Bridging the Generation Gap in Contemporary Writing

Sunday Funday at KAZE with DJ Prymtime, Cincinnati, OH

People of a certain age may remember “dinner and dancing” differently than depicted in this video. But when writing, if you’re aiming to stay true to the present, it’s important to remember how things are not how they were.

This post also serves as a note because I was stunned as I watched my daughter’s Instagram story on Sunday night. Then almost immediately, I was transported back to my days of dancing into the early morning hours at the Paradise Garage in New York City. I might have snacked on the fresh fruit that lined the bar top. But a full plate and dining utensils while dancing? No Way! Although this video may resonate with Generation Z and Millennials, dinner and dancing in the last century were more of a formal affair.

Then it hit me!

When I write fiction, most of what I write comes from the memories of my distant past. And that would be fine if I were writing historical fiction, but does it cut as a contemporary writer?

I haven’t consulted a trade book acquisition editor lately. Still, I suspect, as a modern writer, we must pull our readers into a world they’re currently experiencing and craft a tale there.

I’m sure successful contemporary writers already know this, but honestly, it was an aha moment for me.

Especially when we writers are instructed to write what we know.

But if we choose the commercial path, it might be better to write what we’re experiencing and bridge it with our memories.


The last novel I read was the award-winning horror fiction, The Changeling by Victor Lavalle, and I must admit he masterfully wrote in the present. But it’s an allegory, a hardcore fairy tale with a foundation that rests comfortably in the past.

So, I think I get it now.  Maybe it finally clicked for me.

What do you think?

Hustlers vs Suckers | How Not to Get Played

I don’t have any games.  I don’t play board or card games with my family and friends. I don’t even play games on the internet.  If there is one word I have for games, it would be “despised.” I believe games are a waste of time and don’t benefit anyone.

Except the powers-that-be have set up games as a way of life here in this dimension, and if you don’t play, you’ll get played.

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game”

Is a running meme in the ‘hood. And I do hate games.


But in the immortal words of the infamous author of PIMP, “Iceberg Sim” (Robert Beck)

I forgot something important that you must remember until you go six feet under…. There are only two kinds of people in the whole wide world, grifters and suckers…. [With suckers,] let their stupid brains stay asleep in their chump world. Keep your own brain honed to razor sharpness in the secret world of con. –Iceberg Slim

Yea, it sucks, but in the game of life, there are suckers and grifters. If you must pick one, you might as well choose grifter.   At least there’s some honor in it.  Grifters keep their word when given. But most importantly, you must stay awake.

I was on a discussion board recently, and I admitted that I don’t seek approval or acceptance from society. I’m WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), and those in the audience can take me or leave me.  Since I must play a game, it’s the game I most like to play.

A woman responded to my post that in the past, she’s played life another way.  She said whatever the person in “authority” believed of her, she went with it and played the hand she was dealt.

She called it being “passive-aggressive.”  I call it being a hustler.  A hustler identifies a mark, notices what beliefs he has confidence in, and then Wham! Plays him like a fiddle!

Her actions displayed the difference between a hustler and a sucker.  The difference is how they see reality.

A hustler recognizes that reality is chaotic and in a state of flux.  But a hustler also realizes that within chaos, there are patterns.  Therefore, she sets a goal.  She analyzes her opponent(s), identifies her resources, reviews her options, looks for the angles, and plays them as they arise.

A sucker has no angle. He just lives in this neat little world of social construction and believes everyone will behave according to the rules of his makeshift world.  He becomes an easy mark simply because he thinks his beliefs are real.

The woman admitted she didn’t like to work hard, and maybe that was her truth. In telling her story, however, she admitted she had patience. For some, patience is hard work.

As Robert Greene quoted “Iceberg Slim” in his blog, he noted

“Patience and time is the hustler’s creed. “I play for time and see what happens,” says Elizabeth I, the great hustler Queen of England. “

Patience was a virtue for this hustler woman.

Playing games for the win takes patience to plot, plan, persevere, and ultimately get paid.

Hustler or Sucker?  The choice is yours.


AALBC: The African-American Media Clearinghouse | WIFOTIT

African-American Literature Book Club

Imagine if you could let your fingers do the walking (clicking) through the annals of all things written by and about African-Americans.

You’ve heard of the dark web but did you know there’s a search engine, Huria (1) that allows you to discover the best of the Black web? Try it for yourself – I found an article about me on the Black Enterprise web site (2) using the Huria search.

What if you were new to your town and were looking for black-owned newspapers (3), bookstores (4), or even a book club (5) to join?  Maybe you’re a blogophile and you want to visit every African-American blog publisher on the internet. Or maybe you’re an African-American blog publisher and you’d like to include your blog in the AALBC blog database (6). Where would you go to find that information?

If you don’t know, let me share with you What I Found on the Internet “The African-American Literature Book Club” (7).   Founded by Troy Johnson, more than 18 years ago, AALBC dot com is the digital meeting place of the African-American Literati.

Check out the video (8) below to get a feel of the benefits of the online literary site. Troy will even give you some tips on how to kick the Facebook habit and get the traffic flowing back your own digital property.

You don’t have join AALBC; it’s open to the public so lurk away.   The most fun, however, comes when you join the community and get involved in one of hot topics of the day. (9)

More of What I Found on the Internet Today, next Thursday!  Be sure to check back!

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