Truth or Dare Sans the Truth

Last week I shared a bit of what is going on in my professional world. I am still not satisfied with my Full Time job. Notice, I refer to it as a job as in most definitely NOT a career. At the moment I have submitted my resume to Media Bistro for a free evaluation, received said evaluation, and I am working on re-crafting it from the ground up. If you’ve never heard of Media Bistro…stop reading this right now and Google them. They are a fabulous company that provides employment resources. They specialize in working with individuals who would like to be in a Media related field (film, web design/programming, content creation, photography), but there are tons of good tips on their website for those just wanting to improve materials for job seeking. I will continue to keep you guys posted on where I am on my journey just in case it helps any of you figure out what your next steps will be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we’ve gotten the appetizers out of the way let’s get to the main course. Apparently I am hungry so just go with me here! I watched a movie over the weekend that I liked so much; I ordered it on Amazon as soon as it was over. That is a rare thing for me. I love movies and have seen a ton, but usually prefer old stuff (I’m talking black and white) over new stuff. Saturday evening I actually finished my shift at Sephora by 6:00. I completely didn’t know what to do with myself getting off work that early so I grabbed food and decided to watch a movie, which I also never have the time to do.

Naturally I checked Netflix first to see what was new. When nothing there piqued my interested I hit the Hulu button my Roku and they just released Nerve with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Admittedly, I remember seeing the preview to the film last year (it came out October 2016) and writing it off as just another teeny bopper film I would only watch, so I could drool over one of the Franco brothers (so sexy) for 90 minutes of my life. I punched the play button and started munching away at my Kroger Select Cookies and Cream.

It took about 15 minutes for me to realize I was very wrong. As the plot begins to unfold you realize Vee [played by Roberts] is more than your average “good girl, gone bad” and that Nerve is like Truth or Dare without the truth plus it’s on steroids. Without giving too much of the film’s stunning progression or ending away; I will say it ends up speaking volumes about what voyeurs our society has become. When was a collective decision made that it is okay to invade every facet of a person’s life simply because a camera makes it available for viewing?

Despite the strong message if you’re still looking for that fun aspect it has it. The film is non-stop once the action begins. From streaking through Bergdorf Goodman to laying on railroad tracks as a moving train goes overhead the stunts will not leave you disappointed. I was also pleasantly surprised to see other major actors/actresses in the film alongside Roberts and Franco. Juliette Lewis plays Vee’s mom, two Orange is the New Black regulars (Samira Wiley and Kimiko Glenn), and rapper MGK plays a rival Nerve contestant.

The film also has 4.5 stars on Amazon if that forces your hand any. If that doesn’t convince you and you still want to watch because Dave Franco is beyond nice to look at; I don’t blame you! Did I mention he spends 25% of the film on a really cool motorcycle?! (Insert Swoon here)

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Let’s Talk About Books Baby!

In the past I’ve kept this blog’s main focus on the beauty industry. While that is and will always be my first love; I love a lot of other things. Some of you may know that I got my Bachelor of Arts in English. I have always been enamored with a great story and a continued passion for writing. With that being stated, I am going to help this blog continue to flourish writing about what I view as beautiful. From my perspective writing is an art form and novels, poems, and short stories are the expression. I initially chose beautybymbell as my blog name because of my trade and my obsession with beauty products, but as we all know this is a highly saturated blogging market. I need to set myself apart and be true to myself so I am not changing the name but I’m shifting the focus of this blog to more lifestyle related content including the books I’m reading.

So far this month has been one of dramas for me when it comes to novel genres. I’m currently in the middle of reading a series by Lisa Gardner featuring a snappy female police sergeant named D. D. Warren. I actually started reading the books out of order until I figured out they were a series. I started with the fourth book Live to Tell and was hooked. Then I figured out I could get more D.D. by picking up the others so I went back to the beginning. Now I have finished the sixth book plus the novella in between books six and seven. The novella, aptly titled 7th Month tells a short story featuring a bored D.D. on desk duty at the precinct in the seventh month of her pregnancy. A bit of luck shows D.D. favor when a bumbling movie producer stops in looking for a consultant for his film.

D.D. initially accuses him of being a serial killer after he insults her rank by assuming she’s the receptionist. After the unpleasant exchange D.D. discovers that the guy is looking for a police consultant for his film and it pays a generous amount. She quickly decides to take on the role thinking of nursery money for her new born. She ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for when the previous consultant is bludgeoned to death and her team is assigned to the investigation. Shenanigans ensue from there as D.D. tries to catch a killer in the midst of a bunch of wanna-be famous actors.

This was overall enjoyable for a short look into D.D.’s pregnancy. Some other personal facts about the protagonist are revealed in this story that I don’t know if the next book will glaze over or not. However, I didn’t like how shaky the plot in this one felt when it came to the crimes committed and by whom. It just did not feel as authentic as Gardner’s previous full length novels. I guess I shouldn’t have had high expectations for a condensed D.D. book. In terms of characterization Gardner shines as she always does with well developed main and sub characters carrying out this loose plot line about a killer on a movie set. I give this one a B-. I enjoyed reading it but I don’t know that it’s pertinent to the course of events in book seven, entitled Catch Me.

When I am not reading the D.D. Warren books I often listen to audio books on the Overdrive app on my iPhone. If you haven’t used that app check it out! It’s a great one that easily connects you to audio and e-books from your local library. All you need is a library card and you’ll have access to some amazing titles. While I was waiting for 7th Month to arrive from Amazon; I randomly selected a book under the mystery/drama section. I had never heard of the author but before I read one of Lisa Gardner’s books I’d never heard of her either. The book was titled Among the Missing by Morag Joss. The novel is set in Scotland, U.K. as that is where the writer is from. Each of the narrators had a heavy accent, but were not difficult to understand. The book’s limited summary does not give any of the mystery of the story away, in fact it is almost misleading because there is a lot more going on that it reveals.

The story is told from three viewpoints, the first being Ron’s who has just been released from prison for negligent homicide. His former occupation was a school bus driver, until he fell asleep at the wheel one afternoon, killing six children and a pregnant teacher. Ron is a nomad with no place to call home. Despite that event being an accident even his sister will not take him in. She sends money which Ron takes to buy an old Land Rover which he drives around picking up hitch hikers to help himself regain some shred of humanity.

Silva and her husband Stephan are illegal immigrants. They have left a small village in a country that is not named to live in Scotland with their toddler, Anna. They live shrouded in secrecy in a trailer with a leaky roof.  They live in squalor with only hopes for a better life and fear that people will find out they do not belong. Stephan has plans that Silva deems extreme for establishing a new life.

The other female character, who’s real name the author does not reveal, is on a vacation with her new husband. They are staying in a hotel near the town Silva and Stephan live it. It is just across a large bridge. Although she is in her forties, she is newly pregnant. When she tells her husband, Cullen he is not happy at all and gives her an ultimatum. Either she can have a life with him or she can have the child but not both. Tortured at the thought of abortion she contemplates what her next move is. When the aforementioned bridge collapses one day, each of the main characters’ live intertwine. Each of them having a secret unspoken to the other. Assumptions and accusations flare as these three people struggle to figure out how to be whole again in the middle of a horrific event.

Without giving too much away from the novel I will say these things: it starts off slow so you have to stay with it to get to the better parts, you’ll be annoyed at the pregnant character who is given a fake name of Annabelle throughout the story, you will be furious with Silva at some point for being so hateful, and lastly you will be bewildered at the unanswered questions by the end of this book. Overall I give it a B+ for the eloquent switches of point of view, the descriptive nature of the novel itself, and the well developed characters that you will feel an attachment to.  Not an A for the frustrating ending and the subtle undertones that suggest women are weak creatures with no control over emotions.

 

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Poetry Prowling in Deep Ellum

Feeling inspired to begin writing again is not easy sometimes. With everything I have going on in my professional life right now; at times I feel that I am doing myself a disservice taking the time to pen this blog. However, I am a writer and if I stop writing all together I may never realize my full potential. At this point I could easily launch into an anecdotal story about my favorite college English professor but I’ll save those lines for another time. I’d rather tell you guys about this cool event I went to last week, completely spur of the moment, in Deep Ellum.

My younger sister is still in her adventurous 20s and has yet to experience the body betrayal that is 30. Seriously, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and she told me I am exhausted all the time because I am Vitamin D deficient. Then the very next week I had Norovirus and was the most sick I’ve ever felt in my life. I digress. I’ve been to one other poetry slam with my sister, but that was last year. I enjoyed it the first time so naturally I was down to attend another.

We went to a small venue in Deep Ellum off Commerce Street (if any of you are familiar with Dallas) called Kemet Kitchen. Very chill vibes with healthy fare and a cute cocktail bar. All eyes were on the stage that evening though for this event hosted by Black Canvas. To my surprise there ended up being all types of acts taking the mic: singers, a 3 piece band, poets, and even a comedian. Despite some of the performances being lack luster; overall it was quite enjoyable.

The best of the evening had to be the featured poet Tro’Juan Henderson. His poems about love, admiration, and corruption had me snapping until my thumbs hurt. There was also an amateur poet that evening who struck a cord with me. Her poem “If I Love a Black Man” described every fear I’ve ever had in my adult life about committing to a Black man. For the life of me I cannot remember her name which is unfortunate because she was amazing. Needless to say I am glad I forced myself to miss my self imposed bed time that evening and partake in the arts Dallas has to offer.

Black Canvas does their events monthly. If you’re interested in checking them out click here.

Outfit information is featured on my Instagram @beautybym.bell

 

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