Family Myths

grandmas last secret coverFamily myths are the richest to mine for stories. Family myths are things that a great aunt or uncle might have done, where they may have worked, lives they may – or may not – have lived.

It is rumored that one of my great grandmothers was Hoffa’s ex-girlfriend. Although when we tried to match up the timeline, it didn’t quite match; however, given a few corrections here and there – who knows?! It’s fun to think about.

Another family myth involves my grandfather – even telling the story here feels like I’m giving away secrets about my family, but my grandmother swore to her dying day that the tale was myth.

My grandfather was shot in the back by a police officer. A number of different stories are told as to why he was shot, but the officer stated he was aiming for his legs.

My grandfather was over 6 feet tall. The cop must have been the worst shot in the world if he was aiming at his legs.

My grandmother lived with people creating myths as to why he was shot. She would tell us stories about aunts and cousins who came to her asking for the truth, asking for money, asking for what they believed my grandmother had which caused his death. I was present for one such argument before my grandmother passed of a cousin asking her for the truth before she died. Grandma’s Last Secret is about one of those myths.

I love family myths so much, that I’m planning to write more stories about them. Maybe I’ll write “Hoffa’s Runaway Bride” someday.

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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.

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….

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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Mother’s Day is a Celebration of Life

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My grandmother, Ruth, on my father’s side, died before I was born. I never knew her. I’m told she lived in Los Angeles for some time; perhaps that is why I feel so at home here. When I arrived here so many years ago, I felt like I was coming home.

My grandmother, Mary, aka Amelia, passed less than a year ago. A week after she passed, I received the notification from Pilcrow & Dagger they were publishing the poem I’d written years before, inspired by her visit to L.A.  My grandmother used to write poetry – she left me her book of poems; it is a treasure!

My mother lives in Ohio.  She made the best cookies – still does!  Mom – send me some! J

Then there’s me –  Not to be cliché, but my life started when I had my daughters. It’s when I got serious about life, when I formed real ideas about priorities, when I started thinking of people other than myself.

 

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My girls and myself

 

 

Grandma’s Tour

 

 

It’s Christmas day.

She wants to see where she thinks

Marilyn’s body lies.

She doesn’t understand the tomb in a wall,

a name on a plaque.

She wants to touch the same dirt

Marilyn’s body touches.

 

 

I show her Jack Lemmon’s

“In” –

She wants to see the thirteen year old

from Poltergeist.

Another plaque on the wall.

 

 

Grandma is flustered,

she doesn’t want to be encased in eye-level marble,

an uncertain burial, she wants to rot

in the dirt, she says,

the natural way.

 

 

It’s Christmas day and my daughters

want to know why we’re at a graveyard.

My little one is writing down names

and dates,

an attempt to, once again, give the long dead

significance.

The older one won’t come close

She uneases herself along the edges of

the grass, the crypts,

the fresh dirt.

Unwilling to let the dead touch.

She’s taken an impromptu dislike to grandma

 

 

who is weeping.

It’s Christmas day and she expected

the movie stars to rot in the dirt,

like she will, she says,

but even in death, they are distinct.

 

Grandma’s Tour

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My Poem, “Grandma’s Tour” will be published in Pilcrow & Dagger’s November/December issue!

This is especially poignant as my grandmother passed in August of this year. She wrote poetry herself and left me her book of touching, handwritten poems.  It is one of my treasured texts.

  I think she would’ve liked this poem. I’m saddened she didn’t get to read it or see it published in her honor.