Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Cocoa Reads

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to write book reviews. I am a voracious reader. I can't go too long without reading a book. Fiction, non-fiction doesn't matter. Since I've been on a tight budget the library and I have become best friends. I actually read more because I'm not paying for books. I haven't jump started on new reads for this year so most of these titles I read last year. Trust me, they're good reads.

It's All Love
edited by Marita Golden

"It's All Love," edited by one of my favorite writers, Marita Golden just landed on bookshelves Tuesday. I haven't read it yet but when Marita Golden puts her pen to a page I know I'm in for a treat. "It's All Love" is an anthology of love stories from 40 writers and poets including talents like Pearl Cleage and Kwame Alexander.
Cocoa Fly readers in the DC area can catch Golden and other writers for book signings.

Thursday, Feb 5th, 6:00pm Borders Washington, DC (on K street)
Thursday, Feb 12th, 7:00pm Borders, Capital Centre, Maryland
Tuesday, Feb 24th, 6:00pm Busboys and Poets, Washington, DC
Sunday, March 22nd, 2:30pm Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Maryland
Sunday, March 29th, 2:00pm Enoch Pratt Library, Maryland

Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry
by Terrance Dean

Every young black woman from 18-40 needs to read this book. It's not quite like the down low book we saw from J.L. King in 2005. This book looks at homosexuality in the hip hop industry and judging from what Terrence Dean writes, it's very common. Dean, who is gay and works in the industry, exposes the reader to an underground gay hip hop subculture. He features stories of sexual encounters he witnessed and participated in with black stars and executives. Dean gives clues to who these people are but never reveals names. I read this book before Wanda Sykes came out to the public and I knew reading it that she was someone he hinted at in the book. But what's more important is that Dean shares some of the lingo and mannerisms of young, black down low men. That' s why I think young sistas need to read this book. Too many of us are getting infected with HIV and being informed on issues like this is one way to protect ourselves. It's funny to think that all these years we've watched rappers say they're hardcore, anti-gay, women juggling gangstas. Yet, when the music video cameras are off some are curled up in the bed with other men. I don't have a problem with homosexuality. Living double lives and lying to your woman is what I find disturbing.

What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception
by-Scott McClellan

Yes this is an era of change. But if you're not sick of hearing about the Bush Administration or you're searching for answers read "What Happened." Author Scott McClellan was Pres Bush's Press Secretary. McClellan gives his view of what went down behind the scenes with the Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco, the leaking of a CIA agent's identity and the infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner that hung behind Pres. Bush as he was giving a speech about the Iraq War. It's definitely a good read for those interested in working in government media relations. McClellan was loyal to Bush for years and worked with Bush when he was a Texas governor. At times McClellan tries to paint this friendly image of Pres. Bush while arguing the former president made big mistakes and surrounded himself with shady people. Just keep in mind this is McClellan's view of the situation so everything may not be fact.
I love the title because it reminds me of being a little kid, getting in trouble and the first thing you tell your mom is, "See what happened was..."


  1. Hmmm... I might have to check out that book signing at Borders. Thanks for the heads-up!


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