Dear Gossips,

Sharon Lewis is the first woman of colour to host two national live TV programs in Canada. She’s a broadcaster, an author, a playwright, an actor, and a director. Her new film, Brown Girl Begins is screening this month and next across Canada to celebrate Black History Month, only Sharon wants to call it Black Future Month because, as she told us on The Social yesterday, her son wanted to see representations of himself not only in the past but also in the future. 

We’ve talked a lot about representation and diversity in Hollywood. And just as it is in Hollywood, for too long in Canada’s arts community, the stories and the faces telling those stories have been the same. Sharon has actively pushed for more inclusion in the industry and through her work, is challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about people of colour and, in particular, women of colour. 

Brown Girl Begins is an afrofuturist feature film (based on Nalo Hopkinson’s book, Brown Girl In The Ring) about a young black woman who is trapped in a world forced upon her. Ti-Jeanne, a reluctant priestess, must resurrect Caribbean spirits and survive the possession ritual that killed her mother, or her people will die.

It’s taken Sharon 15 years to make Brown Girl Begins, the first ever Canadian-Caribbean science fiction feature film. Here’s a video about that experience: 


And here’s the trailer for the film: 


One of the producers of Brown Girl Begins is Jenn Paul, a colleague of mine at Bell Media. Jenn is a driven and passionate young creative, selected in 2014 by the ReelWorld Film Festival as one of 20 Emerging Artists. It’s an exciting time here and everywhere, seeing a new class of female content generators working in front of and behind the camera on projects like Brown Girl Begins. Both Sharon and now Jenn are actively pursuing opportunities for other women, and women of colour, to join the community, to tell more stories, to tell their stories. 

For more on Brown Girl Begins, please click here

And now, let’s talk about the Horse. The Horse is the 4th luckiest sign in the Chinese zodiac during the Year of the Dog. There is a lucky star on the side of the Horse which means that Horses will be leaders, people will notice your work. 

That lucky star, however, is balanced by 3 bad luck stars, all of them petty sh-t disturbers. You may be distracted by rumours, backstabbers, and small legal matters. So don’t make impulsive decisions this year as they will cost you in the end. 

As with all signs, Horses must be mindful of the Fire. Horses may not do well in heat. Take care of your body, hydrate, and especially be careful when you’re in the car. Putting a fish bowl/tank in the north end of your home may help. 

Horses may experience minor injuries. Sometimes minor injuries can block bad luck. A cavity, for example, or a paper cut, is way better than surgery. If that’s the case, don’t dwell on that as a setback. 

Horses are also advised to pay extra close attention to family members this year, especially in the summer. 

1954 Metal Horse – the presence of a benefactor may result in small gambling wins or some lottery luck.

1966 Water Horse – Horses born this year will be very busy, with many of projects in development. 

1978 Fire Horse – Many mentors are available to Horses born this year. Learn from them as much as you can to better your circumstances. Your luck is concentrated between your brows this year. So if you don’t have a “nice” in-between-the-brow area, look out for your mother’s health and celebrate a big birthday. Since “nice” is so subjective, all Horses born this year should just celebrate a big birthday. 

1990 Earth Horse – Margot Robbie is a Horse born this year. Career plans should be moving ahead smoothly for 1990 Horses. Be on alert for temptation though. It could distract and destroy and it may not leave you alone. 

2002 Wood Horse – Horses born this year are soon entering adulthood. It’s a good time to explore but stick to the rules and do not stray off the path. No off-roading. 

Female Horses of all years are encouraged to mind their tempers this year or it could negatively impact relationships. Some mentors will give you good advice and that’s a bonus. But other people will pretend they’re mentors when they’re not. These are people who will prevent you from focusing, who’ll want to party all the time, and they are not going to help. 

Horses could be particularly susceptible to the strong Fire this year. So please prioritise your health and nutrition, eat a balanced diet, drink a lot of water, especially Horses born under the fire and wood signs. Horses need to properly manage the heat, safety first before luck. 

In February and March, see the doctor, go for a full physical. 

In April and May, think through it if you’ve asked to invest. Do not trust easily or quickly. 

June, July, and August is Fire season. Be extra vigilant about your physical and mental health. Enjoy the sun but sparingly. Be careful driving and don’t over-indulge. These are good months to go on holiday or to go on business trips. It might be fun. But while you’re having fun don’t get too carried away and let your guard down or you might get hurt. 

Between December 7 and January 5, 2019, avoid major events or activities like home buying or moving or big parties. This is not the time for it. 

Remember, good luck is no use to you when you’re not well enough to enjoy it. The Squawking Chicken isn’t here to scare you, she only wants to make sure that good luck isn’t wasted by carelessness. Your year will only be better if you give your luck a reason to stick around. 

Queued up for tomorrow: the Snake. 

Yours in gossip,