A few weeks ago, before the release of my novel GUESTLIST, I was having drinks with the lovely and amazing Emily Cavalier of Mouth of the Border and the conversation shifted to the topic of my novel.
Ms. Cavalier asked the question that everyone asks: “How much of it is autobiographical?”
“Twenty percent,” I said.
But you know, even that’s not true. GUESTLIST is most assuredly not autobiographical. The novel is not about me. And, despite what some will inevitably think, I am not any particular character in the story. In fact, the entire storyline is complete fiction.
With one exception.
And that exception, Dear Readers, is what inspired GUESTLIST.
Posted in Books, Cool Story Bro, Life, Nightlife, Writers, writing
Tagged Club Liquid, Club Nocturnal, Damon Demented, Emily Cavalier, GUESTLIST by Jay Fingers, Jay Fingers, Jessica Rosenblum, kanye west, Miami, Missy Elliott, Mouth of the Border, Mya, South Beach, Suite Lounge, Sun Tzu, The 48 Laws of Power, Trina, University of Miami
“Pet names are a persistant remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.”
—Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Number one, author Jhumpa Lahiri is fine. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way …
I introduce myself to damn near everyone as “Jay Fingers.” It’s a college nickname that stuck, and it’s actually served to help me stand out in . While some people do ask if it’s my real name, most realize right away that it’s just a cute little sobriquet and are generally unperturbed by it. There is a small contingent of people, however, who will scoff upon hearing me addressed as “Fingers.” I’ll never forget the young woman who, after I’d be introduced to her by my nickname, sucked her teeth and said, “Well, if that’s what you want to be called.”
She was then immediately scolded by her friends. You see, I was promoting a party and actually hooking them up; they were afraid I would take the insult to heart and leave them standing outside the velvet rope. Luckily, I am not that thin-skinned.
I spent twelve years in Miami and in that time I grew to love reggae and dancehall music. It was a bit hard to get into in the beginning; prior to moving down there, the most exposure I’d ever had to these genres of music were the Shabba Ranks, Maxi Priest, and Mad Cobra videos in rotation on BET at the time. While I certainly liked and listened to “Slow & Sexy,” “Mr. Loverman” and “Flex” when they came on the radio, they weren’t necessarily the kinds of songs I’d bump of my own volition.
That all changed when I began college. My school’s brown-skinned population was overwhelmingly Caribbean and parties at the on-campus bar, The Rat, reflected that. DJs would spin all kinds of tunes that were seemingly familiar to everyone else but me. And these same tunes enticed the ladies to the dance floor—to wine, to grind, to sweat. I determined that if I was to have any type of fun, I had to get involved.
Thank God for Flea Market USA. Situated on NW 79th Street in the heart of Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, Flea Market USA was home to many booths selling bootlegged albums and mixtapes. (And I’m taking actual cassette mixtapes, Dear Readers.) My favorite spot was Lion Records & Tapes. In the beginning I was only buying hip-hop mixes, the newest releases from DJ Clue or classic Jam Pony tapes. But slowly I began picking up dancehall tapes and familiarizing myself with names like Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Spragga Benz, Tanya Stephens, Capleton, Lady Saw, Red Rat, and Sean Paul.
Yes, that Sean Paul. This was long before “Gimme The Light.”
Posted in Cool Story Bro, Miami, Music, Video
Tagged Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Capleton, DJ Clue, Jam Pony Express, Lady Saw, Lenky Marsden, Lion Records & Tapes, Mad Cobra, Maxi Priest, Miami, Red Rat, Reggae Gold, Reggae Gold 1997, Sean Paul, Shabba Ranks, Spragga Benz, Tanya Stephens, The Rat, The Rathskeller, University of Miami, VP Records, Yami Bolo
What? Something new from W-I-Z?
In the words of Vizzini, “It’s inconceivable!“
Posted on W-I-Z’s official Facebook page, the above video shows the erstwhile Phanatik Poet performing the intro to his long-awaited debut album Audio 5000 on piano at the Newman Alumni Center at the University of Miami.
Posted in Miami, Music, Video
Tagged Audio 5000, Fearless Soulz, hip-hop, ibis entertainment, Newman Alumni Center, The Princess Bride, University of Miami, Vizzini, W-I-Z
As I mentioned before, today, April 1st, is the first day of Script Frenzy, the 30-day writing marathon that challenges you to write 100 pages of scripted material. Unlike past writing marathons, like NaNoWriMo and The 3-Day Novel Writing Challenge, I’m super-duper confident that I’ll be able to pull this off.
What makes me so confident, you ask? Looka here, man, I’ve been writing screenplays since I’m thirteen years old. I wrote my first short script on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter, so I was comfy with script format long before I had a wonderful computer program to handle that for me. I’ve also studied the craft of screenwriting; when I was in film school, screenwriting—not directing or producing or marketing—was my concentration. Not only did I write scripts for my own classes, I wrote, co-wrote and doctored some of my classmates’ scripts. I also read every script I could get my hands on. And before we had all these wonderful sites where you could download PDFs of produced and unproduced screenplays for free, I was buying shit from Script City and Planet MegaMall.
So, yeah. I think I have a firm enough grasp on the craft to bang out these hundred or so pages.
In the beginning, I toyed with the idea of adapting the graphic novel 100 Bullets for Script Frenzy. Adaptations are allowed, and I love the story, but ultimately I felt that it would be cheating. So I decided to roll with an idea that came to me the last time I was home visiting family. That idea is what I’m currently calling The Husband.
Posted in Cool Story Bro, Movies, Writers, writing
Tagged 100 Bullets, 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, Final Draft, NaNoWriMo, Or Is It, Planet MegaMall, screenplay, screenwriting, Script City, Script Frenzy, The Husband, TV Tropes, University of Miami
A sex, relationship and fashion writer who chronicles her love of men, sex and shoes on her blog A Big Butt and a Smile. Don”t worry…You can trust me.
Yes, yes, I’ve been slacking on my daily #FingersFollows, so here we go.
Today’s recommendation is writer/blogger T.S. Johnson, better known to y’all as A Big Butt and A Smile. I’ve known this woman for a very, very, very long time now (before the Internets), and we both attended UMiami together, sharing similar aspirations of taking over Hollywood. Guess things didn’t quite go as expected.
That’s fine, though. Miss Johnson is currently the editrix and webmistress of A Big Butt and A Smile, a blog that focuses on sex, relationships, sex, celebrity gossip, sex, fashion, and sex. Oh, and occasionally, she writes about sex.
Posted in #FingersFollows, entertainment, fashion, Writers
Tagged #FF, @abigbuttandsmil, A Big Butt and A Smile, Celebrity Gossip, fashion, relationships, sex, T.S. Johnson, Twitter, University of Miami
Today’s #FingersFollows recommendation is for the very first person I followed on Teh Twitter, my homegirl Francine. To be honest, I’m not sure if Francine is actually who put me on to the site, but she was certainly the first person I followed.
Francine is a mover and a shaker in the entertainment industry. She does it all, from public relations and marketing to nightlife and fashion. Like me, she can sho nuff get her drank on; oh, and did I mention that she is a fellow ‘Cane? Whoosh, whoosh!