Sleep pulls me down….

My untitled poem

[Sleep pulls me down on a Christmas pillow]

 

2016 books

 

has been published in Silver Streams journal.

Silver Streams is a new publisher in Ireland. Call me Internationale.

Grandma’s Secret Revealed!

When Grandma asks you to do something –

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You do it!

So when Grandma asked Katie to “take care of something” and “don’t tell anyone,” she barely hesitated. She had to get on a plane in the middle of the night and go to a storage unit……

What had Grandma kept hidden for 60 some years?

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If you’d like to know… You’ll have to open this Top Secret File at Pilcrow & Dagger.

Enter to win

Ladies and gentlemen,

To celebrate my summer release of as-of-yet-unnamed book of short stories, I’m giving away books for the next few months. Enter to win a copy of West End on GoodReads!

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Random facts stalkers don’t know…

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I grew up in a tough neighborhood. (don’t stereotype me)

I was in a band. (for about 5 minutes)

I was in a few movies. (another 5 minutes)

I wrote my first “novel”at the age of 11. (an angst ridden piece about a girl who is kidnapped because she witnessed a crime)

I was actually kidnapped. (not at 11/that story is waiting for publication)

I always have wanted to own a Munster-like house.

I’ve gotten lost in every major city I’ve ever been (including abroad. Trust me when I say every country/every city has neighborhoods you don’t want to be lost in at dusk)

I keep a lot of random facts as well as insignificant details in my brain. (jokes don’t stick tho)

now the stalkers know – don’t be a stalker….

When your back’s against the wall…

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Writing Wishes and Publication Dreams

I’ve been working on a new story – not only working – OBSESSED!  I don’t think I left the house for most of January and part of February until the first draft was done. I’m currently working through it again and again.  I’ve begun to gather my beta readers, and I’m quite excited.

Weekly, I spend time submitting. This is what a working writer does. Writes and submits. Rejections are no fun, and I get plenty of them. I read one statistic that read, “a writer gets an average of 26 rejections for every acceptance.” Not sure how they came up with that… I feel like it’s three times that much; however, things change!

Malcolm Gladwell, estimates it takes 10,000 hours to master any one thing. I feel like I should have reached those hours long ago; but, maybe, it takes some of us a little longer to get it. (That’s the story of my life!)

So – I have to update you.

My poem, “All At Once”, was a finalist in Medusa’s Laugh NanoText Contest. I didn’t win, but it’s still to be published in their anthology and in an e-book version. This should be available soon!

My poem, “I’ve Never Looked So Beautiful” has just been accepted by Mother’s Always Write. Before you start thinking I’m quite full of myself – the poem is about my lovely daughter! This should be available in the next month.

My story, “How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party” has been accepted by The Oleander Review. Sometimes, I write something and I think, this is pretty damn good, and I think this story says a lot about our humanity. I’m so happy that it will be published. It will be available mid-April

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, Writer Advice has just notified me that my story, “Memorial Day Death Watch”, has been chosen as a finalist in their Flash Memoir Contest!

We must have a purpose – I’ve always wanted to reach people, tell them they’re not alone. I think I’m just beginning to do that.

Live an Inspired Life!

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I Used to Use My Brain; Now I Use Google.

The other day, I googled a location in downtown Los Angeles, made mental note of the ease of its relationship to the freeway, and hopped in my car, confident in my Google Maps app.

(I must admit, it is a place I don’t visit unless required to by an errand, appointment, or event. I went to the Staples Center for a concert. I’ve met friends for events, even did a 5K. I like downtown. Yet, with traffic and one way streets, my lack of knowledge of the area, and my fear of the crime that still infiltrates the lovely old and new buildings of downtown, I don’t find myself exploring too often, and especially not by myself at night. And yes, I know, to some extent this is silly. My friend metro’s down there all the time, by herself, at night!)

In any case, my Google Map app suggested a plan different than I was familiar with. But I took it to avoid the traffic that GM claimed was blocking my rather straighter path. I felt confident in my Google app abilities. It once saved me thirty minutes from a blocked freeway due to an accident in San Juan Capistrano by announcing forcibly and loudly, “exit here.” And I did. I took to unfamiliar streets and roadways, and found myself at the right place even ahead of schedule. This had endeared me, allowed me to trust the app that I’d never relied on alone before.

Previously, when GM suggested I take the 605 instead of whatever I was on, I clicked the dismiss button because I know nothing about the 605; and even if the 5 or the 405 or whatever was cramped or sauntering, limping along, I knew those freeways. I could get off, get on, get to the other, find a gas station, a starbucks.

But emboldened by my Google Maps’ saving grace at the unfamiliar beach town, I allowed GM to tell me to take the 210, transfer to whatever, and then turn here or there.

But then – my phone shut down.

I was in the middle of nowhere – well, I was somewhere, obviously, but I didn’t know where. I didn’t know what turn was next, and then what after that? And what if it got dark as I was attempting to find my way? And why did my phone turn off? Do I want to be lost downtown without my phone at night?

Uhm, no.

Wait, wait. I am of another generation. I am of the generation that grew up without Google Maps or even electronic, satellite connected, mapping devices. I’ve been stuck in other downtowns, at night, I’ve gotten lost in every major city of every country I’ve ever been to. I always found my way home. Or found my way somewhere.

Today, tired, not feeling well, not motivated to spend the hour in traffic to go downtown anyway, I pulled off the freeway and sat in an empty lot staring at my dead phone. What did I do?

In the past I’ve made mental notes, or even physical notes, of the freeways, the exits, etc. Previously, I might have printed out the directions, just in case. Today, however, I’d done no such thing. I’d barely looked at the route. I let Google take over.

I sat there deciding. Did I continue on, hoping signs would tell me what to do, where to go? Did I ask directions? In the old days, the gas stations had maps on their walls, map books behind the counter. Now they had advertisements on the walls, vapes behind the counters.

The attendant looked at me strangely. “I’m not from this area.”

The other employee said something to the effect, “take the 210 to the 5, and then….”

A customer pulled out his phone, “Where?” he asked. “Take the 210, to the 2, get off at ….”

And it was all lost to me. I didn’t trust these strangers. I’d trusted Google. I’d trusted Samsung.

How much we trust our electronics instruments these days. How lost we are, literally, and metaphorically, without them.

Google finishes our sentences for us. Google saves our searches. Google offers us suggestions in random order controlled by those who clicked before us. Google helps us with our every day lives and allows us the luxury of not having to think, to plan, to do much of anything. Press a button, watch a movie, press a button listen to the summary of a book, press a button……

But – not really – Google doesn’t do these things.

We allow Google to do these things for us. To us. And we became just a little bit more comfortable in our dependence.

Had I taken a moment to even look at the route. Had I made the decision to take the route I was familiar with. Had I done a little more planning and work, everything would have gone a little more smoothly.

Google, I do appreciate you. But I really need to count on myself a little bit more.