I love music…lots of different music

By The Rax Files 5 Comments

Actually I wanted to post something to this blog but nothing major came to mind. So I looked up at this window sill sitting before me, and that’s where some CD jewel cases are resting. So — bingo – music. That’s always a fun thing to talk about.

Right now my eyes are resting on some of the following that’s in my collection:

Ginuwine – The Life

Brian McKnight – Superhero

The Jacksons Live

Toni Braxton – More Than A Woman
This was an underrated but awesome CD. With songs produced by her hubby (whatchamacallit), I think her vocals and the melodies are outstanding. But I think this CD, like many other Arista albums, got lost somewhere in the shuffle.

Jagged Edge – Hard

Saturday Night Fever – The Original Movie Soundtrack

Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
Tee C. Royal, founder of RAWSISTAZ, gave this to me recently for my birthday. This has to be Michael’s best album. I love Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. It’s so good, it’s spooky.

The Diary of Alicia Keys
Now you know this sista can sing. She’s talented, beautiful. But do you know some people still say bad things about her. I just don’t get it. If you can’t recognize that Alicia has skills, you are a true hater. It doesn’t make any sense…

TLC Fanmail

Will Smith – Big Willie Style
Remember Jamie Foxx is on here, talking crazy, long before he blew up. I’m really happy for Jamie though. I like the fact that he won an Oscar for Ray, but also has Booty Call on his resume. It’s like that, isn’t it? We have to start somewhere to get somewhere. And if we have to do Booty Call, doggonit, so be it. Very few superstars start out at the top, with choice roles, etc. So it’s good to see Jamie graduate to more prominent roles, and it shows your past surely can’t always predict your future. Who woulda guessed…?

Whitney Houston – The Greatest Hits
I’m kinda pissed because this CD comes with two disks. I can only find one. The one I don’t want to listen to. The one with the disco version of fast songs. I prefer the slow stuff. I Will Always Love You, You Give Good Love, that kinda stuff…

Monica – The Boy Is Mine
Remember they used to play that song to death in 1999? I thought I’d go nuts. But it was a catchy little song at the time.

Mariah Carey – Charmbracelet
I don’t care what anyone says, this CD rocks. There are so many excellent songs on here. But it got buried under bad publicity I guess. But I love Mariah. I love most underdogs. I like people that have a fighting spirit. Folks that defy the odds, that show us what they’ve got no matter how bad the critics pounce on them. Give me a survivor any day. These people are my inspiration.

The Minnie Riperton Collection
I feel sad everytime I think about this woman…dang.

Fred Hammond – Speak Those Things
Years ago, I used to review music mostly performed by gospel artists. And Fred Hammond was one of the artists that I got a chance to talk to and interview regarding his CD The Spirit of David. I was very intimidated by him — at first. He seemed so serious. But once the conversation turned to the Lord, he warmed up a lot. I think Fred Hammond is a gift to the body of Christ. And he grew up in the same city as me, Detroit, so that makes him extra special. Detroit really knows how to pump out talented folks…

Brandy – Full Moon

Britney Spears – In the Zone (I really wish people would leave this lady alone and let her live her life).

Brian McKnight – Superhero

Paula Abdul – Greatest Hits (your eyes aren’t deceiving you). I LOVED Paula back when her first 2 albums were smoking. She had mad dancing skills and I just feel she’s a talented lady. I hope Corey Clark gets whatever he deserves for doing what he’s done to her…

Maxwell – Now

Jennifer Lopez – This Is Me…Then
I really wish she hadn’t done the Dear Ben song. That was a mistake. Anything but Dear Ben. But a lot of the other songs on the CD are truly kewl.

Ruben Studdard – Soulful

The Essential Luther Vandross

Tyrese – Only thing I can say about him is he puts on a good show in concert. And he crossed my path one day a few years ago. He was walking thru the hallway of a Foley’s department store on his way to perform on a little stage set up in the men’s department. I was passing thru the hallway as he and his entourage was coming. He was smiling, very friendly-like.

Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind

The Preacher’s Wife – Soundtrack
Whitney, Whitney, Whitney. I am convinced her voice is a gift; it’s so pure, so untouchable. The song I Love the Lord gives me chills. And Who Would Imagine A King makes me think about Jesus Christ, the baby, and it makes me want to cry.

Commissioned – A Collection
Another talented gospel group that does the revolving-door-member thing. Oh well, at least they all can sing good.

Brandy – Afrodisiac
Another one that fell under the radar, but it is sooooooooooooo good. Probably about the best CD she’s recorded. I’ve always wanted to see her in concert too. Maybe one day.

Toni Braxton – Secrets

Toni Braxton – The Heat
Toni is soo talented. I remember she blew the industry a way when she first came on the scene. I miss her.

Usher – Confessions
He deserved every single award he got in 2004 and 2005.

Now, this is just a few of the CD’s sitting on the window sill. I am not inclined to go thru the entire collection. But these sample titles may give you an idea of what kind of music I like. I love gospel, pop, R&B, a little bit of hip-hop, mood music, sad songs, happy songs, songs that have a thumping base, songs with strong lyrics, songs that make you want to dance (even if you can’t dance, like me), songs that make you reminisce about that long lost love who broke your heart and kept on stepping as if you don’t exist and he just don’t care…

Gulp! Okay, time to go.

That’s what music does to you. Even music that you can’t hear with your words, but only within your mind.

Enjoying my mini-break

By The Rax Files 2 Comments

Okay, as a new author I love it when I’m kinda sorta done doing something (like rewrites). I always claim that there’s going to be a nice l o n g break in between writing. I want to do normal stuff like watch television (The Surreal Life, or The Apprentice, America’s Next Top Model, or Making the Band 3). I want to step away from being seduced by the characters that come to me. Leave me alone, just for a little while, okay? So I say I’ll just chill, read some books, and not write at all for maybe a month. But alas, a month long break has never happened. Ideas, titles, characters appear to me probably every few days. No lie. I love it. Yet…it’s a twisted thing. You have to pay attention to the creativity or else it may leave you and never return. So, even if you aren’t in the mood, as a writer, you gotta give in. You gotta jot down ideas, titles, sayings, dialogue, things that make you laugh, that make you think. So, during the month of April, this is what I’ve been doing.

BUT, the best thing is getting to read a lot of WONDERFUL novels. I mean some really riveting, juicy, engaging books that make me happy to be a reader.

Books like – Can’t Get Enough by Connie Briscoe. It’s like a fun soap opera with characters doing all kinds of naughty things.

Groove by Geneva Holliday. Another book with outrageous characters.

Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan. I laughed. I was amazed. I was in awe. I wish I could do what Terry does. She has the IT factor. She’s just good at doing those Terry McMillanesque books. Mmmm mmmmmmmmmm.

Other than that, I have been thanking God. With so much tragedy going on in the world, unbelievable, unnecessary, brutal, and heart-wrenching drama that happens to every day people, I get happy about little things.

Driving to my day job, coming back home every single day. That is a huge blessing.
Food to eat, clothes to wear, countless pairs of shoes to slide my feet into, laughing with friends, BREATHING. I hate to complain, don’t like being around complainers. I like counting the blessings. Like my mom says, “We have nothing to complain about.” We really don’t.

So I hope you also are enjoying life, the simplicity of life, even if you have to go thru hell now and again. Take time to enjoy life, to allow joy to come inside your heart, watch little kids doing naughty things, they are a riot and can usually bring a smile to our face. I like simple stuff, boring stuff; to me those are the true essence of a good life.

So, until I have to get back into the real writing groove, this is life right now. Very simple, very enjoyable, very blessed.

Take care,
Cydney Rax

March Madness

By The Rax Files No Comments

It’s been a while since the first post was created for The Rax Files, but now is a good time to post. First of all, I am thrilled because the first round of rewrites are complete for the next novel MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND. I’ll keep you posted on the happenings regarding this book and its release. All I can say is I really like this book; the characters are unforgettable. You’re going to want to choke their necks just like some of you felt about Tracey Davenport from MY DAUGHTER’S BOYFRIEND. It’s just a sexy, thought-provoking novel that explores many facets of an unusual marital relationship. I so hope you guys (and ladies) enjoy this novel.

In addition, I am very excited about the few appearances I’ll be making in 2005.

Here is the 2005 Cydney Rax Tour Schedule:

June 2-6, 2005
Book Expo America
Jacob Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th
New York, NY

Actually this conference is getting really strict in that you’re supposed to be an industry professional in order to attend. You just can’t walk off the street, pay the fee, and roll up in the joint. You gotta be either a librarian, a bookseller, an author, something that has to do with the industry. I have been to several Book Expos so far and they are lots of fun, if not exhausting due to all the walking around those huge convention centers. You learn a lot about the industry, you meet many fine authors, and you just have some good ole fun.

June 10-12, 2005
AmiGal Literary Retreat for WomenCamp Mariah on Sharp Reservation
Fishkill, NY
Authors include: Gloria Mallette, RM Johnson, Karen Siplin, Martha Southgate, Eric Pete, Victor McGlothin, and many more
Click here for more info

This will be interesting. Going and hanging out in the woods with nature. I don’t do that very often but from what I hear, this AmiGals event is off the chain.

August 5-7, 2005
National Book Club Conference
Intercontinental Atlanta Buckhead Hotel
3315 Peachtree Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
Authors include: Jamise Dames, Trisha R. Thomas, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Laurinda Brown, Sheila Williams, Zane, Mary Monroe, Mary B. Morrison, Walter Mosley, Travis Hunter, J. California Cooper, and many more
Click here for the conference website

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the National Book Club Conference, headed up by author Curtis Bunn. They have such a wonderful line-up of authors, that it’s overwhelming. I look forward to this event too. Atlanta is always a lot of fun and I’ll get to meet some folks that I’ve met via email but haven’t seen yet in person.

Hope to see some of you on the road this year….

Other than that I’m trying to count my blessings. I want to continue writing book after book and just building upon what’s already been established thus far in my career. Again, I must say thank you to all the wonderful, awesome, marvelous, encouraging supporters. You are the best!!

Cydney Rax

A Dream Come True

By The Rax Files 3 Comments

You have to relish good fortunes and good news when you get it, and this week has been great in regards to My Daughter’s Boyfriend. I got my first major exposure thru a Black Expressions ad that appeared in Sister 2 Sister’s Feb. issue (with Ludacris on the cover). So that was exciting.

And Karibu bookstore posted their list of the 2004 Top 20 Bestsellers for fiction and non-fiction. Well, check out the list for hardcover fiction:

1. Zane – Skyscraper (no surprise there. Zane is like an icon, with a huge following).

2. Drive Me Crazy by Eric Jerome Dickey (also predictable, this guy has a big following as well).

3. Some People, Some Other Place by J. California Cooper (she made the list even though her book came out in the Fall, very impressive).

4. Nervous by Zane (this is the 2nd of 4 total books that make the list – enough said).

5. Too Much of a Good Thing by Kimberla Lawson Roby (she is an established author whose books are crossing over).

6. Behind Those Eyes by T.P. Carter (all I wanna know is the author a guy or a girl?)

7. Gotham Diaries by Tonya Lewis Lee and Crystal McCrary (already celebrites in a way, and they received major media coverage for writing a chick lit book for AA’s).

8. Player Haters by Carl Weber (he’s another rising star, established, with a solid following).

9. Bling by Erica Kennedy (big media coverage, TV, newspaper, big advance, enough said). Great book too!

10. Somebody’s Gotta Be On Top by Mary B. Morrison (now she’s someone you should look out for. I have to give Mary her props because her audience keeps growing).

11. Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley (established, prolific author – no surprise).

12. My Daughter’s Boyfriend by Cydney Rax (Little Cydney Rax makes the list. Debut novel. Unknown author, not related to any celebrities, no huge advance, no great media coverage, but I believe the power of the Internet and the word of mouth helped the book to make the list. People either love or hate my book which tends to drive the sales. Plus God is good. 🙂 (enough said).

13. God Still Don’t Like Ugly by Mary Monroe (powerful statement to see that this book is still selling like fried chicken wings from Frenchy’s).

14. Afterburn by Zane (very impressive because the book just came out like, what, a few weeks ago? she’s smoking).

15. The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips (another debut novelist who wrote a critically acclaimed book. glad to see this one make the list because it’s a well-written novel).

16. Ride or Die by Solomon Jones (this is a little surprising because, well, it’s not the typical drama type stuff which tends to be popular).

17. Naughty or Nice (see no. 2).

18. Second Sunday by Michele Andrea Bowen (another bestseller that won’t go away).

19. Red Light Wives by Mary Monroe (Mary has 2 on the list, very impressive indeed).

20. Gettin’ Buck Wild by Zane (her 4th book – she has to be carrying the money bags to the bank with both hands)…

So you see, the few books that make this list are something else; there were soooooooooo many books released in 2004 I can’t name them all. But it feels very good to be included, and thanks to all of you that helped to make this happen. It is truly a dream come true.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Cydney Rax