Read, Write, Publish

Billy Collins – famous poet – says he published everywhere. Any literary journal that accepted his work, big or small, he was honored.

It’s wonderful to have your hard work recognized. My gratitude for all the literary journals which have published my work. And today – thanks to Jelly Bucket!

JELLYBUCKET.ORG

Infinite infancies

Remember childhood? The dreams we had, the music we listened to, the beliefs we held so firmly in our grasp. Life was tasted. Every moment. So exciting.

Did we fix anything? Change anything? Make that difference we wanted to?

Are the children in Africa fed and warm? Did the the Great apes stop disappearing? The pandas repopulate the wild?

There’s still so much left to do, even more than when we began. And still we play with our time as if it’s infinite.

Empathy and the Modern Human

Earth has been a pretty terrible place to be in the last few years. Only we can make it better. Each and every one of us can do our part in our little corner of the world. Because when we are better humans, it makes the world a better place.

I read an article recently in which Valerie Bertinelli was trolled – by another woman – who fat shamed her. Really? WTF is wrong with you that you have to troll one of the most beautiful humans on the planet?

Bertinelli says she uses empathy to deal with comments such as that.

Empathy is the answer, truly.

Empathy is the high road.

I have been dealing with some harassment on top of the death of a few family members. Recently, I received vicious snail mail by trolls I have had to block on every other platform.

When I consider the effort these people have taken to reach me, it makes me believe they are seriously unhappy in their own lives. I know I have not said or done anything to them to incur or engage their wrath. They’re just unhappy and need someone else to focus on. And that is truly sad.

Burt Bacharach said it best: What the world needs is love, sweet love. And empathy.

Empathy has been my inspiration. How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party is filled with stories of empathy.

Sending you love.

Can we be real honest here for a moment?

2020 was traumatizing, yes.

Then the spring culling of faculty was horrifying.

The death of friends and family,

then continued torment by people who are unhappy and unhealthy.

The past 17 months have been horrendous.

We’ve all been in some type of survival mode. We’ve all been hurt and scared and scarred. We haven’t reached out enough or we reached out and didn’t received a response.

We’ve been told over and over, this is the new normal, this is normal, now we’re getting back to normal.

The world is an angry place. Karens rule. Mass shootings. Building collapse.

Nothing is right. Nothing is normal. And it’s okay to be upset, to feel dismayed, confused, unsettled. Nothing about the last year and a half has been comforting.

And you’re not alone.

But

hang in there

we

will

all

be

okay.

Found Objects

I walk a lot. On these walks, I happen upon things lost or left.

I’ve found many feathers. Owls. Parrots. Crows. and once a hawk feather.

My friends remind me feathers are signs and have meanings. A black feather is protection. A white feather means an angel is watching over you.

The hawk’s feather represents clear vision.

When I found this hawk’s father, I was ecstatic. Such a wonderful and rare find! I immediately shared the news.

One person questioned how it’d come to be there on the sidewalk in the middle of the day.

I assumed a hawk lost it as he flew overhead or stopped for rest on a nearby tree. I guess he could have swooped down for a mid-day snack and the feather fluttered to the ground.

Yet – this person seemed convinced the feather it belonged to someone else. Does a child live at a nearby house? I considered it. Actually, no. Could it have belonged to a neighborhood child walking by? And she went on. Had they bought it somewhere and then dropped it? She seemed set on believing that it had been lost by a person and it belonged, not to me, but to someone else.

Did I need to explain there were hawks in the neighborhood? Did I need to say, there’s a nearby tree where I’d seen ravens and the occasional hawk? I didn’t want to explain or analyze or concern myself with such things.

I believed a hawk had molted it. And it was meant for me.

Maybe it’s like believing there’s a little magic and mystery left in the adult world.

Maybe that person had no more magic.

Of all things in life, I choose to indulge in the ever small myths and mysteries of found objects.

Success Stories

I didn’t grow up with a lot of positive role models. There were not many (if any) people in our neighborhood who were looked up to as success stories.

I can see my neighbors, even now, from the concrete steps of our four unit blond brick building on S*** Avenue in Collinwood. Across the street, Francis. She had Lucille Ball red hair and sat on her porch from 9am to 9pm, beer in hand. Next door, a single mother who worked at a bar and brought work home with her – in all sorts of ways. Next to her, a retired old man who sat across from Francis with his own beer in hand. His wife, Goldie, was a sweet woman whose toes twisted around one another, feet mangled, she said from twenty years of high heeled waitressing. On the other side, a retired railroad worker, no patio, so he sat in his kitchen hand wrapped around a cold beer.

There were bars on every corner. T & M’s could be seen from the porch. Strangers and neighbors stumbling out with the music pouring onto the street.

The teenagers went to high school, married the boyfriends who beat them, and set up house on the next block. A few got away, I’m sure. But I can list many more who died young or ended up in prison. My teenage crushes are dead now. One was shot in the head, the other crushed under the wheels of a truck. I never got into drugs, thought those who smoked and drank acted silly, stupidly, dangerously. Girlfriends recall tales of waking up half naked, uncertain if anything happened. That wasn’t the memory – or lack of memory – I wanted.

Mostly, I felt limited. I felt outcast. I didn’t seem to belong with any particular crowd or group or gang. I wanted something more, something different, and I didn’t know where to turn. Getting out and getting away seemed the only answer for me. I didn’t know what might meet me beyond the borders of the familiar, but there was no safety and no options in the familiar.

Someone once said – it was very brave of you to travel across country on your own and start over alone. I hadn’t considered it was “brave.” I’d believed it was my only choice, my only chance. She offered, the world is a dangerous place for a young woman to do such a thing. Sometimes home is a dangerous place. Limiting yourself is dangerous. Not fulfilling your potential is dangerous. Living a life in which you’re completely unhappy is dangerous. Sometimes, saving yourself, however scary the unknown is, is your only choice.

 

A Waste of Eyelash Glue

This is in praise of the wallflowers.  Guess what, honey, you’re not missing much.046c4b19426c8c5fc1056eb57014a3df (2)

I had roommate tell me once that it annoyed her to no end that I didn’t seem to go out much and she had the urge to pick me up and throw me out the door to force me to be social.

Uhm, yeah, that would worked.

I guess I’m mostly an introvert. I do have my moments when I’m more extroverted. I guess one could call me bi-verted.

Sometimes, it feels really good to get out and do something I don’t normally do. I’m not talking travel – that I completely do. I’m not talking about getting outside – I do that regularly too.  I’m talking about going out specifically to a event to meet friends and strangers and do some heavy socializing or networking.

It’s not that I’m not good at it. When I’m not feeling forced, I’m really rather good at it.

I do have friends who feel like they’re failures if they don’t have plans on Friday and/or Saturday nights. One friend texted me to write on the wall of her facebook – “had a great time last night” because she didn’t want anyone to know she’d stayed home. Another friend messaged me to write on her social media account, “the party was great, lots of good people… ” etc.  She prompted me what to write.

Silly, I think.

There are times I’ve gone out and didn’t have a lousy time, but it was mediocre at best. I thought – there’s a hundred other things I could be doing that would be more fun, including that age old “I’m washing my hair.”

I went to one party where, in an attempt to be social and get to know the host’s friends, I asked, “So what do you do?”

I was met with dogged stares. “What do you mean what do we do?”

“Uhm, for work, for fun?”  046c4b19426c8c5fc1056eb57014a3df (4)

Some social events include the whole 046c4b19426c8c5fc1056eb57014a3df (3)“no where to sit, no where to stand, hey there’s a table, this table is ours..” followed be hard looks and threatening body language by anyone from people who look like they would murder us for the chair or even the blue hair squad.

I’ve found serenity in not expecting to be out all the time. I’ve found peace in not taking part in activities or events in which I’m not keenly interested just for the sake of socializing.

When I socialize now, it’s so much more gratifying.

At a holiday party, deciding at the last moment to go, I met members of a band who were not “on”. They weren’t playing and they weren’t promenading; they were just hanging out with friends. Some of those friends included a woman who owned a chicken farm and regaled us with stories of cocks and chicks.

At another recent event, a crowd gathered round me. 046c4b19426c8c5fc1056eb57014a3df (5)I found myself surrounded by strangers talking about art. They were all from a local art school and I enjoyed their interpretations and expertise.

Don’t waste the eyelash glue or the time it takes to put it on just to go out because you feel you must. I know there are a ton of counterarguments to this, but my whole focus is love, joy, peace, and serenity. I find those things when I’m not being forced into anything. I find that in doing things I want, not just taking part to take part.

 

 

 

Noreen Lace

 

 

 

 

Little Pieces of Me

photo-1570075842600-4fb332449e00In being more authentic, I want to be more open with readers.  This story is something I’ve been working on – off and on – for years.

At first, the event was difficult to write about. It’s easier now. After all these years. Sometimes you need years to find the balance between tone, authenticity, and creativity. When you’re under pressure and in a bad situation, a lot of things happen in your mind and your body.

Here’s an excerpt:

In the bathroom mirror, my eyes are raccooned; make-up smeared from tears. My once pretty pink slip dress is wrinkled and smudged.

This doesn’t happen to girls like me. I did everything right. I was careful. Just hours ago I was out with friends; how many hours ago? It’s easy to lose track of time in Vegas. It’s built into the plan. Into his plan.

“Don’t try nothing’.” His voice is on the other side of the door; his thick hand, I sense, on the door knob. The house is empty except for us. I don’t know where everyone else went. But, suddenly, we were alone and his long hair hung in my face as he leaned in and whispered, “lots of people pay lots of money for young girls like you in Vegas.”

Reason and tears are wasted on psychopaths. There’s he and I, and only a hollow door between us.

“Ju…”  The word sticks in a sob deep in my throat. I move closer to the door and put my fingers on the lock, turn it as I try again, “just washing my face.” I step back and flip the lever; the water rushes into the shell shaped porcelain filling the silence. I take the dampened towel and rub it around my eyes, lose some of the dark circles as I glance around.

Light pushes through the shower door and I slide it open slowly, quietly. There’s a small square window higher up, but I can reach if I stand on the edge of the tub. I don’t pause to remind myself I’m on the second floor of a two story house; all I can think is escape. My throat tightens, breath narrows.

“You’re stalling,” he growls.

My tears have dried, my adrenaline is pumping, and I can hear my heartbeat bounce off the porcelain. “I have to use the bathroom.” I toss the towel next to the door, push the window open and pull myself up.

*

It’s a work in progress – still a draft.

My books are on sale this week.  You can read or gift Eddy or Psychic Surprise Party for Valentine’s Day.

 

with love!

Friday Reads

And Readings:

 

Because of the SoCal Fires, the Oct 12th Reading at the Open Book in Santa Clarita has been rescheduled to December. But you can still catch me in Northridge this Saturday, the 19th and next Saturday, the 26th.

Books:

Location: Northridge

 

Author Signing Tomorrow!

Hi, All!  If you’re in the area, stop down and see me. We’ll have a reading, signing, refreshments and a psychic reader!

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