Monthly Archives: September 2018

We’re Still Twisted Over Cosby, OJ, Trump & Kanye. Me? I’m Kissing It Goodbye!

FAMILY, we have truly gone mad.

We will FIGHT ONE ANOTHER over someone else's hot mess, as if it's our own. It doesn't matter if they're innocent, guilty or if they were even in the state where the crime was committed. It seems we simply need something to argue about, to debate or to fight over.

This one is a rapist and because some of us take that buzzword
"rape" so personally, anyone who does not agree with us is our enemy. "This other one killed somebody, and there was a smoking gun. It was reported on the news": and since we find things in common with the victim and we are offended by the alleged killer, we immediately take sides. We become zealots. And anyone who disagrees with us is our enemy.

It seems that there is no safe place or safe zone where we can all agree. Even religion has its pros and cons; it's loves and hates. And let me not expound and go into politics!"

There comes a time when I just personally need to shutdown all of your voices, and I'll go to my little hole in the world where I'm most comfortable, and I'll write my fiction. Another way I release and disappear is to bury myself in my work; that is, the work I do for others. And of course there's always lovemaking or sex that can erase all else. And that's a vacation I like to take often!

I'm telling you that we are in afflicted people; guided by the 6 o'clock news, which is guided by the police, the same one's who are guided by, well, the news! And the news is now guided by the White House!

And err, isn't it "the news" and media organizations the collective that falsely reported the election results? And we're still following them? Still repeating what they promote?

If that is not the most twisted shit of this generation I don't know what is worse. I will say once and for all that I love you if you are connected to me. And the majority of you came to my doorstep to connect with me; I didn't come for you. My writing and my energy attracted you.  

You've watched me evolve, cope with challenges, brave the weather called life, and there's a few of you who have been generous and philanthropic. It didn't matter what my initiative was, you invested in me, and so It's important that I give back everyday. Its my own sense of responsibility.

And so to that end I'm grateful and humbled that you even found me interesting enough to hangout with, online or off. And quite frankly you know me more than you know any of these other people you argue about.

That said, while I maintain my own fight to find Olivia Pope, I am going to do my damnedest to stay positive and stay inspiring and stay progressive while sharing the jewels that I've learned and earned over the decades.

Peace and love and progress. Relentless.

Common Sense is Not Common #1

So here’s the thing: I’m one person. I’m not Superman and I’m not everywhere in the world. But from my one space that I occupy I hope that I can import some common sense… Some common, damned, since… That can help you live a little better, hope you laugh a little more, and even perhaps save a life here and there. You’ve heard this before so let’s make it a Hashtag #Commonsenseisnotcommon God bless you. Like comment and share

 

This dude decided he wanted to “Know The Ledge.” And for Gods Sake he knows it better now than ever. We hope he lived thru this. On a side note, was that a WHALE that flopped thru and maybe took a chunk of that cliff out so that it WOULD break off? Just my conspiracy theory. We’ll never know!

#knowtheledge

#ericbandrakim

I Couldn’t Shed A Tear

book publisher, novelist, author, filmmaker, web designer podcasts

Today my father died, my daughter attempted suicide, and my sister might be hiding some kind of terminal health issue. All of this I learned about in a 2 hour phone conversation and I couldn’t shed a tear…

What can I say? I must be evil. The Universe must revolve around me to the degree that I’m held responsible for everyone who was born before me (those responsible for my existence,) and everyone who I sired and brought into the world, (yes, my kids) no matter how insane, skitzo or disrespectful they’ve been. No matter their poor choices, their inability to cooperate and behave… no matter what the people do around me, no matter how hateful or vulgar or shameful, I’m supposed to agree with it and love them anyway. I’m the victim and the victimizer; some kind of punching bag where everyone gets exercise but also feels okay with swinging and being abusive, and I’m the bad guy. Their possum or the scapegoat of all their failures.

DeWitt calls me, or we speak a few times per month. He is one of 4 children I’ve sired and who i’ve worked to maintain a father-son relationship with.

And yup; I’m the so-called celebrity in my entire clan; the man with all the fucking answers and global acknowledgements, and yet I’m the one they spit and shit on. I’m the one they make assumptions about, the one they keep a certain distance from and the one who is arguably the urban legend. Apparently I’m rich and famous, with contacts that stretch from Barbados to Canada; from the White House to Oprah’s house… and there’s that lil hookup; 1 degree from the rap gods, sports gods and movie gods. Apparently I’m rewarded and holding on to all of my wealth, keeping everyone from getting too close or too comfortable.

And imagine all of the awareness that I’ve earned over the years, the resources that I’ve managed, and none of the family can see that I am the glue; the plug, and the connect.

Everyone is too proud to help or lend a hand, or just too stupid to realize the truth. Nobody else in my entire clan has taken responsibility to keep the flame ablaze, to keep the soup bubbling and the garden of love beautiful growing. Instead, what we have is a whole see legion of disconnected people, all living their own lives, no matter how close in proximity or how connected online. No matter if they have the phone number or can find it by simply googling, instead we use the buffer known as the Internet. The family I once knew is now but an intangible “Facebook Friend,” comfortable with this Facebook bullshit, as opposed to the authentic, rich and engaging face to face, even if it’s FaceTime.
But the truth is, I’ve grown cold and heartless. There are very few people who care about me, my well-being and my mental and spiritual health. There are very few people who love me unconditionally, wanting nothing in return. there was a time that I cared and that I gave a fuck.

There was a time that I was in full support of my elders and then I’d give the clothes off of my back for my children. And today I can honestly say that I don’t give a fuck.

Sure, I love those who love me. I love them right back like a tight rubberband. But I’ve also resolved that my family has turned their back on me, and could care less. Whether intentional, or by default, this Gilmore shit is for the birds, with no legacy in sight. And me with the pen name… the stage name… the adjective… well, I’m something like that Rolls-Royce you see driving down Main Street, the one you ignore because it’s out of reach. You know nothing about the Rolls like you do about your Honda or Toyota. You know more ‘bout that Benz you think is yours than you do about me. But you already believe that Rolls could never be yours and so you get into a space of denial. And for close to 12 years now,

I have coped by embracing perfect strangers, fans, Business acquaintances and women… yeah, I’ve buried my misery, tucked away inside of carnal pleasures.

I’m more connected to people I never grew up with, never knew extremely personally, and some that I had nothing else in common with. Would you believe my love for my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram fellowships is stronger than that of my fucking blood relatives!?

Yes indeed I am part of a twisted lifestyle that fell upon me because my family is so disconnected. There was a point when my family was dysfunctional, with my father taking turns at whipping my mother, or my sister and (of course) me with a leather belt…

yes it was abuse of the worst kind hidden under the umbrella of “businessman” and “entrepreneur.” While the hood saw dad limping around on his prosthesis, we were left to cope with our brokenness. His infidelity weighed in. His gambling impacted us. His prostitution ring in the back room of his stripclub wasn’t a come-up but his way of filling the void of his missing leg. I mean, I get it. I’m not mad at dude for “being resourceful” and doing what he could with what he had. I just know he brought that home to us everyday; whether it was our house on the North side of Mount Vernon, where it appeared as tho we had a “normal life” or when he consolidated and moved us into a 2 bedroom apartment over the delicatessen he owned, complete with roaches, rats and robberies. My sisters and I took turns at running away from home… all of us have seen the wrong side of the law in one way or another. And while we’ve all taken great strides to correct what we’ve been able to correct, I am still in that space of “bouncing back,” of fixing my life and being my own Iyanla Vanzant. Yes, I’m taking care of me first, because I know that money is important… right up there at the top of the list with air and water. I also know the harsh reality I face if it ever comes down to my emergencies and whether or not people will be looking out for me. Yeah boi… to the bill. Cash money.
And so it seems the dysfunction is now reliving it self with my own children.

But, my hope is that they will mature before it gets worse and that my resources will be able to make some sort of amends down the line.

Back to our two hour conversation this morning, the one between me and my sister… well it ended with her explaining that my daughter lived thru the suicide attempt. And then the conversation was interrupted by a phone call from our so-called “dead father.”
So it was a false alarm and the news she got earlier was from the random energy of the family/always been random too. Thank God for my sister tho; Julie is the last sane spirit standing… she thought to make some calls, perhaps weighing in on her doubt/good move… and everything is everything once again. But just what the fuck is “everything” in my world of nothing… of this randomness.

And big ups to you dads who did the damn thing; holding the family down and making the sacrifices no matter what. But that ain’t me.

Everybody’s issues are different. None of us are dealt the same cards outside of blood and bones. Coincidence and circumstance has altered my realities. Still, I have no idea what a normal life is really like, or is there such a thing?
In the meantime, the beat goes on. Keeping hope alive

#relentless

Bed & Breakfast – The Relentless House – Atlanta Hospitality

Superstar actor Keith David visits The Relentless House

When you’re searching for a hotel in Atlanta, you’re asking for a simple, conventional fix to your visit in this big city. But when you book a stay at a bed & breakfast, it’s a lot more personal. We don’t simply take your money and give you the key. We make you feel at home.We have most every convenience.

And if you’re lucky, when you book a room at The Relentless House, you are blessed to have an amazing novelist, slash, chef, slash Superpreneur to host your visit.

Wow. A year ago this week, I opened The Relentless House. We were RAW! Bare! NO LIFE! And now, hundreds of visitors later we are a 5-star experience with loads of amazing testimonials! I am so grateful to the man who taught me how to develop my bed & breakfast, as well as I’m grateful for the client who dragged me to Kissimmee to even meet that man who taught me bed & breakfast. I’m grateful to all the guests who’ve stayed at my home, as well as the team that helps me administer and operate the hospitality and everything else. What a year its been! Time to write another book! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TO THE RELENTLESS HOUSE!

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Wow!!! And what a review they left!!!

““The BEST host that I’ve stayed with thus far. As soon as we (my boyfriend and I) arrived, we felt like we were home! This place has such a homey feel to it you would think you never left home. Very clean and tidy…. smart TVs in every room and the best part about our stay was the hospitality. Mr Aaron went above and being to make us feel welcomed. We were also able to taste his award winning food while we were there!!! This will be at the very top of our list for whenever we return to Atlanta!! If you’re also in the area try out Relentless Eats!! You will be overly satisfied with the dishes served and you can experience this with your stay!!! Thanks again Mr Aaron!!! You’ve set the bar high!!”

THE AUDACITY OF A NOVELIST

I REALIZED I had to work 10x harder as other novelists in order to progress beyond all the noise of the industry. With hundreds of thousands of other authors out there, all kinds of education and connections to fuel them, I didn’t care. I was ready to out-do them all…

To me, it didn’t matter that you were a writer for years, went to school for it, or had big financial backing. I was willing and able to win bigger than you because you were accustomed to a certain pace, a certain timeline and a certain competitive spirit. Well, I kicked-in the door of the publishing industry. I beat out other writers for the biggest debut known to Black authors (6 figures) and just huge if you were White and entitled. This all became real because I decided 5-6 years earlier that I would MASTER MY CRAFT.

That alone wipes 80% of writers out of my way, because most writers just write because, and not on purpose. My purpose was to be the best. Then I had to set the pace; the threshold and goals had to be higher than all others by dropping a novel every month. I had exercised my talents enough so that I could write a full-length novel (pen and paper) within 2 weeks. Nobody was ready for that. Finally, if that wasn’t already an unfair advantage, I used my relationships, my geographic resources and home-grown audacity to set the bar. I would not take anything less than a 6-figure deal. That meant over $100,000; and it turns out a got 3X that; nearly $300k. I would not work with a publisher that didn’t give me a marketing budget. And there were a list of other “musts” that I considered mandatory… reasons why the publishing industry called me the “self-publishing Phenomenon.” websites, video production, photography, podcasts atlanta georgiaFor instance, I recall the subsequent publishing deal with 50Cent/G-Unit/Simon & Schuster. I basically delivered 1/2 of my full-length novel called “Derelict,” (already written) and I made some nips and tucks so that the storyline was shortened/so that I could deliver the “novella” that the publishers signed me for.  

The deal was made and after I delivered I received a copy of the proof  before it went to press. I cocked my head back, with that dumb expression across my face because my photo was not on the book? BUT I WROTE IT! Oh I was LIVID. As if I was ready for that next rap-beef with 50Cent!

I sent an email off, and the publishers quickly agreed to add my photo. Phew! I really din want no rap beef? And the relationship with 50 and I was cool! Been in his office, on the streets with him, and  joined his entourage during a day-long 5 borough concert stint. From the Bronx, the Queens, and Brooklyn and so on.

Now, I don’t know if any of the other authors under G-Unit books had their pic on the book, if they got a lifetime supply of Vitamin Water, or VIP treatment to these events. If they didn’t, oh well! But if they did, it was because of my energy and drive that made that happen. I was the leading advocate for the book brand at the time, making all kinds of moves in the hood to position this brand. Nothing like the power of G-Unit music/probably why the book brand failed. But the  money I made and the experience was priceless.

“Huh… do I got some stories for you!” said the award-winning author in his hood-voice. But are you ready to be a success? or do you merely wanna be an author. Come here, let me coach you.