Terésa Dowell-Vest

Goals: Writer

Genesis: New American Superheroes

“Genesis” follows the lives and adventures of five siblings who were given extraordinary powers by their scientist parents when they were children. The outcome, the resulting powers, far exceeds the parent's expectations. In present day, the siblings are reunited, having long forgotten their parents, their powers and each other. “Genesis” is the story of when five strangers must become family…and then heroes. Here's how it begins...


Get Your Copy of GENESIS Here!

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  • eBook: Amazon / Blurb Books
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  • Hardback: Blurb Books

  • Genesis: The Invitation
    (Release Date: 9/1/2017)


    Genesis: The Test
    (Release Date: 2/1/2018)


    Genesis: The Battle
    (Release Date: 5/1/2018)


    Terésa Dowell-Vest

    Terésa Dowell-Vest is the founder of Diva Blue Productions and Publications and is a Professor of Film and TV Production at Prairie View A and M University and Houston Community College. In 2015, Terésa was a Visiting Professor for the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at the University of Virginia. Her course there is entitled, "From the Drinking Gourd to #BlackTwitter: Social Communication for Social Change" Terésa is a three time Geoffrey Award (Santa Monica Theatre Guild) winning director and a NAACP Theater Award nominee. Terésa currently resides in Houston with her wife Michelle and their dogs, Ollie and Auggie.


    My Work

    Diva Blue Production Since 1997
    Diva Blue Publications Since 2010
    Diva Blue Photography Since 2000
    Educator Since 1994

    Genesis: New American Superheroes

    “Genesis” follows the lives and adventures of five siblings who were given extraordinary powers by their scientist parents when they were children. The outcome, the resulting powers, far exceeds the parent's expectations. In present day, the siblings are reunited, having long forgotten their parents, their powers and each other. “Genesis” is the story of when five strangers must become family…and then heroes. Here's how it begins...

  • eBook: Amazon / Blurb Books
  • Softback: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
  • Hardback: Blurb Books
  • The Death of Cliff Huxtable

    I figured if we kill off Cliff Huxtable, maybe we can finally separate Bill Cosby from the man he played from the man he is. This is a work of fan fiction, in a non-fiction world. This...is an ode to a hero.

  • eBook: Amazon / iTunes / Blurb Books
  • Softback: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

  • Passage Home

    “Passage Home” is the story of the day America killed currency, demolished the Social Security program, federally issued new tracking numbers for all citizens, mass deported those who could not prove citizenship, sealed the borders, and sent Black Americans back to Africa...in less than a year. Set in the year 2019, this 400 year anniversary of Africans in America would be like no other celebration we have ever known.

  • eBook: Amazon / iTunes / Blurb Books
  • Softback: Blurb Books
  • Hardback: Blurb Books

  • The Box 69: A Photographic Chronicle in Verse, Song, and Crayon

    "I've been hoarding my box of crayons... when I got up this morning, I opened them and got to experience Jazzberry Jam all the way thru orange... I laughed out loud, had tears running down my face from Fern, and was amazed at their beauty... what a perfect way to start my day. Thank you..." - Jane Lanier (Tony Award nominated Broadway actress, dancer, singer) "Beautiful!! You are no Salt or Pepa or Queen La.. but just as divine and inspiring... you are..Teresa and made me cry. God's most abundant blessings to you. Thank you for your creation." - Cheryl "Salt" James-Wray (Grammy Award winning hip-hop icon)

    The Box 69 Gallery

    The photographic gallery for the Box 69 series.

    Hot Sauce and Honey

    A collection of poems, essays and random thoughts about hot lust and sweet love.

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    Master Piece

    Dead Tone
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    40: A GoPro Swim

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  • The Death of Cliff Huxtable / Chapter 2: Denise

    Vanessa, Denise and Sondra linger by the gravesite as the crowd move towards the cars. They do not speak as two men move towards the grave site and begin removing the flowers and place them into the hole with the lowered casket.

    In the distance, they hear the sounds of car doors opening and closing, ignitions being switched. The sun is setting over Brooklyn, on this early fall afternoon. There is a slight crisp in the air, so the sound of a car warming brings Sondra out of her quiet,
         "I think we should go on to the house. The cars are waiting."
    Vanessa agrees and begins to walk off with her eldest sister. Denise remains,
         "You go ahead. I'll get home in a little bit. Take Olivia with you, if you don't mind."
         "No, not at all. Just don't be too long," mothers Sondra.
         "Are you sure, Denise? I mean, I can stay with you if you'd like," offers Vanessa.
         "No. It's ok, Vanessa."
         "I mean...are you sure? You don't have a car..."
         "Vanessa...I'm sure. This wouldn't be the first time I figured out my way back home on my own," snaps Denise. Resuming, a bit apologetically and reassuringly, "It's ok. I'll be fine. Go."

    Vanessa and Sondra walk off, in a hurried stride to catch the caravan back to the Huxtable residence. Denise watches to make sure they get in the car and the cars leave. She turns to the men, who are resting the assortment of flowers into the grave,
         "Please...would you mind giving me a moment?"
         "Sure. No problem."

    The men lay the bouquets they have in their hands in the hole and walk away from the gravesite. Denise stands quietly, holding on to her large stylish leather shoulder bag. She towers over the open hole, not certain of what to say...where to begin. She looks up to the crowd of sparrows flying overhead, towards the south.
         "To hitch a ride on the wings of a sparrow...wouldn't that be nice? To go where the wind takes you and to be free to let the open sky guide you nowhere."
    Denise takes in the birds and smiles a half smile at the kindred creatures,
         "You never got that about me. You never..."
    She stops. She takes in a deep breath to collect her heart. This was no time to blame...or was it?
         "You were my guy. Do you know that? Did...you know that? You were the model for them all. You were the measuring stick for them...all. You...were my guy. And I think I was suppose to find him so I could find you...so I could love you...so I could feel close to you. I did that. That's what I wanted. I would find the man, and you would be happy. You would be happy for me. I wanted to make you happy...because you were my guy. My life felt like a series of disappointments to you. I'd go away, hoping when I came back we could...I don't know...I don't..."

    Denise stops to look at the two men waiting nearby, leaning on someone's mother's grave or someone's father's tomb. She watches as they light cigarettes and talk about the Giants or the Jets and which team had a stronger secondary and which team needed a new quarterback and which...,
         "Do you hear those guys, Dad? They are talking football. I can't tell if they're Giants or Jets guys, not that I care that much about it, but this moment is simply a 'wait and let's talk about football' moment for them. Nothing too deep. Nothing too special. Just a 'wait and fill this emptiness' type of moment for them. This isn't heartbreaking for everyone.

    Fathers love their daughters. Fathers do love their daughters. I know you loved us all. I know you did. And I loved you...but we stopped liking each other a long time ago. I missed MY guy. I missed the man who thought I was charming and lovely and sweet. I became a woman who challenged your idea of 'lady' and you loved me but you did not like me. You didn't like who I became. You didn't like the cut up shirts, my spiked hair or my style in high school. You didn't like the college dropout or the wife of the divorce father or my locs. You didn't like that I didn't like you picking me apart. I didn't like it! And I think you knew that. I use to think you enjoyed shaming my every picked apart piece. Did you? Was I your shame?

    My piles of disappointment left you questioning 'what is wrong with THIS one? Why can't she be like her sisters with the good grades or the good husband or the kids of her own or the steady job? And I knew that. I knew it.

         Excuse me! Excuse me...yes...can I get one of those?"
    Denise hollers to the nearby men and bums a cigarette. One of the grave diggers, a young handsome man in his late 20's, gives her one and pulls out his lighter. Denise slips the cigarette expertly between her lips while getting a good look at the bright eyed grave digger. With both of her soft, warm hands around the grave digger's surprisingly soft hands to shield the flame, she brings his hands and flame closer to her lips to light her cigarette. With a few quick drags, Denise is lit and is satisfied.
         "Thank you," she says sweetly to the young grave digger.
         "No problem. I'm ahh...I'm sorry for your loss."

    Denise takes a long look at the young grave digger. She slightly cocks her head to the side, assessing his condolence and his beautifully long eye lashes hovering over his light brown eyes. And with a buried, jaded half smile and whisper,
         "Thank you. And thank you for the cigarette...again. I appreciate it very much."

    The young grave digger begins to back peddle his way away from Denise and to the head stone seat he occupied with his buddy. Denise continues with her father,
         "There were times I challenged YOU for sport. It gave me a slight rise to fluster the great Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. But that's all it was...folly for my amusement. I loved you...but I don't think I liked you much, either."

    Denise looks up at the singing birds,
         "I'd say I'm jealous of those birds flying off but I have always been one of them. Flying off to seek a better branch...a flock to embrace me. Feather of my kind who would never judge me...me as I am. Who would never hold me to the standard of Sondra or..." taking a long drag off her cigarette.

    Denise look up to find the young grave digger looking at her. She chuckles,
         "You'd just die if I brought home a grave digger."
    Denise quickly chokes back a deeper laugh,
         "Oh, that was SO poorly timed. I suspect you would have found a speck of humor in that ill timed joke. But that's what we do. We joke. We kid. We tease. We ridicule. We...shame. And we act as if it's a part of some act, the Huxtable family hour, starring the most perfect dad you will ever know, with the most perfect wife and their gang of imperfect kids. I kept finding my way back to you and I kept NEEDING to leave. This life suffocated me! This perfect Huxtable life was not living! I have lived! I have lived MY life. I am living MY life. My life is the version of my life I want to live...not yours."

    Denise looks up from the gravesite beneath the quickly setting sun. She takes a final drag off her cigarette, tosses it on the mound of dirt to be placed over her father's grave and mashes it into the soil with her boot. She nods to the two men to signal that she's done and is about to leave. The young grave digger flashes Denise as modest smile as not to disrespect her in her time of grief but to reflect his interest. Denise acknowledged his smile with a soft smirk in return. She waves for him to meet her at the open grave. He hurries over, excited to be summoned by the beautiful woman with the long locs running down her back. She reaches into her handbag and pulls out a pewter frame with a black and white photo of herself from 1987. She hands the framed photo to the young man,
         "Put this in there, please."

    The young man takes the framed photo and looks at it.
         "Are you sure?" he asks. "This is a pretty great photo."
         "I am sure. It was one of his favorites."

    She raises her head to listen to the singing sparrows and the flutter of their collective wings as they continue on their journey in the purple and orange New York sky and with a chilled quiet whisper,
         "This is not heartbreaking for everyone."

    Denise walks away from the open grave, leaving behind a pile of dirt and a photo.

    NEXT: CHAPTER 3 - Rudy (100 Retweets/Shares to release Chapter 3)

    To read Chapter 1: THEO: http://www.teresadowellvest.com/2017/12/the-death-of-cliff-huxtable-chapter-1.html

    Note from TDV: This is a work of fan fiction, in a non-fiction world. (Originally published July 21, 2015)

  • The Death of Cliff Huxtable / Chapter 1: Theo

    The house is quiet.

    The dimmer switch in the living room sets the lights to a brown glow as the sun sets on the Brooklyn brownstone numbered 10 Stigwood. The double doors seal in the comfort of family values and laughter...of kindness and grace.

    The house is quiet.

    At 4:35pm, one of the front doors open and in walks Theo. He manages to get away from the crowd and beats everyone home. He walks in the quiet house. He stands in the door way and takes a moment to breathe in the stillness. He had never done that before. His usual entrance was chaotic...urgent. His usual entrance was with tales of what next 'thing' he must have: a Gordon Gartrell shirt; a helicopter ride for prom; a way to make up with Justine. This was the first time he walked into a quiet house...alone. The only 'thing' he wanted this time: for his father to be home.

    The house is quiet.

    Theo steps in and gently shuts the door behind him. He takes a few steps into the living room and speaks out,


    He takes a long pause before continuing. Theo was never one for praying so this seems a little ridiculous to him.

    "Ummm...I don't know where you are. We rarely spoke of God...of Heaven...or Hell...so I'm taking a chance that you can hear me...that my voice is reaching you. There isn't much time before the rest get here, so...

    I didn't know what to say at the cemetery. I had nothing to say at the cemetery. You're not there. Your body is, but you...YOU...you're not there. I know that. I know...you're...here. You're here in this house...this home...you made for us. The home you made with us."

    Theo walks behind the couch, lightly grazing his fingers over the table where the house phone use to sit. He continues,

    "Ok...so...thank you. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us. Thank you for loving our mother and raising us. These are the easy things I can say...because they are true and real. Thank you for teaching us how to be the best citizens we can be in this awful, awful world. It's not really an awful world, but today, it feels...awful. It feels awful because it's too hard without love. You taught me that. This is a hard world without love. You taught me to be easy in the hard times, but I didn't know, until now, what the hard times really were. You taught me to dance and joke and to hug my wife and to protect my sisters...but there are things you didn't teach me.

    You didn't tell me about the ways of hate. You failed me there, Dad. I had to find out, in a world outside this haven, that I am a Black Man. I didn't learn the rules and responsibilities that may save my life...being a...Black...Man. There are lessons I must teach my son and my male students, I never learned from you. You taught me about the value of money but you didn't teach me about the value of my life. We were constantly reminded us how much 'things' cost...how much money we, the kids, didn't have and how much you and mom had or made. You taught us valuable lessons in a world of 'no worries'. I left this house a Huxtable and stepped out into that world, outside those doors, a Black Man, and I was not prepared. I needed you to teach me that too.

    One day, I finally decided to ask Walter how he came to be called Cockroach and why he stopped coming over. This was about a year ago, after your stroke...and he came by to see you...out of respect for you...for me...and we had a chance to talk after many years of not talking. He said he was surprised I asked because I never seemed to care before. I asked him why he would allow anyone to call him that...to call him "Cockroach"...low and dirty. He said, "It never sounded so poor until the Huxtables said it. In the hood, I was someONE everyone called "Cockroach". In the Huxtable house, I was someTHING everyone called "cockroach". There was a difference. Your mother made it a point to call me Walter but it always felt like it was because she was above calling me Cockroach. Your pops called me Cockroach but it dripped with disdain that I couldn't bare it any longer. I was the cockroach in the Huxtable house. I had to leave. You were a good friend but you lived by a standard I knew nothing about nor did I care to know it. But you should thank your dad for protecting you from a life that taught me how to be a Black man in America. It's often an ugly lesson...but I'm so grateful to have been taught." In that moment I realized a truth: I'm the Black man America loves and he's the Black man America fears.

    You see, Cockroach taught me how to dance. You taught me how to perform. No one ever accused me of being a Black Man when I was under your wing. Too many days I wanted to be more Cockroach and less Cliff...but the politics of respectability is a mighty teacher, Dad. It was important to have the right friends and for the girls to date the right men and for us to sit around and listen to the elders muse about the Civil Rights Movement but...WHERE ARE YOU??!!!!" Theo shouts out in an emotional breakdown.

    The tears and the sobbing are new and unstoppable. Through his attempts to catch a breath while weeping, "Father, where are you?! I need you now. I need you to show me how to survive the police and the bullets and noose of men who hate. I need you to help me find the words to explain to my son how women are not to be raped. I need you to help me be a man in this awful, awful world! I need you to help me be a Black person in this awful, awful world!"

    Theo continues to walk across the room to the chair nearest the kitchen door, facing the front door. He sits down in the chair, as if sliding into his father's shoes, in his father's house. He continues,

    "Dad...the girls...the women...are all grown and married...or not...and are mothers...or not...and aunts and they are good. They are leaders and they are educators and they are healers and they are so much like mom. Any moment, they will all walk through that door. They will be reminded of the great man you are through the tears and the hugs and the stories of "that time when Cliff". They will be comforted by the love so many had...have for you. They will reminisce the good times and romanticize the days of you being the great Dr. Cliff Huxtable.

    I will remember my Dad. I will mourn my father. I will honor the man who was gentle and kind. I will remember a man who so many got to know as the happy baby doctor with the most well adjusted seeming family in Brooklyn. I will remember a man who showed us the best the world could be and kept the truth of that awful, awful world locked outside those double doors. And when those opens...and the grieving enter...you will leave and be gone...forever.

    But before you go...thank you. Rest well, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable."

    Theo slowly stands from the chair, straightening his jacket. He wipes the tears from his eyes, giving the impression of his strength. He stands, watching the doors, waiting for them to swing open, marking the beginning of the repast and the end of an era.

    The house is quiet.

    NEXT: CHAPTER 2 - Denise (100 Retweets/Shares to release Chapter 2)

    Note from TDV: This is a work of fan fiction, in a non-fiction world. (Originally published July 21, 2015)

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    "The Death Of Cliff Huxtable"
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  • My Favorite 10.5 #EXO’s Winter songs

    Here’s a list of my favorite set of winter songs from my favorite KPop group, EXO. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

    10.5.) The Star 
    I love watching EXO perform this in their Exo’luxion concert...fly! 

    10.) GirlxFriend
    It took me a while to get it into this song. It's certainly one of EXO’s underrated grooves. 

    9.) Sing for You
    Because Sehun...bless his heart...works that one for everything he has. lol Watching him sing it live, you’d think he was the lead vocal on that ONE line! Awesome.

    8.) Falling For You
    It's simple and sweet...love it

    7.) Winter Heat
    It can be July and I’ll rock this catchy tune.

    6.) Twenty Four
    Honey! The underutilized crew shines! Xiumen and Kai in particular...yo!! “What is this?!” YES!

    5.) Christmas Day
    This song could play in the same holiday rotation as Boyz II Men “Let It Snow”

    4.) What I Want For Christmas
    Same reason as 5, plus, Suho’s voice surprisingly outshines the other 'power' voices which is SO hard

    3.) My Turn To Cry
    The arrangement at the bridge...wow!

    2.) Universe
    Because they ALL get a moment to shine and the video feels like a fitting tribute to Kim Jonghyun, even if he passed after the video was shot.

    1.) Miracles in December
    Because EXO’s vocal line is stellar. Period! 

    That's it! What say you?!
  • FINALLY...A Long Time Coming! Genesis is HERE! The Introduction...

    Is it a novel? Is it a screenplay? It's neither. It's both. It's a non issue because it's my story and I'm telling it the way I want to tell it. What we're talking about, really, are rules. Rules for writing. Rules for identity. Rules for fantasy. But isn’t restriction…rules… the very opposite of fantasy? I think that's how we found ourselves in this mess in the first place: the mess of having so few Black Superheroes to celebrate. We have placed rules on fantasy and imagination. It is well beyond time to do things differently ... fearlessly.

    Growing up, I wanted to be Superman. Every weekend, I would turn on ABC Saturday morning cartoons at 8:30am to watch The Super Friends. In 1978, I accepted Christopher Reeves as the 'Man of Steel' and completely believed a man could fly as proclaimed in the movie trailer for Superman: The Movie. So for Halloween, 1979, it was no huge leap that I would be my favorite character and superhero. My mom bought me the Superman Under Roos. She allowed me to wear them over my blue body suit. You know…the awful ones that snapped in the crotch. She let me wear my ‘fourth Sunday’ white tights with white Keds. She safety pinned a reddish pink towel to my shirt at the shoulders for a cape. I knew better than to jump off anything because the towel was too short to catch air but I looked the part and I was excited.

    Red Hill Elementary School hosted the North Garden Halloween carnival every year. This night-time event was a great way to dress up and participate in Halloween games including a cake walk, a haunted house in the cafeteria created by the fifth graders and classroom to classroom "trick or treating". The highlight of the carnival was the Costume Parade! All of the kids were instructed to get in line and march in a parade to show off their imaginative costumes. I was so ready to march my lil Super behind in the parade with my hands on my non existing hips and my cape blowing in the wind. Standing in line with the other fourth graders, I overheard little white boys laughing at my costume. One eventually became so bold as to say, "You can't be Superman! You don't look right!" I looked down at my costume trying to figure out what part of it didn't look right. I looked just like Superman! I got a cape! Was my cape too short? Was the body suit was the wrong color blue? Dang it! Did my white tights and Keds messed up the look?!


    It was me. I was the wrong part of my costume. I’m standing there in my blue jumpsuit and a red towel, listening to this group of white boys in my fourth grade class, who were already so sure in their white and male privilege, they thought it fine to tell me I could not be the superhero I loved the most. Worse than the white boys laughing and pointing at my costume, the teachers standing nearby did nothing to correct them. Instead, I was the one they told, by a Black teacher ironically, "perhaps you should have chosen something else" in the same way many of our children were told "perhaps college isn't right for you" or "no, it's highly unlikely you'll become a doctor or a lawyer or President of the United States." And still, worse than both the laughing boys and the condescending teachers was the fact that I believed it to be true. I believed I chose wrong for wanting to be Superman.

    In 2006, I finally crafted the story I wanted to tell. It was the story I wanted to write and share with children who loved superheroes but never saw themselves depicted in the superheroes on television or in film. By 2006, the two Black Superheroes to have their own tv series or feature film where Spawn and Blade, respectively. Thinking back to the Red Hill Elementary Halloween Carnival, I found it difficult to believe parents would want their children to be the devil’s spawn or a murderous vampire. This would be my chance to create characters who would be Superman to children now and down the road. So I wrote the story I wanted to tell.

    Over the years, the story changed. When I first penned the "Genesis" screenplay in 2006, I firmly believed in the possibility of all things, including Black Superheroes on the big screen. It seemed like it was time. Regular white superheroes were making a comeback, so why not? I created characters I hoped children, in general, black children in particular, would look at as examples of their own greatness. But in 2008, a new and unexpected thing happened. An actual Black Man standing as tall and as proud as Superman himself, came into our lives and he stood for ALL of us. He stood for the American Way.

    Oh wait...uh oh.

    Barack Hussain Obama became a man of the people, for the people, voted in by the people and the people were happy. Kinda. Sorta. The we, the people, should have been so much more united because WE had done this progressive and heroic thing. WE elected a Black Man into the highest office in ALL the land...but we were real quick to see how we did not live in a…what did they call it? A Post Racial America? Who made that up? America, was still an 'us vs. them' nation and the Black Superman was worst than Kryptonite. How would my superheroes fit in this world? Are "we" the heroes? Are "we" the villains? The US was failing at being "us".

    For ten years, I held my characters close and tight. I was protecting them from a world that called my President a monkey, a terrorist and a foreigner. And then came Trayvon. And Mike Brown. And Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. Tamir Rice. And all the names with and without the hashtags and marches to lament their murders. No. My heroes were too hopeful for this world…too naive. The story I wanted to tell in 2006 no longer existed because in 2016 "we" were the villains, no matter who wrote the story. It was exhausting. It was infuriating. I was angry and felt like being the villain. And so I continued to write...writing my feelings and giving them to my heroes. I would let them decide: are they heroes who combat evil-doers or would they be the nightmare America expected them to be? Would they be the force to wake up this nation? The fun has been in letting them show themselves to me and introduce themselves to me in this new world There are no rules in this world.  None..

    Is it a novel? Is it a screenplay?

    It's storytelling.

  • Happy #NaNoWriMo2016 - Plan, Write, Sell, Succeed!

    Happy #NaNoWriMo2016!

    I'm writing. You're writing. We're ALL writing!

    Once all your writing is done, you're gonna want to sell and promote your book, right? Well, plan right...or in our case PLAN_WRITE! In celebration of all the writers working away this #NaNoWriMo, I'm going to help you with your business plan for your forthcoming best selling novel! Once you do all the creative stuff, let's get down to business!

    ONLY 20 DISCOUNT CODES AVAILABLE! Offer ends Friday Nov. 4th!

    Code: PLAN_WRITE

    Our Google Hangout will be Nov 15th to help you with your plan so mark your calendar! Details to come!

  • Take A Course with TDV!

    Need a business plan for your new business or creative endeavor? Take my popular online Udemy course "The 7 Step Business Plan That Writes Itself. Click this button to take the course for half off the regular course price!


    Houston, Texas