In the Chair

    All You need to Know About Tripping a Prince

    Author: Ey Wade Genre: »
    Rating


    Thank you for stopping in. Instead of our usual interviews we will join a discussion of Tripping Prince Charming already in progress. It's been a while since the ladies from TPC have been here, so here is a reminder of what the novel is about:

     Three strong, independent women with no time for romance or girlish notions of knights in shining armor meet their match in three lovestruck men determined to make them believe in Prince Charming and happily ever after. 

     I wanted to share it with those who missed it. The discussion began with a few questions from a White (I mention her color because it pertains to her questions) reader who couldn't join, but sent her questions in a note. The main theme of the reader's questions is whether race plays a factor in the making of friendships. Please enjoy the conversation.

    This is her note:


    "First let me explain something about my own life that may be relevant. I grew up moving constantly so got to the point where I really did not have any close friends like the trio in your book. So part of my confusion may come from that. 

    But, I also wonder if my question stems from a cultural/racial difference. My problem is that I don''t know how to decipher which is which. The relationship between the three women is so close and so candid . Their dialogue is very direct. This is not in any way a criticism. I thought it was very well written - but it didn't feel "real" to me. So my question is, 

    "Do young African American women actually form bonds that close and are they really able to be so frank with each other? Is that really how such friendships work?" Or am I the anomaly and, "Do all young women who form close friendships as teens and interact that way with each other?" 

    Is there a cultural difference, subtle though it may be, between how Black women relate to each other in the U'S. and how white women do in the same society? 

    Third, what about cross racial friendships. Are there differences?

    This really struck me as I was reading because I felt like I was looking into a foreign culture. It was richly and beautifully portrayed but I had difficulty relating to it. I'd love to touch on this when I write my review but it would help if I got a better insight into my questions. In other words, is it just me, because I've been isolated and never formed such friendships, or is this really a cultural difference that you have illustrated so well?

    That's what made the discussion on the thread so interesting. It is these subtle differences that can't be grasped unless you have grown up in a particular culture. For me, unless, as I said, I am the odd one out, (definitely possible) if your trio had been white I would have found your story far less believable.

    I would truly love to pursue this question in the discussion, both because I think it would get into some really interesting ideas but also because I will learn from it."

     

     READER'S QUESTION: Do young African American women actually form bonds that close and are they really able to be so frank with each other? Is that really how such friendships work?" Or am I the anomaly and, "Do all young women who form close friendships as teens and interact that way with each other?"

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod I don't think race has anything to do with it.I know I have a group of friends that know EVERYTHING about me, and we have these such interactions frequently. Without them, I would be lost.

     Ey Wade I have always taken friendships as they come, no matter the race. It is a matter of kinship and not necessarily of culture. Everyone brings something different to the table.

     Ey Wade That's how I feel too Donna.

     Ey Wade READER'S QUESTION: there a cultural difference, subtle though it may be, between how Black women relate to each other in the U'S. and how white women do in the same society?

     Inknbeans Press Friendships that last from childhood are almost like extensions of one's self. These people can finish your sentences and laugh at a one word comment because they associate it with 'do you remember that time...' They are also convinced they know what's best for you. That seems to describe Lillie-Rose, Carmella and Ivy.

     Ey Wade I agree. I loved those girls because they knew each other by a simple facial expression or the use of a certain word.

    Inknbeans Press Regarding the second question: Is it race or location? These women reminded me, to an extent, of the characters in Steel Magnolias.

    Laurie E. Boris I've seen close female friends being utterly frank with each other.

     Ey Wade I can see you seeing that, Inknbeans. They are like an extension of each other. The match making was too funny.  The reader explained how she is from Canada and the bluntness, more like the butting in, isn't part of their normal culture.

     Laurie E. Boris Ah. A little different from Americans. Laurie E. Boris Usually.

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod Yes, exactly. I grew up, from the third grade on, in village...literally. I knew everyone in that town, everyones parents, sisters, brothers grandparents, but I did not connect with everyone. The girls I connected with at an early age, I stayed connected with and am still connected with them to this day. It's precious.

     Ey Wade In the story, if the ladies weren't true friends, I don't think the story would have worked out.

     Ed Drury Being somewhat familiar with your other works, I thought Tripping was a very deliberate change in direction for you. Something of a concept piece which seemed to lend itself to stage or screen. Had you had any thoughts of these characters performing these lines on a stage while you wrote it?

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod That is true. There are members of my group of friends who can walk into my house and say "Something stinks in here." Anyone else would be horrified, but I know they are saying this because they know I have no sense of smell, and it is up to them to help me out with this.

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod I, too, thought this would be a good stage play.

     Ey Wade ANOTHER QUESTION FROM THE READER: Third, what about cross racial friendships. Are there differences? This really struck me as I was reading because I felt like I was looking into a foreign culture. It was richly and beautifully portrayed but I had difficulty relating to it.

     Ey Wade I would LOVE to see it as a play. These ladies were so alive to me, not to mention pushy I would like to see the words coming from flesh.

     Ey Wade I like it when people can be totally blunt with me. That way I know they are being themselves. That's how I wanted these girls to come off. Not to mention the guys. Lol. I wanted the same for them, especially real emotions.

     Ey Wade Laurie, do you think Americans have different reactions to friendships?

     Ed Drury From my experience my black friends and my white friends seem to view the issue of race quite differently from each other. I think whites in American image a "post racial America" and tend to dismiss any cultural differences. Clearly there is a lot to be learned about each other if we drop pretense and guilt. People have difficulty doing that with each other, racial stuff aside. 

    Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod I have one friend, who is the "is that what you're wearing?" friend. You know what I mean.

     Inknbeans Press I was just thinking of that example, Donna. And that person isn't saying it to insult you, but to make sure you look your best.

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod Well, that's what she says, anyway...I just know it's my cue to go change.

     Ed Drury So long as they have M&Ms they can say whatever, eh?

     Ey Wade I know exactly what you mean, Donna.

     Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod Damn straight. Donna Dillon-Truckenbrod My son has one african american friend and race always comes up somehow. We have just learned to roll with it. We have a lot of fun together. I always tell him that he is whiter than I am.

     Ey Wade Sometimes, Ed I think people of different races try to shield each other's feelings too much when they become friends. I think you should be open and cultural difference wouldn't matter.

     Ed Drury I was wondering if you've had much feed back from male readers about TPC?

     Ey Wade Not much. Which is why I valued your beta and the review. You're deep and critical.

     Ey Wade So, what opinion do you all have about the format of Tripping Prince Charming?

     Ed Drury I thought it a bit risky but you pulled it off in the end. Really brave format, I thought it was leading in a full on multimedia kind of thing. I'd love to see a version formatted for a tablet like the fire and with full permissions to play the songs and all.

     Ey Wade That would be awesome because each song makes the couple. I do have them on the blog, though.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author I agree with the comments so far. I don't really think race has anything to do with how close or blunt or candid people are. To me, it just depends on what types of boundaries have been set. Like someone else said, friends whove known each other since childhood might put it all out there and say it like they mean it. If they're new friends or private about their private lives, completely changes the discussions. Loved the friendship the girls had, and loved the role "pops" played as well.

     Ey Wade The story started off as three separate books, then was supposed to be one after the other but some how ended in that format.

     Ed Drury Pops wins the day in the end. The smartest one in every room it would seem. I could read a book all about his life as a young person, you know how he came to be the person he is.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author I appreciated "stay" ... I'd had it on repeat and then saw it as a crucial part of the book.

     Ey Wade Girl, uhm RH Ramsey If it weren't for you he would've been a minor character. All you had to say was, I wish I knew more about him. Ed, I've thought about it. He did make the story in the end.

     Ey Wade "Stay" is what changed the format. I was riding in the car writing a piece about Lillie-Rose and when I heard Rihanna ' s song I felt so sad for Lillie-Rose. The entire piece went through my mind as an interlude and I could figure out how to put a break in the middle of a book and then continue with the rest. Entire format change.

     Ey Wade The idea of Acts and Scenes really challenged me. That was the reason for icons to show change.
    RH Ramsey Isola Author That was really unique, Ey.

    Ed Drury Do you feel that the acts and scenes structure helped you like an outline?

     Ey Wade What did you feel about the trick Franklin played on Carmella in their first scene? Would you trust a guy who went to that extreme.

     Ed Drury I remember thinking he was a complete dick.

     Ey Wade Lol, me too. I think I wouldn't have given him a second look.

     Ey Wade It did in a way, Ed. It helped me go through all of the books to put them together. Thanks RH Ramsey

     RH Ramsey Isola Author Did pops have a special song? I dont remember him having one? What would it be??

     Ey Wade I loved Ruby Mountain. What feelings did you get from the area? Sometimes I didn't feel as if I describe it enough.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author Depending on my connection with people, i give chances. People have bad days and "you play too much" moments. Sometimes disappear and have a bad feeling and never look back

     RH Ramsey Isola Author It was something that inspired me to really work on my own details. It was so beautiful. Went with the fairy tale theme.

      Ey Wade Good then it worked. It's the kind of place I would like to hang out. Feeds The romantic side while relaxing the old spirit.

     Ey Wade I know I mentioned a song for Pops, oh in the scene when he's scaring heck out of Nathaniel.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author Whats the song

      Ey Wade John Mayer's song- Daughters Inknbeans Press Was it Daughters?

     Ey Wade I tend to get a lot of feedback about Lillie-Rose, she seems to be a favorite. I wonder why.

     Inknbeans Press She's an overcomer.

     Ey Wade Yes, sorry. Moving from house to car. I think the song said it just right. Pops doesn't play when it comes to those girls.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author Did any particular character "speak to you" more than others? Was anyone's storyline more challenging than others?

     Ey Wade Hmmm, I think Carmella ' s was the hardest. I had to get her around being pissed at Franklin to loving him. Lillie-Rose, hard as she was, I knew she would be a marshmallow. Lol someone told me the other day, they thought Ivy was too messy.

     Ey Wade Inknbeans Press, I guess that's the thing. I love Nathaniel. He takes a lot but stands right there for her.

     Ey Wade One last question. What was your opinion about the little old lady, Esther Rose and the riot being in the book? Inknbeans Press I liked her. And discussing the riot gave the story gravitas. People learn something while being entertained.

     Ey Wade I posed the questions from the reader in a few other social networks and the responses were very similar to the answers here. No sees a difference in friendships by race. As long as people are treated as humans and not a species of animal who just doesn't understand human emotions.

     Inknbeans Press It's a love story. That's a pretty universal theme.

     RH Ramsey Isola Author exactly!

     Lou LaFollette A note to the commentator (READER). Your failure to develop close friendships is a direct result of your continuous mobility during your youth. Making friends in the peer group is extremely important developmentally. It is the first step in achieving independence. Judith Rich Harris has written a book, "The Nurture Assumption" which details the psychological importance of these peer relationships. (I disagree with Ms. Harris when she debunks the importance of the infantile years, but she is right on the adolescent years.) Children in military families, or children in foster care are especially susceptible to this failure to develop peer relationships because of excessive mobility. (Many of those early peer relationships prove to be life long.) To the degree that race is involved as a factor, I would say it is because of the differences in relative mobility. Also female dominated black families have learned to maintain relationships under very trying circumstances. (Black children in foster care tend to be cared for within the extended family, rather than by strangers, which is what is typical for white children in foster care.)

    Michael J. Wow! The woman making the inquiry is definitely the odd person out. It is very common for women of all races and cultures to have close bonds with one another. Anything to the contrary is an aberration. Unfortunately, the woman making the inquiry is the person deprived of the rich and full relationships women of all races and cultures share with one another. This woman's void of close friendships with other women is a major deficit for her. How sad...

    Elaine D. Our rich capacity as human beings to love and enjoy deep, meaningful friendships with others is not down to culture or skin colour: It is a gift from God, our Creator, who describes himself as the very essence of Love. Time spent with others, sharing our vulnerabilities, giving without expecting anything in return, and being there to encourage, support and inspire through the tough times are the seeds from which spring beautiful friendships, We need to care a little more and reach out more often...

    Ey Wade: I agree Elaine. I had never thought of the capacity of friendship being measured by race.

    Trace Loveless Hill No,since I am a Urban Christian Writer that would be closed minded.

    Ey Wade It does sound a bit closed minded. As an author, I feel frustrated with the idea of non POC seeing use as a species without the same emotions and reactions as them.

    Michael J. Wow! The woman making the inquiry is definitely the odd person out. It is very common for women of all races and cultures to have close bonds with one another. Anything to the contrary is an aberration. Unfortunately, the woman making the inquiry is the person deprived of the rich and full relationships women of all races and cultures share with one another. This woman's void of close friendships with other women is a major deficit for her. How sad...

    Ey Wade:  That's exactly how I felt. You miss a lot when you don't have friends.

    Michael J.: The deprivation caused when she was a child has nothing to do with her ability to foster close relationships as an adult. You are not responsible for her inability to relate to the character's voices in your book (which I'm sure are drawn from some of your real-life observations/experiences). A lot of people like to blame their parents and childhood experiences for their anti-social behavior, inability to adjust, you name it; when in reality they don't want to put in the work required to change whatever it is that needs to be changed (in them). I'll bet you haven't received any other letters/inquiries citing such bizarre behavior. I'm not being flippant, but the woman sounds like she needs a few years of good therapy with a professional in that field. I believe your title is "author" Ms. Wade, not shrink. Write on my sister. Write on!

    Ey Wade: You're right, I haven't had any . I've had friendships of all races and have been candid and myself which helped me to learn a lot about other people. I'll keep writing, believe me. Thanks for responding.

    Devon Said--I agree with Michael because I've learned how to show myself friendly earlier on in life in that my first best girlfriend just happened to be Caucasian; and that worked out just fine with the both us. Later on as I grew older I had another good friend who was a co-worker for many years and who was also white. We both got along just fine...and in fact we called each other "Salt & Pepper" as an inside joke to anyone around us who seemed to have a problem with it because of their racial insecurities. And even up until today we’re still good friends and have kept in touch with each other down through the years. I believe that in order to maintain good friendships with people of other races and ethnic persuasions—we must first start at being secure enough to love ourselves unconditionally and then be willing to share that unconditional love with someone else. Thanks so much for sharing with us and may God richly bless you! Peace.

    Ey Wade: Thank you, Devon for commenting. I love the idea of open conversations. Before these questions I had no idea others wondered about the inner workings of friendships.

    Yvonne Hertzberger: Michael: Ouch! I think that was completely uncalled for. My behaviour is far from bizarre. In fact there is no "behaviour" here at all. You are jumping to conclusions based on false assumptions and defensiveness. I asked a deep question. I see the response from the previous linkedin commenter and she makes some good points. Her observations are based on experience and learning. Yours are simply nasty and judgemental. I asked a sociological question. No shrink necessary, thank you very much. In fact I have close relationships, a 42 year successful marriage and raised two well adjusted children. Take that chip off your shoulder. I actual fact I liked the book very much.

    Ey Wade I'm really glad you liked the book, Yvonne. Hopefully your questions were answered. Most believe friendships develop and deepen according to the dynamics of the individuals involved, not necessarily culture. It all depends on what the people want to receive from the relationship.

     Yvonne Hertzberger: Thanks. I'm going to reread it with fresh eyes before I post a review. 



    Ey Wade Thanks everyone for stopping by, I really appreciate it.



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