahmela Biggs connected to Issa Rae’s channel Issa Rae Presents.

If you’re memory needs jogging she gained YouTube success with her series Awkward Black Girl and then flipped that into a deal with HBO for her show Insecure.

d232089ae170c70d0a4257d86cdb6ee98128462081191471842.jpgI discovered Issa rae’s existence during her awkward black girl phase, I thought she was funny but didn’t really watch YouTube like that, (I prefer to read or play the Sims).

When Insecure aired the world broke and people even said I behaved similarly to the main character. Having never seen the show I could never figure out if it was a compliment or 4c2a522644f28faef7ba9d0b940847a06620583198992379352.jpgnot.

Now there’s another really good show. First already has 2 seasons out at least and I plan to go back and watch every episode to figure out the story with Robin and Charlie.

I am very proud of my spiritual and ethnic sistah’s and the journey that they’re on,but, I also want to kick myself for still having nothing completed or published.

I’m one of those really competitive people who is competing with you whether you know it or not. I hate being last in anything.

Though I don’t measure my happiness based on others success, I do measure my success compared to other peoples success.

As a writer, I’m grossly behind the curve. As a blogger I’m pretty backed up too. I’ve spent so much time considering how to use Blu Moon Fiction as a platform, I never ec65924bb15b0727d1ca6e1b9249a6ab2125108293481305846.jpgactually considered how to effectively say what I wanted to say. (Something I spend my days figuring out.)

Others already know what they want and made the necessary steps to get there. Everyday I’m seeing more people who look and act like me… and all I keep thinking is when will I actually get there…

Everyday is a new day and a new chance to start fresh. Something to look forward to. We writers are a depressing bunch aren’t we…lolz

If you haven’t already you should check out First here

 

What Do You Want To Accomplish Today?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

 

You can keep up with me, Noel Bleu and Blu Moon Fiction on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoodReads and Pinterest, or Shoot me an email @ BluMoonFiction@gmail.com

My Very First NaNoWriMo Book Tag

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I’ve known about National Novel Writing Month (Novel-ember) for a few years; most writers are familiar with the concept but for those who are not, NaNoWriMo is a 30 day high intensity month of writing nationwide. Writer’s start on November 1, working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. I’m not surprised that there is a book tag for this one and since this is my first year actually participating, I thought I’d celebrate with this post.

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Don’t get discouraged if you think 50,000 words are a lot. The community of writer’s participating are super supportive and you can even find yourself a writing buddy.  This particular tag came from our all-knowing Google overlords and a blog called The Bookish Underdog. The original creator is said to be Kristina Horner.

Jumping In!

 

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How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?

This will be my very first year participating. I started writing for it on my birthday, (NOV 7) as a means to finish my grad school writing sample. That and I’ve always wanted to try it but haven’t always had a story in mind. This year I had both a need and an idea.

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How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?

I’m almost positive I saw a tweet about it a few years ago, though it could’ve also been Facebook. Most likely it was some form of social media, having never heard the acronym before, I did some research and learned all about it.

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What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?

I don’t currently have a title. I like to name my books once they’re written and I haven’t finished writing this one just yet. I was thinking of calling it Damsel. For now it’s saved as Untitled W.I.P. for NaNoWriMo on my computer.

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Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.

Red Riding Hood, Alice (from Wonderland), The Swan Princess, and Goldielocks go on a quest to rescue Thumbelina and wake Snow White’s Kingdom from a curse. 

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What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?

“If You Continue to Procrastinate Someone Else Will Write Your Story”

I looked everywhere and unfortunately couldn’t find it but basically it’s a pinterest quote from an author who may not have been identified. I am a chronic procrastinator with the attention span of a gnat. My biggest struggle is completing projects and this quote is a real kick in the butt. For me it reminds of two very important things. I’m not the only writer in the world and also that my ideas no matter how innovative or entertaining will eventually be thought of by someone else, whether or not the world sees their version before or after is completely up to me. Something that helps me when I really need to focus.

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Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?

I’ve never participated in NaNoWriMo before this year so every year before this one would be my break I guess. I have taken a break from  I plan on doing this again next year and every year from now on if I can. This seems like a great way to actually finish some work.

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What’s your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?

Life itself has always been a pretty big inspiration. Different things have inspired different stories. The story I’m working on this month came from my love of Once Upon A Time and the discovery of The Lunar Chronicles. I haven’t read that series yet but I hope my story is much different.

 

Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.

“Roselyn pulled her crimson cloak higher, concealing her raven hair.”

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Why do you love writing?

The short answer is, I love writing because I love reading. I’m infatuated with books and the worlds those books create. Creating those worlds and being a part of a profession that allows me to do so on a consistent basis has always been a goal of mine. The much longer answer is that I’m a creative being who enjoys the ability to express my emotions and ideas through words. I love being able to connect with someone through my writing and knowing that there are people who can relate to either my characters or myself.

 

For Writer’s – Releasing Your Inner Muse

I am proud to admit it. I enjoy a good Ted Talk. Specifically the ones the writers on writing but I enjoy them nonetheless. I am newly converted but there seems to be a video on everything.


I came across a heading, “Your Elusive Creative Genius”  This particular video featured author, Elizabeth Gilbert who penned the critically acclaimed Eat.Pray.Love.

This discussion, insight into the pressures she experienced afterwards. Gilbert offers a  light hearted look at the impossible requirements we place on artists and geniuses.


Suggesting that these individuals instead of being the source of the magic and wonder we admire are merely conduits for the divine that we see and experience through their work. Gilbert paints an alternative view to the doomed and destructive artist. wp-image-1863437916

Referencing ancient civilizations and cultures that believed a divine spirit, (daemons, genius, muses, etc) charged with assisting with the creation of work.


The muse was a way to remove individuals from the true beauty of the work, therefore successes or failures were a joint partnership between artist and the divine.


A brilliant idea, I’ve always believed in muses and believe that my gifts are indeed a gift from the divine.


The video is deep. You should give it a watch!

Featured Author – Octavia Butler


“Why aren’t there more SF Black writers? There aren’t because there aren’t. What we don’t see, we assume can’t be. What a destructive assumption.” Octavia E. Butler, in “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories.


I myself discovered this author because I was asking the same exact question. I am a black woman and a writer of fantasy. Yet, when I go to conferences or awards ceremonies for fantasy the genre I write, I cannot find many like me.


I’ve met wonderful friends not of color who are amazing fantasy writers. But clearly I’m not the only one. So a few Google searches later brought me a list of authors. Octavia Butler was at the top of that list.


A career that spanned 36 years, Ms. Butler has been awarded both the Hugo and Nebula awards as well as being the 1995 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.


It started in the culturally blended community of Pasadena, CA. Her mother a housemaid, she’d witnessed firsthand racial inequalities between her mother’s employers and the staff.


A shy girl she sought solace in books and sci-fi magazines at her local library. Her writing career truly began in 1974 with the Seed to Harvest series. 




At age 13, her well-intentioned aunt Hazel conveyed the realities of segregation by telling her, “Honey … Negroes can’t be writers” Butler persevered in her desire to publish a story anyway, even asking her junior high school science teacher, Mr. Pfaff, to type the first manuscript she submitted to a science fiction magazine.


Her first work published was Crossover in the 1971 Clarion Workshop anthology. She also sold the short story Childfinder to Harlan Ellison for the anthology The Last Dangerous Visions.


“I thought I was on my way as a writer,” Butler recalled in her short fiction collection Bloodchild and Other Stories. “In fact, I had five more years of rejection slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me before I sold another word.”


I’d been advised that the best of her collection is Kindred. I am owner of a copy and it has proven to be one of her most awarded novels.


Kindred, is all about Dana, an African-American woman transported from 1976 Los Angeles to early nineteenth century Maryland. She meets her ancestors: Rufus, a white slaveholder, and Alice, a black freewoman forced into slavery later in life.

I won’t spoil it for you but there’s a reason why she’s so well known.


In 2006 Butler was found outside her home after years of struggling with depression possibly caused by medications for hypertension, she had a stroke.


Prior to her death she’d continued writing despite struggling with writer’s block and taught at Clarion’s Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop regularly. In 2005, she was inducted into Chicago State University’s International Black Writers Hall of Fame.



What’s your favorite Octavia Butler novel?