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

Good News!
Jenee Darden aka Cocoa Fly to Moderate Discussion with the Authors of Swirling in Oakland

  Yep, you read the title right. Swirling authors Christelyn Karazin and Janice Littlejohn are coming to Oakland aka Oaktown aka "The Town" aka "The O." I'm so honored to be moderating a discussion about their book, black women and interracial relationships. The Meetup group Sisters and White Misters is hosting this fabulous event.

For those of you into IRR blogs, you know Christelyn from I interviewed her about the book a few months ago, and you all gave me great feedback. Our discussion was good via a phone interview. So you know this event is going to be extra juicy and fun since we'll be in person and with Janice.

The book signing and discussion takes place next Sunday, Oct. 14th, 4pm at Kincaid's in Downtown Oakland's Jack London Square. Details are below.

This event is for men AND women of all races. We'd really like to see men come out and kick it with us. We're going to have a great time. We'll chat, drink some wine and meet cool authors. What a great way to end the weekend.  Details are below. I hope to see you all there!

What: Swirling Discussion and Book Signing

When: Sunday, Oct 14th, 4pm

Where: Kincaid's Restaurant
            Jack London Square in Downtown Oakland
            1 Franklin St. Oakland, CA

Tickets: $15 -- includes a copy of the book OR FREE if you don't want a book or are planning to bring your own copy to be signed.
Advanced RSVP Required:

Read the press release below for more info about the book, authors, Sisters and White Misters Meetup and me.

Pop culture blogger, CHRISTELYN D. KARAZIN, and journalist, JANICE RHOSHALLE LITTLEJOHN, authors of “SWIRLING: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed” are special guests for MeetUp event.
SISTERS WITH WHITE MISTERS hosts “Swirling” event highlighting a lively discussion on navigating mixed race, culture and faith relationships, moderated by award-winning journalist and blogger JENEE DARDEN. A book signing and mixer follows. Men, especially looking to mix and mingle, should be here! Price is $15.00, includes a copy “Swirling.”
Advanced RSVP required at
Sunday, October 14, 2012; 4 p.m.. – 6:30 p.m. PST Kincaid’s Restaurant in Jack London Square | 1 Franklin Street, Oakland CA
Written as a dating wake-up call for African American women, “Swirling” has quickly attracted general audience readers both male and female. It is the first handbook on navigating the exciting, tricky, and potentially disastrous terrain of interracial, intercultural and interfaith relationships, with testimonials and expert tips on how to make the bumpy ride a bit smoother.
“Swirling,” now in film development with State Street Pictures, debunks social, cultural and sexual myths on “dating out” and serves as a practical guide for coping with disapproving friends and family, and offers advice from mixed couples who are happily “swirling.” Released in May 2012 by Atria Paperback/ Simon & Schuster, “Swirling” debuted at #53 among books on SEX and #65 among books on HAPPINESS on Amazon’s Top 100 Books listing.
About the Authors
Christelyn D. Karazin is founder of the popular blog She has also written health, lifestyle, business and education writer for “Woman’s Day,” “Better Homes & Gardens” and Reuters News Service, to name a few. Prior to writing, she was a public relations professional who specialized in consumer and legal public relations, and represented such clients as Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Jay Gordon.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, cum laude, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Karazin is an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and lives in Southern California. The mother of four children–three of them biracial–Christelyn has been married to her husband, Michael, for ten years.
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is a career journalist who writes about media and culture; women and African American issues. She is a longstanding contributor to “Multichannel News” and “emmy ®” magazines, and was a columnist for the Associated Press and Her work has appeared in numerous publications including the “Los Angeles Times,” “USA Today” and “Essence.” She is director and producer of the documentary, “…but can she play?: Blowin’ the Roof Off Women Horn Players in Jazz,” now in production.
She is a member of Women Action & Media in Los Angeles, and former board member of the Television Critics Association and the Journalism and Women Symposium where she continues to be an active member. Her work has been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists for reporting excellence on the African American condition. She earned her Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California, and has a degree in Communications from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she resides.
Sisters with White Misters (San Francisco – Bay Area chapter) is a group designed to attract diverse, high quality men and women with an open and like mind for networking, intelligent discussions, good laughs and more.
JeneĆ© Darden is an award-winning journalist and host of — a website and podcast offering a new flavor in news for women. The Oakland, Calif. native has reported for National Public Radio, “Time” magazine, Marketplace news radio show, Huffington Post and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” magazine.
In 2005, she contributed reporting on the London transit bombings for “Time” magazine’s Europe edition. Ms. Darden is the 2012 recipient of the New America Media Award for Outstanding Community Reporting-Radio. JeneĆ© holds a BA from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California.