There are conversations and then there are conversations. Wine With Writers events, to my mind, have always had the distinction of being the type of conversation we all want to have: authentic, deep, funny, and memorable.
What will we talk about? ‘Identity & Individuality: The Movement Toward Issue-Based Black Women’s Fiction.’ What does that mean? Well again, to me, we’re living in fascinating times where every single person’s identity is front and center, if they want it to be or not. Whether it’s politics, policies, relationships, or everything in between, we all represent — in our deeply individual packages. And since fiction often reflects both time as well as humanity, let’s talk about who we are now. What are our stories? What are they saying for and about black women? What more is there to say?
We hope we see you on Saturday, March 10th at 5 p.m., in Atlanta, GA while we share our candid thoughts with readers in an intimate setting over some wine and cheese. I know it’s a conversation you’ll not only want to take part in, but one where we definitely want to hear from you.
Now I’d like to introduce the seriously moving and impressive author who is also a journalist, a mother, a wife, and a dear friend. Atlanta being her home, she’s one of the hosts of this year’s Wine With Writers. Read her interview and excerpt below, then read her awesome spoiler free review of Black Panther here, and then register here for Wine With Writers. We’re looking forward to meeting you.
Since her work speaks for itself, there’s only one other thing I’ll say about Jacinta Howard, that you’ll see right away when you read her answers to the ten questions below. She’s pretty damn cool. Without further adieu…here’s J. on J.
1- Would you like to see into the future? Why?
Nope. It’s hard enough just dealing with the past and the present.
2- What’s in your purse?
I’ve reverted back to my old self and have only been carrying a purse occasionally lately. But receipts from Chick-Fil-a and Marshalls, pens, and probably hair ties for my daughter.
3- What show on Netflix did you binge watch embarrassingly fast?
The last show I “binged” sorta-kinda was Black Mirror season 4. Letitia Wright’s episode was pretty dumb but she’s awesome as Princess Shuri in Black Panther, so there’s that at least.
4-If you could level up humans as a species, what stat or ability would you increase?
Our ability to think independently — without the constant yearning for a “leader,” our discernment, and our empathy. Gosh, our empathy. Humans can be so judge-y and gross. I’d also increase our ability to hold our breath. I dunno why but that feels significant.
5- What do a lot of parents do that screws up their kid?
Give them too much sugar and then wonder how come they won’t sit down somewhere.
6- What problem or situation did TV / movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?
The “very special” drug episode. Don’t nobody care if you smoke weed, dude. Cool out, Brenda.
7- What’s the most crucial thing for a healthy relationship?
For married relationships? Regular sex. Obviously, what “regular” means for you is very specific to your marriage/circumstances, and shouldn’t be defined by outside folks. But “non-existent sex” is definitely indicative of a larger, significant problem, right? The truth is in the sex, man.
8- Why is it so hard for people to make real connections when almost everyone wants to make real connections?
Because most people don’t actually want real connections, only connections that specifically suit them and their needs at the time. I sound cynical.
9- What are the most common roadblocks that stop people from achieving their dreams?
Systemic oppression. Lack of discipline. An idea of success that’s linked to the principles of capitalism. An unrealistic expectation for what “dreams” are and how long it often takes to achieve them. Overnight success stories are not an actual thing. Also, everyone can’t be rich and famous, or be like, looked at all the time—and that’s okay. Somebody gotta be a plumber. Nothing is wrong with being the plumber—especially if you own your own small business. College isn’t for everyone either, and that’s also okay. Get a trade.
10- If you suddenly found out that your internal monologue for the last week was actually audible, how screwed would you be?
Thing is, I have to be on social media a lot for work. If y’all could read my thoughts while I’m on Twitter, FB or IG… sheesh. I never think anything hurtful or like, mean. But I am like: Why do people need so much attention? No, for real. Why do you think you need to be looked at by everyone? And like, so often? Why do people think they’re so smart when they clearly are not? Why do people think they’re so original? Your so-called individualism is cloaked in sameness. No, super judgemental, Christian. That actually is not at all Christlike. Why are people so condescending and judge-y? Does it make them feel smart? Don’t people get tired of being snarky all the time? Why do you think anyone cares about you lip-syncing your favorite song in the car? You are not in a music video… for a reason. Was that snarky and judge-y? Probably.
A Wine/Book Pairing from Jacinta:
From Blind Expectations:
This time, he knocked on her door. And when she opened it, he saw dried tears on her cheeks.
“What do you want?”
She wasn’t surprised to see him there. Her voice was barely audible, dry and hoarse. He stepped inside, shutting and locking the door behind him, as he yanked on the hem of her t-shirt, his t-shirt, jerking her close. His mouth was on hers and she yielded instantly, kissing him so hard, their teeth clacked together, clawing at his biceps as he lifted her before lowering them to the ground. She tasted so good on his lips—sweet and rich like the merlot she’d probably drinking. He didn’t bother with her panties, simply pushed them to the side as he freed himself from his sweats and all but slammed into her with a low, animalistic grunt. She was digging her short nails into his back but still managed to lift her head enough to get at his mouth, pushing her tongue between his lips, her taste filling every part of his being. She was moaning on every breath, her cries almost primal, and he pulled at her hair, burying his head in the space between her collarbone and her neck, grunting as he drove himself into her warmth, hunting for his contentment and peace, trying to find it in her, in spite of all that was between them.