Tag Archives: Aliya King

Book Book is for the birds. Unless you want a cracked iPhone screen.

iPhone 6 Plus + Book Book = Cracked iPhone 6 Plus

I was soooo happy when my Book Book iPhone 6 Plus case first arrived.

You know, the phone case that looks like an old book from Twelve South.

I made several videos illustrating my unbridled glee before settling on this.

I had slits for my credit cards, a clear panel for my license and could hold a couple of dollars nicely.

There was no way to keep it closed, but laying on a surface, the cover stayed firmly on the screen.

After all kinds of iPhone cases – Otterboxes, bootleg LV wallet, Targus, this one, that one – I felt that I had arrived.

With the Book Book, I had stepped up my phone case game.

I’d matured.

My iPhone was nestled snugly in a case that protected it from the elements and looked stylish to boot.

Oh! The compliments I received!

Each new outing brought hordes of admirers, cooing at my case, remarking on the weathered look of my Book Book comme iPhone case.

My glee was short lived however, the first time the phone dropped.

My pride turned quickly to horror as my phone slid off my lap and (in slow motion) opened up like a small black bat taking flight.

But instead of darting off herky jerky, it made a beeline to the hard unforgiving ground, landing with a resounding slap.

Nauseous I reached down, confident I would see the telltale sign of iPhone owner neglect – the spiderweb crack.

Luckily, I dodged the bullet and my screen was intact.

I thanked the iPhone gods (Steve Jobs and Jony Ives) and swore I would never treat my iPhone so shabbily in the future.

But that exact same scenario has occurred no less than five more times since then.

Sometimes landing on a rug, or a shoe or car mat.

Each time face down, but intact.

Until today.

You see, today, it slipped out of my hands, as I was trying to navigate a subway turnstile.

I keep my Metrocard in one of those handy slits on the inside cover, and as I went to move through the turnstile, my forward momentum came to an abrupt halt.

Apparently, my Metrocard had not been read.

And as a result, my Book Book went flying, opened face down, and SLAP!

Everything went black.

I knew, I just knew that this was the end.

I had mocked the iPhone gods with my empty promises, and it was my day of retribution.

You’ve been in the NYC subway system.

There’s nothing soft about it.

I prepared for my accounting as I swiped my Metrocard (correctly this time) and stooped to retrieve my baby from the cold concrete.

Amazingly, no spiderweb.

Praise Jobs!

Wait…what’s this?

There.

On the lower left edge.

A crack.

Slight.

Like a hair caught in two places along the edge, forming an elongated reverse capital “C.”

Barely perceptible, but there nonetheless.

I cursed the culprit for my suffering under my breath.

Fucking Book Book!

At this moment, I realized what an absolute liability the Book Book iPhone 6 Plus case was.

Despite the mounds of empirical data I had to the contrary, I operated under the delusion that my phone was safe in the case.

Aliya King's Nightmare on Instagram

Aliya King’s Nightmare on Instagram

Not less than a week ago, I had told my girl Aliya King, that I felt her pain when she posted a selfie with her spiderweb sporting iPhone 6 Plus in what?

A Book Book.

What else?

I had even replied that I was going to swap my Book Book for an Otterbox or LifeProof for the very same reason.

Did I?

No.

Do I regret it?

Yes.

But more than regret, I’m angry.

Book Book, you need to either (a) increase the depth of the iPhone holder or (b) figure out a way to keep the case from flying open face down when dropped.

But either way you owe me a new iPhone.

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Blogging builds traffic. 30 days and the stats to prove it.

The numbers don’t lie!

Last month, a friend of mine who blogs, issued a 30-day blogging challenge.

She had fallen off her blog game, and resolved to write a new post every day, for 30 days.

She invited other bloggers to join her on her quest.

When I read her blog, I was inspired.

I too, had fallen off my blogging game.

In fact, I’m constantly falling off my game.

Even though I routinely counsel my clients on the importance of providing a regular and steady stream of content on their websites and social media profiles, I don’t really practice what I preach.

And since I don’t blog regularly, I can’t really speak to the issues involved in maintaining a regular output schedule.

Nor can I (genuinely) speak of the real impact that regular output has on a brand’s metrics.

Sure, I preach that the more you put out, the more of a footprint you create, the more pages of content BOTs can crawl to, the more relevant you become.

But for me, that’s all been theoretical.

I mean, I do blog.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my blog.

Since I started blogging, I’ve posted over 250 times.

That’s an average of 60 posts a year.

Or a little over once a week.

But I really blog in fits and starts.

So I can’t say, honestly, what the impact of regular blogging actually is.

And because of this, I realized that I needed to take Aliya up on her challenge.

On August 31, Aliya completed her 30 day challenge.

Two days ago, I finished mine (I didn’t actually start when Aliya issued her call to action).

Looking back, I’m glad I did.

Because I now have empirical proof from the experience that reinforces the things I’ve been saying about the significance of blogging.

First, blogging creates traffic.

Period.

Since the start of the year, my traffic is consistently higher than it has ever been.

Last month, there were 3,638 view of my blog.

That’s my highest month of traffic ever.

My next highest month of traffic was in June 2010, when I hit 3,458 views.

Back, when in one day, I had 686 views.

The previous month (July), there were 2,712.

The month before that, 2,421.

Second, blogging increases your online presence.

Search engines, like Google love regularly updated content.

Every time you post a blog post you put your site/blog further up in the search results.

Google re-indexes your blog every time you update with new content, giving your site higher search ranking.

And if you’re using well written, relevant keywords, that only makes it even better.

During my month of blogging, I was getting hits for everything from futsal, Katy Perry, the iPhone, Nicki Minaj on down to SoundHound and Shazam.

Try it.

Google “Shazam vs SoundHound” or “Morgan Freeman is not dead” or “Chris Anokute” and invariably, my little blog is returned on the first page.

Third, regular blogging generates backlinks.

I can’t tell you how many times other folks linked to my site.

Whether it was because of the subject matter, the context, the images, tagging or the keywords, something about my content seemed to resonate with other bloggers.

As a result, I generated quite a few backlinks

Fourth, writing every day keeps you relevant.

Whether it’s politics, fashion, technology, music, entertainment, social issues, if you’re writing about topics of the day, contemporaneously as they happen, your voice, and your opinions will resonate will some audience somewhere.

If I could give bloggers one tip, it would be to write about what you love.

The biggest impediment that folks report for not writing every day (or regularly) is that they don’t know what to write about.

I write about whats going on – in my life, around me, in technology, social media, sports – whatever.

The second biggest blocker is time.

I’ve taken to getting it in whenever and wherever I can.

Sometimes, I blog on the train to work.

Other times, when I’m sitting on the ‘throne’ (some of my best work has been on the throne).

Point is, you need to make time for it.

Because one thing is for certain, blogging is an invaluable tool to generating traffic to (and awareness about) your site.

But don’t take my word for it.

Blog for yourself and see!

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Dark Side of Grace. Undercover Urban Thriller

Trees like this feature prominently in Dark Side of Grace. Spooky right?

My girl Melissa Cooper-Caraballo just let me read her manuscript for Dark Side of Grace, a novel she just penned.

Dark Side is a fictional tale which follows the heroine, Asha Davidson, an African American social worker, who runs a center putting ex-cons back to work.

Set in Newark and South Carolina, Asha is called upon by her ancestors, to break the curse that has caused all the female members of her family to appear to go crazy towards their later years.

Her great great grandmother Grace, a slave on a plantation several generations ago, killed the master of the plantation, Massa Henry, to protect her daughter from his lechery.

In doing so, she unleashed a curse which took the lives of Asha’s great grandmother Jessie Mae and her great aunt Emma, as well as her great uncle, Little (Reverend) Jimmy.

The curse was now threatening to befall her grandmother, Nancy (who sees he departed sister, Emma, and the evil Massa Henry torments her daily) as well as her mother, Francis, and sisters, Nzinga and Imani.

Asha, fearing for her family’s safety (and sanity), undertakes the unenviable task of traveling to South Carolina to attempt to free the family of the curse and bring closure.

The book moves quickly, as we follow Asha’s trials and travails throughout the story.

We meet her best friend Lourdes, whose family is practiced in the spiritual arts, and her man Rahman, with whom she has a taboo relationship (since he’s an ex-con from her job, the New Day Program, and someone her family-especially her mother-wouldn’t approve of).

If you’re a fan of thriller novels and stories with supernatural elements to them, then Dark Side is for you.

With disembodied spirits, voodoo and black magic, Dark Side has enough otherworldly stuff to satisfy even the most discerning horror-genre junkie.

But the story is written with such pace that you’re inextricably drawn in and quickly find yourself consumed with it.

And the characters have such realism that you relate to them like they’re everyday people you know.

I devoured the manuscript in two days, and we’re going to be working on her strategy to self-publish and release the book.

She’s currently working on her second novel, which follows Rahman, one of the principle characters, in Dark Side.

I’ve gotten her permission to give my seven readers a taste of the novel, so please do enjoy:

Asha’s head was pounding and her stomach was spinning. She could taste the bitter contents of her stomach rushing to escape her body. She ran up the steps as fast as she could, swung the bathroom door open and dashed to the toilet. The warm rancid vomit practically flew out of her mouth in waves. She could scarcely catch her breath before the next wave pushed her mouth open.

She was gasping for air when she felt her locks being pulled back away from her face and a cold hand passing gently over her forehead. She was thankful that Rahman hadn’t left. She imagined that this small sympathetic gesture meant that their relationship hadn’t been too badly damaged by their first fight. She took a few deep breaths. Asha felt her locks fall back to their normal position around her face.

She turned around to face Rahman and found the bathroom empty. Her heart raced. She pulled back the shower curtain and found it empty as well. She was alone. She ran down stairs and discovered Rahman sitting on the same spot on the couch where she had left him moments before, it looked as if he hadn’t moved at all. He was nursing a cigarette between his lips and was pointing the remote control at the television.

“Damn girl, I thought puking was supposed to make you feel better. You look worse now than you did when you ran upstairs.” Rahman didn’t want to continue fighting.

“You weren’t upstairs in the bathroom with me?” Asha was still panting when she asked the question.

“No, why?” Rahman was confused and disturbed by the wild look on Asha’s face.

“Rahman, please be serious! When I was throwing up, you pulled my hair back for me and stroked my forehead. Today is not the day for practical jokes!” She realized that she was screaming. She looked around the room for evidence of anything out of the ordinary but didn’t find anything.

At first Rahman thought that Asha might be more intoxicated than he realized. He calmly explained to her that she probably held her own hair back and didn’t remember it. He even suggested that she had passed out for a minute or two and dreamed that someone had touched her hair.

Asha’s chest rose and fell at a rapid rate. Rahman could tell that she was really freaked out. He began to get the feeling that she had not told him something. His instincts were good. He had a keen ability to read people and situations. He knew that it was his instincts that kept him alive on the streets and in prison. Now, his gut told him that there was more to the look on Asha’s face.

That was just a taste.

I’ve recommended that Melissa release the first chapter to her book online, so you can get even more Dark Side prior to it’s release.

And I’m definitely going to put you on when she does drop it. Of that you can be sure.

And since we’re talking books, you need to pick up Aliya King’s second novel, Diamond Life, and get your read on!

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I’ve Been Tagged – Honest Scrap Awards

So I’m perusing my Twitter account, and I come across my girl Aliya S. King’s tweet, which said “this post will self destruct in one hour” and provided the following link, http://bit.ly/HonestScraps.

Since I LOVE Aliya’s writing, and she’s one of my collegiate homeskillets, I followed the link to her blog, to a post in which she divulged 10 honest things about herself.

Always one to read about the bats in other people’s belfries, I went in and was genuinely touched by her profoundly personal piece. I was even more touched, when she tagged ME as one of the people for this chain-letter style social media experiment.

So (pursuant to the instructions for the Honest Scrap Awards), first, let me thank Aliya for presenting me with this Award.

Now without further ado, 10 honest things about Stephen:

1. I like big butts and I can not lie! Like Sir Mix-a-lot, I’m a bootie man. I love butts. Some men are boob men. Some like legs. Me, I’m all about the derriere. Bubble butts. Apple bottoms. Heart-shaped. Tight muscular. You name it, I like it. I’m not checking for a sloppy butt or a flat one either, but if a nice set of female gleuts pass my line of vision…well, let’s just say, I’ll pay attention.

2. My johnson curves slightly to the left. I used to be very self-conscious about my slanted schlong. I thought women would take one look at it and bust out laughing. I learned that despite the curvature, I was ‘endowed’ and quickly got over it.

3. I have a favorite child. Parents all say that they love their children equally and have no favorites. And I’m sure that many of them believe it. But it’s not true. We all have our favorites. For all parents, there is one child that stands out (for whatever reason) from the rest, and that you take to.

4. I think I’m going to win the lottery. I know that it sounds ridiculous. Who doesn’t think they’re going to win the lottery? If you didn’t think you’d win the lottery, why would you play? Right? But I REALLY think I’m going to win the lottery. Something deep in my bones tells me it’s true. Now even though I almost never play (I spend a grand total of $20 a year on the lottery), I know that one time I do, I’ll strike it rich.

5. I haven’t had a drink since 1997 (didn’t mean to one-up you Aliya). No. I never had a drinking problem. As part of my religious observation, I gave it up. And although I no longer actively practice, I didn’t miss not drinking. So I still don’t.

6. I think rappers are the most clever wordsmiths. Their faculty with language always impresses me. Now I think a lot of rap is garbage, and I’m constantly appalled when my wife turns up a REALLY ghetto song on the radio, and sings along. The first time I heard her sing, “she opened up her mouth and then I blew her brains out” with Lil Wayne, I thought, I married a gangsta bitch. But all the while marveling at how Wayne was able to so poetically describe a blow job.

7. I want to write a book. I started blogging because my friend Denene Millner said that you’ve got to write to write, and that blogging was a simple way of practicing the art of writing on a regular basis. I have no idea if I will ever actually write a book, but I’m enjoying blogging for my audience of 8, so I’ll keep doing it.

8. I want to meet Oprah. Yes. I said I want to meet Oprah. People may not acknowledge it, but Black women are treated like fourth class citizens. In terms of societal hierarchy, it goes: White men, White women, Black men, Black women. Some would argue, that it’s White men, Black men, White women, Black women. But either way you cut it, Black women are always last. I want to meet the woman, who, despite the odds, is the richest Black person in the world. Oprah, I will be your baby daddy. For real. Forget Dave Chappelle.

9. I support reparations. If the American government, actually paid reparations to the bona fide ancestors of slavery (as they did the Japanese for their internment), then they would have the moral authority to tell people of color to put slavery in the past. But so long as slavery remains the unacknowledged open wound that Blacks simply need to ‘get over’ we’ll always have problems in America. I’m not an ancestor of slaves, so I have nothing to gain. It’s simply the right thing to do.

10. I’m afraid of going bald. Sure I’ve got a head full of dreadlocks, but that don’t mean a damn thing where baldness is concerned. Lots of my contemporaries are rocking baldies to hide the male pattern baldness lurking below their shiny shaved surfaces. They say it’s genetic, and you can tell by looking at the males on your mother’s side. One of my uncles is bald and the other isn’t. How does this help me? A balding dread is not a pleasant thing to behold.

Anyway, I’ve got to present this award to seven bloggers that I admire. They are:

1. Denene Millner http://www.mybrownbaby.blogspot.com

2. James Andrews http://www.thekeyinfluencer.com/channel/

3. Cara Reynoso http://commutefromhell.wordpress.com/

4. Ben Tannenbaum http://bentannenbaum.com/

5. Anike Robinson http://anikerobinson.blogspot.com/

6. Keith Williams http://bobcatsaddict.com

7. Oneika Mays http://waytolivenow.blogspot.com/

Fellow bloggers unite!

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