My photo
Delaware, United States
Deborah Hawkins, penned Debra Renée Byrd, began writing after a blank book project in elementary school and never stopped, fashioning stories based on her favorite TV shows and movies before creating more original works. She studied at the University of the Arts and Florida State University before settling down and graduating from Temple University. She now resides in her hometown of Dover, DE, where she spends most of her time at work or at church. She loves fantasies, superheroes, is a trekkie and a brown coat. She loves television and lives for Final Fantasy video games, having collected most of them. She has read a myriad of authors, and her favorite authors change whenever she finds a new book that changes her life... "When you can't run, you crawl. When you can't crawl...well, you know the rest." -Tracey, Firefly, "The Message"

Search This Blog

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Freeday: Black Fiction


My sister posted this question on Twitter earlier, and I think it's a good question:

Unfortunately, I went to Wikipedia to get this next fact. lol African-Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population as of 2010. I remember learning that and being surprised, because Dover, Delaware, is about 40% African-American.

So literature-wise, there is a smaller percentage of black writers. I can only imagine when you go into a bookstore and there's a separate section for black fiction, it's so black readers can find it easier? Black people in general like to feel that they are acknowledged, and if it were interspersed in general literature, I guess it would be harder to find...

At the same time, I don't think black people should limit themselves to just black reading, which I know people who do, to read experiences that they can relate to or topics that appeal to them. Black fiction generally doesn't appeal to someone like me, who grew up in a predominantly white community before moving to Delaware, because I didn't have the "normal" black experiences, so I tend to skip that section altogether anyway.

Also, I think when certain groups of people ask to be treated equally, they should also try not to be treated separately. I think a few authors would get a pleasant surprise and an increase in their fan base if their books were integrated with the rest of the fiction (not to say there aren't white people already reading black fiction). That's how I fell in love with Octavia Butler: I picked up Dawn because I saw "Butler", and I was thinking Robert Olen Butler, which is what I was hooked on at the time. Dawn is a Science Fiction novel with a black woman as the main character, but I'm sure white women could relate to the struggle Lilith was facing, trying to escape from hideous (albeit harmless) aliens who planned to mate her using their genes so humanity could go on. I never would have picked up Octavia Butler if it weren't next to Robert Olen, at least not as early as I did, and I'm glad I did!

So, to answer my sister's question, I would say, no.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Express Yourself - Reflections

For some reason, Mariah Carey's "Reflections" comes into my head when I think of Self Reflection, so here, enjoy one of the saddest songs in the world.

Welcome back to Express Yourself! Brought to us by the dynamic duo, Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The question this week is an interesting one, and I just copy and pasted over it. *sigh, goes back to Dani's page* Here it is. lol

Is there anything you'd like to change, or work on, about yourself this year?

One thing I keep failing to maintain is my weight, so I would really like to get in shape this year and stay that way. I'm getting to an age where I don't have the drive to do it, but I will be forcing myself this year.

Less superficial, I would like to find a balance between my passiveness and my outspokenness. They're both reflections of the shy, aim-to-please girl I was when I first moved to Delaware and how I was when I decided I wasn't going to care about what people thought as long as I spoke my piece. There must be a happy medium in there.

I also want to get out of this house. I'm such a hermit, and that's a family trait that's been passed down, and I need to go ahead and break that so I can meet people.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Frozen Friday Freeday Rambles

Good morning!

It's 13 degrees where I am right now, and it's been colder the past couple of weeks. Delaware doesn't see many below 0 temperatures, so that the wind chill has been that way, they've closed the state a couple of times. That's not too big a problem when you're a state employee, but when you temp for the state, you don't get to put in vacation time to make those hours up. Fun.

Anywho, it is Friday, and I'm trying to build a hook that will get my query accepted by someone in the universe. Mike Anthony at Writer's Outworld has a great post on how the query process feels, so click on this phrase to read it. It sums everything up pretty well. Sidenote: Why do cats push things off of cliffs?

It is "71" degrees in this office, and that makes me wonder what the heat is on. *goes to look* 74. My jeans are cold.

I should do a post on the first 10 songs that come onto my playlist. The last song was Backstreet Boys "Climbing the Walls." The one on now: Led Zeppelin "Houses of the Holy". $5 says the next song is Beyonce.

Ack! People! I have to open the front window. It's about 20 degrees in the vestibule.

I picked a wonderful day to have to walk outside. Maybe the temperature will go up 17 degrees in an hour...? It can happen!

I lost $5. John Mayer "Wheel."

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Express Yourself: Chores

Good evening!

I went to work and three hours in got an e-mail that we were going home at 12, so I've been yelling and brooding if you saw on Twitter, because I don't get paid when I don't work. So I'm very not on-my-time for posting this week's Express Yourself question.

To join or visit the other members, visit our hosts: Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests. This week, they ask: what chore do we like to do, and what chore do we hate to do?

My mom didn't teach us how to do chores, so I pretty much hate them all. However, I REALLY hate cleaning tubs. I don't understand how I'm supposed to clean the floors and the walls without actually stepping inside the tub, and our tub is three inches away from the toilet and has sliding doors, so very uncomfortable to clean.

I actually enjoy cleaning mirrors. I like to imagine I'm in a Windex commercial. :) And sometimes, I can get in a zone when washing dishes or a sink. I like the before-after of a porcelain sink.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Freeday: First Friday Back!

Good morning!

Now that the holidays are finally slowing down, I am returning to the blogosphere with full furce! I thought I would brag about some of the good things that have happened so far for me in 2014. ;)

I started a new Zumba class Monday morning, so I will have a little more cushion in my pocket. *phew* Thank God.

This started in 2013, but I taught 2 songs I arranged for the young adult ensemble I'm in. I love songwriting, and when there's a song that doesn't quite fit us, I'm glad to know I have the ability to make it fit. A guitar would make it fit even more, but none of us play. lol

I have a prequel for my fantasy WIP that came about because it's an inciting subplot for my WIP, and I wanted to write it. I woke up yesterday at around 5am and couldn't get back to sleep for a little bit because ideas were popping into my head! This is the second story I've started where I've forced myself to not worry about writing A-B-C-D and just write what comes to me no matter where it goes in the story. It's extremely liberating. I have A, U, Y, and Z. I know the gist of the other letters, but those parts were so clear, I couldn't keep them in my head!

So things are looking good so far, and I hope there is more joy to come for me, and for you. :D Song for the week: Jill Scott: "Golden"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Express Yourself x2

Good morning!

I missed last week's Express Yourself, so I decided to answer both! Welcome back Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests to the new year!

Last week's question was: What books are we looking forward to reading in 2014?

I'm reading a complete collection of Poe's works on my E-reader. I plan to read some more classics this year. I have a lot on my Goodreads list. I do want to read Transparent by Natalie Whipple, though. The sample I read was SO good!

This week's question is: What movies do we plan on seeing in 2014?

Definitely X-Men: Days of Future Past. Obviously. *wink*

And The Hobbit: There and Back Again. This has been an EPIC trilogy so far, and I can't wait to see how it ends, even though I know how it's technically going to end.

I don't know what other movies come out this year...So have a good day! lol

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG: My Baby is Growing

Happy New Year!!

No, I'm not pregnant. Let's not even sit down to have a support group about THAT insecurity.

This summer, my baby, Save the Queen, will be 11 years old. Hopefully, I can celebrate that with an agent. lol I just remember writing out a dream I had to show my sister, then writing more to get into the Writing for Film/TV program at UArts, and finishing the first draft and the second, and so on. lol

Things changed I never expected to change: some of my characters, scenes are gone, scenes were born, etc. There is flesh to this tiny thing I had only wanted to write out to make sense to someone other than me. I can't wait to see her graduate. :)

This is a pretty short one, but join or visit the other 315 members of this awesome group created by the Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eet's Thor's Day

So why am I blogging, you ask?

Well, because I can, lol, but also I just felt like saying Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed theirs. Sunday night I closed a near-empty bag of cereal, got a puff of crumb dust directly in my eyes, and developed a nasty sinus infection (in semi-related news, I once wrote a song whose only words were "This sort of thing only happens to me"). A stomach bug is also making its way around town, so I caught that in the middle of the night and was out of work sick Monday. Because bouncing back 100% the day after I'm sick always backfires on me, I decided to spend New Year's Eve in bed, which was a good thing, because I woke up the next morning feeling like a billion bucks.

Now that it's 2014, I plan on doing two things, and we'll see how they work out: writing a successful query, and possibly adapting my fantasy novel into a screenplay. I may have talked about this already, that I was initially a Writing for Film/TV major, and when I started writing books, it wasn't because of what I was reading, but because of what I was watching on TV. So what I see in my head takes a lot of work to translate when I'm writing it in prose form, but writing scripts for my class projects came to me so easily. An odd revelation to have when you started writing 22 years ago. =\

But I want to do newer and bigger things this year and (cue music) Always look on the briiight side of life *whistles* (end music).

How was everyone's New Year's? Head still hurting (giggle)? Anyone have Watch Night at church? How was it?

I believe I'll be back full force Wednesday for the first Insecure Writer's Support Group post of the year!