Monday, December 21, 2015

The Grinch Stole My Strongholds

2015 has been a challenging a**kicker of the year. It was all I could do to maintain my mental facilities to survive day to day, let alone write. This is my first entry in months. Although I did make it to ComicCon, I never posted the pictures. Everything was a struggle this year. I endured one breakdown after another.

A breakdown of strongholds.

These past five years have been a continuous, non-stop breakdown of strongholds for me. I lost a lot. Not sure what I gained. Here's what I think I gained:

Freedom - There's nothing left I have an emotional attachment to except my writing. That's it. 

Hardened heart - I'm not super sensitive to others and their hardships. I don't feel obligated to get involved in everyone's personal problems. Guess what? Live goes on for all concerned. 

Self-sufficient - I've learned not to depend on others financially and emotionally. I'm ok being alone with me. If I can't afford it, I typically say forget it and skip purchases/extras (unless it involves parents. ugh)

 I kinda sound like the Grinch, huh? Yeah, kinda feel like him too. But it works.

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Comic Con 2015

ComicCon was a blast this year, as it is every year. I fluffed up my fro and unfurled my petals, anxious to behold the dreams of July in San Diego.

La Rose from the series La Rose, Book I - III Le Baton Chronicles
ComicCon 2015, San Diego CA

Thanks to Jim Poole Photography for the photo. To enjoy more of his photos from Comic Con, visit his site at

Fertilizing my roses at Acqua Al 2

Taking a break with new friends at Trivoli's, where Wyatt Earp once hung his gun belt

My favorite costume - Retired #Spiderman

Watering and Fertilizing my Roses and Trivoli's
Alas, adieu to my love, Comic Con. Hold my dreams safe until next year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I don't have a name for this post. I'm in a transitional phase of my life and have no clear ideals on anything. I'm on a verge of a major shift in my life, but I don't know what it is or when it's coming. I feel it, though. I've let go of some living aids and adopted new ones.

I'm writing Book IV of La Rose (coming next December). It's going alright. It's ok. It just is.

I'm throwing out stuff around the house and office. Fixing up a few things. But mostly, I wait.

Now, Empire is ending. After tomorrow, I will have nothing to do.

Yet at the same time, I feel like Cookie Lyons when her day had come. My day has come, but I don't know it yet.

That's it. I'm null inside. 
I'm just AM.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fox's Empire Tackles African-American Taboos

As with most of America, I'm riveted to Empire every Wednesday night on FOX. I start booting up my Tweet Deck at 830pm so that I'm ready to go by 9pm. There is no lolly-gagging with this show. If you're late, you're missing the action. Go to the bathroom and get your glass of wine before the show starts; you won't have enough time to address all of your needs during commercial breaks.

Empire writers aren't afraid to tackle the tough issues, taking them head on. No concerns about political correctness here. Lucious Lyon, family patriach and founder of Empire Records, has proven to be an unforgiving threshing floor when dealing with taboo family subjects and issues.

First issue

Jamal's gay. It was never a secret; Lucious and Cookie always knew about it. Yet, since no one was talking about Jamal's sexuality, it didn't exist. The boy is straight. Lucious is a 'Type A' Black father whose sons are a reflection of him. Lucious is proud and straight; and his sons had damn well better be too. In Lucious' mind, Jamal needs to get that 'gay s###' out of their mind, straighten up and fly right. Not open for discussion.

My mouth fell open during the first episode when Lucious threw his young son Jamal in the garbage can. This is how deep the shame runs for some. I felt the pain, outrage, helplessness, vulnerability and hurt from each of the characters involved in the scene. I can't understand how you can throw your child in the garbage can (maybe because I'm a woman). That was one of the all time unforgettable TV/Movie scenes. It ranks with "You told Harpo to beat me" from The Color Purple and "I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse" from The Godfather. It was raw, brutal, heartbreaking and honest.

YouTuber LeoStatus811 posted this clip:

Lucious is beginning to deal with Jamal's homosexuality, a reality he can't change. Lucious is traveling a rough road, but he's dealing. Yet, he still has his moments. However, last night, Jamal stood up to his Lucious' put down. He didn't get emotional or offended; he just told Lucious the facts and to deal with them. Jamal has overcome.

Second Issue

Lucious notices Andre is having a few mental issues. The boy seems 'off' to him, or down right crazy at times. Unbeknownst to Lucious, Andre has been having issues for years, but he was taking his meds, suppressing the emotional cancer of his childhood trapped within.

Andre's off his meds.

Uh Oh

And he's showing out.

Unacceptable. Lucious doesn't have sons who are nuts anymore than he has sons who are gay.

After a meltdown in the elevator with his brothers, Andre returns to boardroom. He can no longer hold the heartache.

It will be interesting to see how Lucious deals with Andre's mental collapse next week. Based on his dealings with Jamal, I think I have a pretty good ideal.

Empire has done an excellent job in presenting these issues within the Black community (and others I'm sure) as they are. They haven't glamorized or glorified them, instead confronting these challenges as we all do - filled with courage, fear, trepidation and resistance.

Empire has demonstrated we must deal with our stuff sooner or later. And it's going to hurt. Bad. But once we go through, we come out stronger on the other side. We grow. The secrets, humiliation and shame that once crippled our spirits has now become new weapons in arsenal. Can't nothing mess with us anymore.

The troubles we have overcome while living with folks and life have become bricks in our road to realizing ourselves as the supreme beings God created us to be.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscar Dreams

As many around the world, I'm watching the Oscar's Red Carpet ceremony. I can't help but to dream of one day 'walking the line' in a glamorous yellow dress, chatting about the screenplay of one of my works up for nomination, jaw-jabbing with other celebrities, and charming the press while answering the daunting question of 'what are you wearing?'

Then I sigh and return to my work as an assistant. It's a great job, but we all dream dreams. One day last year, and not a particularly good day, I sat at my desk, discouraged. And then I remembered something. digging through my bag-o-files, I pulled out an old copy of Fortune Magazine, with Miss Oprah Winfrey on the cover. My co-worker Jessica had given it to me, having pasted my name over Miss Oprah's.

Inspired, I designed the following cover that evening:

The next day, I placed this picture on my bulletin board at work. I look at it all day, every day. When I feel inadequate and discouraged, I look at my picture to remind myself of who I am and my purpose in life. My current situation is a step towards my destiny. I remind myself I'm a great writer and my break will come. A person will read my books and say, 'We need to talk. This is great.' 

As artists, writers, actors, musicians, dancers, performers, and athletes, we must constantly remind ourselves of our greatness and our tremendous talent, whether sitting at the Oscars, Grammy's, Lou's Bar, the library, or on the sofa. We all have a great gift and talent to share with the world, and it is our duty to continue to do so, no matter what.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine Blunder

Fear is a motherf$cker. I think I blew it. In fact, I know I did. I became terrified and scared and impatient and panicked. I think the fact he may love me too, and planned to see me, became too much. It was too much. I just don't deal with this stuff well. That's why I write books.

I'm sorry.

What do I do now? I guess there is nothing to do. I  just need to let it go and move on.

Unbelievable. My one shot and I blow it. BAD.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another Valentine's Day Bites the Dust

If you're looking for a Valentine miracle here, push on. There is none.

I had such high hopes. Guarded, but high hopes.

It's nearly 7pm, but still no word. The time has come to face facts; I will spend this weekend wading the cold depths of Knob Creek. Manhattans for the broken hearts! Dreams of spending time with the love of a life have come to an end. My love walked away  from me today, never looking back.

I want to cry, but why? What will it change? When a man wants you, there is nothing to stop him. When he doesn't, well there is no force in the Universe to compel him to do otherwise. Why would a woman want him to do so anyway? Who wants a love who doesn't love you enough to pursue you?

I'm going to my swimming lessons in the creek. I'm going to float.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fantasy Valentine's Day

Once again, Single Awareness Day (SAD) is upon us, when those of us looking for love can ponder the idiosyncrasies of our personalities and the state of singleness.


Being single isn't bad. In fact, it's pretty cool. I do what I want when I want to. No shorties, no man to nag and tie me down. I'm a free spirit. I sleep in on the weekends. I go to my nerdy events, or I hang out at night. I write books and don't clean my house if I hit a hot streak. In fact, the more I think about it, the more ideal my marital status becomes.

Then this happens.

Now I'm depressed. My stomach churns just thinking about it. Every February 14th I get to experience the joy of watching all of the couples going out to their expensive dinners and receive trinkets of affection from their lovely ones. Some may even receive a proposal of one sort or another. Maybe the happy couples will decide instead to curl up on the sofa at home, watch a movie, order a pizza, have some drinks, and then some fun in the midnight hour.


Instead of spending the next 11 days anticipating another evening of fun with my boys, Jack and Jim, skinny dipping in Knob Creek, I'm doing something new this year.

Folks have Fantasy Football and Basketball, so why shouldn't I enjoy Fantasy Valentine's Day? Over the next week, I will post my own Fantasy Valentine's day scenarios with my Fantasy Man. Sure, I have one. Be sure to follow my blog so you don't miss anything.

Classic Fantasy - The Roux of Love

Every good gumbo starts with a nice dark brown roux. It's the building block of flavor and substance. Once you have it place, you can create any type of gumbo you like.

The same rules apply for Fantasy Valentine's Day.

The Day Before Valentine's Day

I'm spending all day at the Lodge Torrey Pines Spa, getting buffed and fluffed. I'm getting the works too: full body scrub, facial, mani/pedi, steam, body wrap and anything else they may have to offer. I'm staying overnight because I don't want to spoil my pampered high by driving home.

Valentines Day

I begrudgingly leave my oh so comfy bed and depart the lodge for home. On the way, I stop and pick up my dress from my designer. I guess I must have ordered it weeks before and now it's ready.

I make it home and have a few mimosas. My make-up artist arrives to hook me up and help me dress for my big evening.

Fantasy Man is at the door. I look incredible. He looks fantastic, all big and fine. Wow, he put on a tux? He's right on time too. He looks too good. Maybe we should stay home and play some indoor sports. He gives me the eye, because he knows what I'm thinking. He shrugs off my subliminal invite and hands me gifts.

Wow, what a beautiful bouquet of flowers!

My favorite champagne? Thank you Fantasy Man.

We're going to Flemings Steak House and Wine Bar. How did he know I wanted steak?

After three bottles of wine and ingesting a steak big enough for two people, I need to lay down. My dress is tight and I probably need to burp. I suddenly hate Fantasy Man because I can't be brazen and am forced to act like a lady. But ohhh no! I'm the one who wanted Fantasy Man to take me out, now I must be Fantasy Lady. I excuse myself and go to the ladies room to get myself together.

Later that evening
I'm tired, ready to go home, take of my girdle, have some more wine and go asleep. Nevertheless I can't because I wanted to be a 'couple' for Valentine's Day. Fantasy Man has made reservations at the La Valencia. So what if he just dropped $700 on din din and my tab? How can he assume I'm going to spend the evening anywhere with him? Alas, he is Fantasy Man. To be honest, I can't say I'm totally opposed to the naughty idea. He knows what I like.

We head out to the patio and sit in an empty settee. Under the stars, seduced by the lullaby of the sea crashing into the shore, I lean into Fantasy Man's big chest and love him. I'm so grateful he's finally here with me. I want to cry, but I decide not to be a sap. Maybe one tear of joy falls. I could sit here in Fantasy Man's arms forever.

Fantasy Man removes a red box from his breast pocket. 

OMG, Cartier? My all time favorite jeweler? Two hearts entwined as one on a gold chain. Wow, I didn't know he had bank like that. Well he is Fantasy Man. It's nothing like a little trinket, dinner and wine to make a girl feel friendly. If I didn't want to be nice to him before, I certainly do now (who am I fooling, I was going to be nice to him anyway). I notice the look of pride and haughtiness on his face. Yup, he knows he's been a good boy and he waiting for me to pat him on his head and scratch him behind his ears. He knows I have some treats for him too. He extends his hand, inviting me to come with him. I accept his hand.

Funny thing, he didn't have too do all of this. We could have sat on the sofa, drank IPA's, and watched TV. For truth be told, I love Fantasy Man. Spending time with him is the most precious gift of all. However, I love it when Fantasy Man impresses me and blows my mind. It makes me love him all the more. He doesn't leave a stone un-turned either. Fantasy Man brought his A-Game tonight.

Who's yo' Daddy or Mommy?

Send your favorite photos of you Fantasy Man/Woman and I will post your pics to my site (no explicit pics, we only talk dirty here).

Send clean pictures, 
blamehelenabooks at gmail dot com

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blame Helena In the Kitchen: Ginger Fried Catfish with Potatoes, Carrots and Rosemary

Today was a challenging day. After the party shot from dentist wore off and I regained feeling in the right side of my face, my stomach was in an uproar. Of course, I didn't eat this morning. My first inclination was to order out, Dominoes extra thin crispy pizza with slice Italian sausage (Run Will Robinson. Run!) but then I thought twice. Eureka. I have catfish in the freezer.

I thawed it out and the magic began. I nuked a russet potato in the microwave for about three minutes, until soft but not cooked through. I thinly sliced some carrots, onions and green peppers, along with the over-sized potato. My catfish had almost thawed by this time. I seasoned the fish with salt, pepper, cayenne, and then rubbed in the ginger. Ah the ginger; God's gift to man.

I love coconut oil. I can't stop talking about it. If  you go and play a hand of Spades, it won't burn while you're away. Hell, it may not burn while you run a Boston on your opponents. I threw the veggies in the oil, along with a tablespoon of butter for flavor. The butter won't burn in the coconut oil either, unless of course you get caught up in your card game.

While my veggies were doing their thing, I battered my catfish in flour and cornmeal, bathed it in an egg and milk bath, and then repeated the process twice. My fishies were looking pretty. I allowed them to rest while my oil heated. Once nice and hot, I submersed my fishies in the oil. I didn't even cook it 10 minutes, maybe five on each side? I removed my fishies from the oil and allowed it to rest, while finishing up the veggies. I had to throw the lid on a for a few minutes, allowing the potatoes to steam. I can't stand under-cooked potatoes.

All was done.

It was great. I garnished it with some aged Louisiana Hot Sauce, lemon wedges and washed it down with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.

My only complaint: I didn't put enough salt in the flour and cornmeal mixture. I'm always afraid of over-salting my food. But in any case it was good.

I rate my meal an arm fracture (from patting myself on the back). If I'd put more salt in the batter, it would have scored an arm break.

It took me about 45 minutes to one hour to prepare the meal (without thawing time), about the same time for my pizza to get here.

I'm ready to watch Empire and go asleep.

The meal was easy on my sore teeth too.

Bon appetite!

Monday, January 26, 2015

First steps

For weeks, I've been saying I'm going to do it. I'm gonna. I'm gonna.

Well, yesterday I did it.

I went for a walk.

And look what I saw! It was one of the most beautiful sunsets ever. Beachcombers clogged the shoreline of Tourmaline Beach clicking photos. Some even brought out their professional cameras to capture to showy sunset. The mist clung to the shoreline foreshadowing our impending rain shower (not sure if you can see it in the pictures). It's strange to experience humidity here.

Now, I want to get out and walk around every day. Great start to a new year!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

NBC Thursdays vs TGIT

What the Hell???

Blame Helena runs a tight ship on Thursday nights with my TV line up. I watch reruns of Big Bang Theory from 7-8pm. Then I watch Big Bang again at 8pm. Moms at 830pm. Then it's...


That's right. Don't call me or talk to me between 9-11pm on Thursday nights because I'm watching and tweeting about Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.

Then I watch the local news and go to bed.

But now NBC is creating discord in my world by moving Blacklist to Thursday's.

Don't play. I watch Red on Monday nights, not Thursday. They cannot be serious. Why is NBC trying to compete on Thursdays? Why not own Monday nights? Be a boss on Mondays. There's enough room in the TV schedule so the viewing public can watch their fav shows without missing another fav on another Network.

The Networks wonder why people are watching their fav's Netflix or are streaming shows. Here's a clue.

Maybe they should divvy up the week like the big grocers divvied up the nation in the 70's. That way everyone will have their blockbuster nights. The networks are happy, Viewers like me are happy. Everyone is happy.

It's no fun to tweet about your fav shows when the only one watching is you.

I'm so pissed I don't know what to do. Gee whiz.

Want to Blame Helena on Twitter? @lafleur2009