From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Things to big to see

You know how sometimes things are so big it takes a few weeks, sometimes months to see or understand the enormity of it. Take for example Hurricane Katrina. We all knew it was going to be bad because it was being called a super-storm but most of us didn't ‘get it’ until we saw pix of the Superdome and heard reports about people being shot and killed over water. Yet still, we didn't get it, get it until we watched Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke.

Running in the science fiction and horror circles that I run in, I cannot count the number of times I've heard black women talk about how seeing Uhura (played by Nichelle Nichols) on Star Trek changed their lives. That didn't happen with me. For one I didn't see myself in Uhura because in my young logic, you had to be smart to work on a spaceship and I always struggled in school. And two I was a Battleship Galactica & Buck Rogers kid.

But I did have an ‘Uhura moment.’

I was 20 and watching Tales from the Darkside: The Movie … the segment was Lover’s Vow. When Carola (played by Rea Dawn Chong) appear in the alley I literary sat up. I saw me in her, she was black, well-spoken … and beautiful. I know that sounds vain but you know what I mean. A black woman in a horror movie who looked like me. And she was the star, it was her story and I was so mad at how it ended I turned the movie off. But then I turned it back on after my popcorn was done … lol

When Lucy Cruell first contacted me about being a part of this project back in April I immediately said yes. I knew it was going to be a big deal, I mean 7 black female horror author’s having their stories adapted for film and those short movies being directed by 7 black female directors …come on, that’s a no-brainer. But I didn't ‘get it’ I want to say it was because I was focused on gearing up for World Horror Con in Atlanta followed by Crypticon here in Seattle. But the truth of the matter is, I just didn’t get it.

But like my elders say, You gon learn today!

Rea Dawn Chong, the woman I saw on the big screen in a horror movie who gave me my Uhura moment is one of the directors for 7 Magpies. My name is mentioned in the same sentence as Rea Dawn Chong. 

Rea. Dawn. Chong.

And not only that, last night, though it was announced on May 16th, I found out that the Executive Producer is Stacy Pippi Hammon. And as amazing as this is, this is just my seeing the Superdome moment.

Now that I've had some time to let this settle itself around me, I realize that if not for bestselling author Sumiko Saulson, Lucy Cruell wouldn’t have even heard of me.

Sumiko and I spent the most hectic, stressful, amazing weekend together in Los Angeles on a book signing tour and the next thing you know I am being contacted by Lucy Cruell.

I have illusions of grandeur and an ego you can see from space. (yes I meant to use the word illusions) Sumiko has both of her feet firmly planted in the soils of reality, yet after spending an entire weekend with me she doesn't think of me as some garden-variety self-centered, overconfidant megalomaniac who wants to control the world. Bear in mind I want to dethrone Stephen King so that I can reign supreme in the horror genre … and I said that out loud. More than once.

And like my mom and those in my closest, tightest circle she believes in me. She didn't tell me that. She didn't tell me how brave I was for quitting my job to write full time. She passed my name along. That’s all she did. And it feels exactly the same as when my sister secretly paid my light bill, the exactly the way it felt when my BFF bought me $200.00 worth of groceries and then hung out with me at the laundry matt, supplying the quarters that would ensure clean, dry clothes.

Exactly the same.   

Rae Dawn Chong Headlines ‘7 Magpies’ - All-Black Female Director Horror Anthology Film    

Sumiko Saulson

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