Black Panther.

So, Joe has been out of town and we both wanted to go see #BlackPanther. But he doesn’t get in ’till next wk and has been out 3 wks. I wanted to not miss the chance to help make it a success (not that I obviously needed to, WOW!) But I bought two tickets for opening night.

I didn’t go, though. I didn’t want to take a seat away from a black person who wanted to see the movie…and needed that seat much more than I did. Who deserved it more. So, I showed my support but then also, as a white person, stepped aside.

So…I planned to go only the next day or so. But MAN it was so packed. Insane. and it was such greatness! So…a week later I couldn’t wait any longer and on a middle of the workday (writing IS a job, I used my flexibility)….

…and the middle of the week when I thought it would be least likely to take from anyone else I finally went all by myself and watched it. AMAAAAZZZIIINNNG. I have no complaints. Black story. Black cast. Black director. Black writer. YES!

I felt like power when I watched Wonder Woman….so I know this movie had to do it a bit for others. Heck…I felt it watching that, too! How could you not while watching those amazing strong women? #BlackWomenPower inspiring.

Now I am excited. Because Joe comes home in one week and we are going to go see it together. We will buy two more tickets. Because #BlackPanther is worth it. And so are black people.

FYI, I did give my two first opening night tickets to some kids who couldn’t otherwise afford so they did not go to waste and allowed two young black #teenwriters to get the chance.

Anyway. I wanted to share my excitement. Because I AM! I also saw #WonderWoman twice for the same reason except for that time on opening and then again later with Joe.

I was happy to see #BlackPanther blow the #BoxOffice away without my help needed. As a #feminist I failed, because as a white woman I totally forgot that not only do black people represent. I forgot not to underestimate them. Like when #BlackWomen changed history in #Alabama.

#StillLearning there is still a lot of growth to do there.


When you have to convince a racist person that racism still exists and is far from over and in history alone.
People haven’t gotten better. Laws have. And even that has a long stretch to go for equality and equal treatment from law enforcement officers, judges, jury, and jail, and prison -the entire justice system.
When people think that the Civil Rights was so far back in history it’s people have all died. And usually, they are the age of people who actually lived during it. Sadly, when white, you are so privileged that you can afford to have forgotten what never affected you.
But people are still alive to tell the stories. I hope they do. The young people of today NEED your stories. The history has been written and taught wrong and white-washed for so long and the opportunity to have your voice heard is now. I beg you. I know it’s been hard enough to live it, but unless we can teach it, it will only continue. This goes for #HolocaustSurvivors as well. But it doesn’t stop there, we need #RefugeeStories #RefugeeSurvivors #WarVictims stories to be told. To be heard. to be shared. To survive so that hopefully one day, the cause of them will not. And, in discussing this, I reach out to the #DomesticAbuseSurvivors, the #SexualAssaultSurvivors. We NEED #NativeAmerican stories. We NEED the truth and the side to allow it is now at a time in America larger than the side to squash it. Not to overshadow #CivilRightsSurvivors by any means. But understand why your story is our history and the record needs to be set straight. We live at a time when the abusers don’t control the writing of the history books. (FYI, I would love to help anybody write their story for this reason, donating my time.)
To convince racist white America on a daily basis that racism exists is exhausting. For me. A white woman. So imagine the exhaustion of living it? I can’t even begin. What I can do is help be a line to white people living in their little white boxes who don’t even read black authors or black stories, or have ever taken the time to read anything not a meme about #BlackLivesMatter to know what and why they are. Can any of you about to bash #BLM today stop for a second and tell me when and why they became an organization? Just…shhhh, stop for a second….take a pencil, paper. And answer that. Don’t Google it. Then have any discussion with me that you’d like and I will listen. But only if you then will #Read.
Civil Rights didn’t just END with the murder by a racist white person of Dr. Martin Luther King. It didn’t just END because Ruby Bridges got to walk into that school, guarded by grown men against the grown racist trash yelling white people who stood there dropping their own kids off at school and then being the example to them against people in hatred over simply skin color that they were. It didn’t END because a tired woman refused to stand up on a bus. It didn’t END because one tiny little group of black men sat down in a diner one time. It didn’t END because it’s history. Because it isn’t history. And it isn’t dead. And those who lived it and those who fought hard to provide better for the next generations aren’t history. So until we can one day say “That is over” and “That was so far ago now the stories are only whispers of legend and lore and not of memory” it isn’t over. When black people don’t have to march for their rights anymore. When they don’t have to march to have their voice heard. When they don’t have to march for their lives to not still be taken in racism then perhaps it will be over.
Until then…
John Lewis
58 years ago today, I was arrested for the first time as a participant in the sit-ins at lunch counters in downtown Nashville. Walking out to the paddy wagons, I tried to walk with a sense of pride & dignity. I felt free, I felt liberated. I felt like I crossed over. #goodtrouble
#CivilRights #Racists #Racism #MAGA #Trump #WhiteSupramacy #KluKluxKlan #Merica #NRA #DearWhitePeople #WhitePeople #WhiteAmerica #PoliceReform #PoliceBrutality #BeinglBackInAmerica #ReadBlackAuthors #BlackStories #Writers ##BlackWriters #BlackAuthors

A discussion on spanking.

The question was: Is spanking violent? Yes or no?

This is my response:

I had two forms of spanking in my house. Now, being the good kid I got it rarely. Except early on when my mother had abuse problems. 

#1. My mom was an in anger spanker. She was pretty small so later on her hitting didn’t hurt so much. Earlier though, my first four years. She would beat the hell out of me pretty regularly and often with a horse riding crop. That only ended at age four when she broke it on me. She moved to the wooden spoon and broke dozens on us kids. She seemed to mellow out later but I was older and a good kid and helped second mother all the younger ones, there were eight of us, and keep them out of her hair. Her anger and violence at one time had her point a gun at my 12 year old brother for back talking, and a knife at him another time while saying both times that she had brought him into this world, she could take him out. So…our spanking wasn’t just that. And I think everyone’s view of what a spanking is varies. My mothers spanking with her hand would be over 100 times just flailing and flailing until she usually broke her own hand. There was no control.

#2. Now, we love when dad got to spank us instead. When mom instead played (this came later) “stay in your room until your dad gets home” rather than go off on us herself. Usually because she hurt herself more than not. Dad would take off the belt, come upstairs and back the bed next to us more times than not to satisfy mom. Two wacks. We did get the belt a couple of times as well, two hard wacks. It hurt but it didn’t harm us emotionally. He never got angry or emotionally out of hand in these moments. (Though there are other drinking issues later as teenagers and when problems with our mother escalated. But that’s another story.)

And a 3rd. The one time my grandmother spanked me. I did not understand why I was being spanked. I ad made a comment about my sister being adopted by them. She was really my mom’s first child. I said this to some family friends. My mother took me to her house and told my grandmother. My grandmother got upset, showed me my sisters birth certificate that showed their name as her last name, and spanked me with the fly swatter. I remember her anger. I even to this day don’t understand the problem since I only spoke what was common knowledge in our family. Was it the way I said it? I was like 8 years old. I don’t always ‘say things right’ now, at 36. That spanking devastated me and left me hurt emotionally. Not the feel of the spanking, but that I had somehow made my grandmother angry…and that my mom seemed to delight in telling on me and seeing her mad at me.

Personally I am emotionally “ok” from it all. but I’ve always wanted that relationship with my mother other kids had and I didn’t. this goes deeper than spanking but only as deep as the anger of my mother. So I guess it really depends on the range of what each persons version of “spanking” is. If your kid is being spanked more than other punishments and not understanding why they met a consequence to their actions I think that is where things often go wrong. Joe and I listened to a family at a booth next to ours in a Chinese restaurant recently, white couple, dad was WAY more hands-on, mom had met them some time into the meal coming from work. Two young boys about the age of 7. One acted up a bit, dad said he couldn’t play with the phone because the last time he threw it when he got mad. He then discussed consequences in a very calm manner with his son through the meal. Joe walked away saying “I seriously wanted to high five that dad. He didn’t just ignore or punish his kid. He had his kid calm and listening and then only ended the conversation when his child understood what he was saying and what a consequence was and why he was getting on to what actions now.”

If your kid is already acting in anger, reacting in anger is likely not helping, and often times the example they already had. What came first? Experiences parents anger and then copying it? It becomes a hamster wheel of anger and reaction.

Are you spanking your kid enough to cause them mark and harm?

Are you then having a sit down discussion with them about their behavior at any time? I think THIS is a huge problem that doesn’t happen.

Did you just spank your kid for hitting his sister?

I mean, there are times and places for it. I am not anti-spanking. I am anti-spanking out of anger and leaving the problem actually unsolved. Anytime a kid NEEDS a spanking is a problem that needs attention to begin with.

Other things, something I saw recently was a kid leaving a petco crying, in the tantrum kind of crying. she got spanked at the car. I had seen that there were a couple of possibilities not being addressed: It was about dinner time and the child could be simply in 5 year old “Hangry” mode. But unable to translate that…heck as adults we don’t. Joe often has to say “It’s time to feed you” and we are in our 30’s. It was also just getting dark on a weekday, she was in a school uniform. She was 5. She likely had been woken up around 6:am and sent to school and after school daycare, picked up and taken to run errands with the parents after perhaps a playdate or home work in the afternoon as well. And MAYBE an hour long nap. which isn’t enough for a child that age on a day like that. It isn’t enough for me. I would be cranky from being tired…adding that to hungry. She was simply in “I don’t even know why I’m crying” tantrum mode and yet got spanked rather than handed a drink of water and a banana until the parents got home and fed her dinner and gave her a bath and put her to bed with a story.

She did not deserve a spanking.

Never once did my parents discuss with us why we were in trouble. And as kids we are like puppies…most times we don’t even know why.

And maybe kids won’t “get it” in one conversation like with the dad at the Chinese restaurant, but keep raising/training them that way and eventually it sinks in. (Usually nothing we learned from our parents actually sinks in until we hit 30, but remember you aren’t raising children, you are raising future adults.)

Honestly. If you are fed, napped, been told No three times and have been explained WHY…then yeah, I’d probably say a spanking, depending on the entire circumstances of why, is not a no altogether. But also a frustrated or angry parent means a parent who needs to calm down first as well. And how many spanks and with what? I know we all joke about the wooden spoons now. But truly…breaking wooden spoons on your kids ass is not exactly good parenting.

I FEEL like I am ok. I’ve gone to therapy (two divorces, anger at mom and instead of a fight I went to therapy instead. Just seemed like it wouldn’t hurt.) My therapist asked how I managed to be ok after all that. She herself having to leave the room crying (two of them-one man, one woman), therapists honestly didn’t understand. I know mine falls in the extreme of many, but it was also a lot less than more. I said “What choice is there? You just…do.” I was ‘diagnosed’ as resilient. Not all of my siblings have done as well or as calmly. Each deals with it differently. All would have been better with less angry parents and less anger taken out on us. But even though I FEEL ok, I always had the absolute fear that I would lose my temper on my own child. And I do have a temper. I do not have children. I might feel ok, but I’ve gone through enough adult troubles to likely be traced somewhat to a lot of what I grew up with.

When you go to jail, your judge is usually clear to explain “Do you understand why you are here?” At the start. And clear to explain why you are being punished during sentencing.

When you get arrested, you are read your rights, and calmed down, and told why you are being arrested at some point (in most and should be all cases).

When the Military enters a country in war or battle, that country and their enemy KNOWS the reason why.

Yes. Maybe a kid hit their brother and got spanked for hitting their brother and sorta knows it’s wrong on one hand…but then they got spanked in the same form hand to body contact for it….perhaps it confuses and messes with a childs way of understanding, linking, and connecting the dots over all.

Again, your house trained puppy knows it did wrong peeing on the floor…I mean look at them embarrassed and waiting to be punished when you enter the room. but you aren’t supposed to punish them because “they won’t even remember” typically and otherwise don’t get the connection overall. Right? Why would we treat our dogs better than our kids? And yes, since the typically spanked child is 7 yrs and under, they ARE puppies. They know…but do their brains really allow them to process it overall and long-term?

Do you remember being spanked as a child?

Do you remember why?

Spanking should be a last resort. Spanking won’t help a child showing violent tendencies.  And spanking alone without being sure they learn and know what consequences are won’t teach a child in the end. Only for that moment at best.

Spanking in your own anger, tiredness, frustration is always wrong. And if you were thinking clearly and not angrily you likely wouldn’t spank to begin with. Do you feel bad as a parent after spanking? Do you go overboard when spanking? Has spanking actually taught your child to stop hating their sibling or whatever they got spanked for? Is your child hungry/tired/overstimulated and thus throwing a tantrum or acting out? Is your child acting out because they are being bullied out of your sight, or even becoming the bully, or is there a mental illness to consider?

I guess there are many things to think about when deciding if you are going to be a spanking parent or not.

As a parent, have you read the studies on spanking? What do you think of them? As an anti-spanking sure you agree, as a spanking…have you considered the issues?

Have you thought “That’s just how we were raised and we turned out fine” with the consideration of “but did you really?”

And one person doesn’t make the study. Groups of them do. So…if you turned out fine, but your five or majority of siblings did not. That could be your study. And do you think you turned out fine but then at other times wonder why your life seems such a mess? Maybe there is a link. Not entirely to the spanking itself, but how the spanking came at you, in anger? Overdone? First resort? Never being discussed with consequences to actions? Not even remembering why you got spanked?

Just throwing out ideas and discussion.



For today’s #BlackHistoryMonth in the present, I want to share a discussion I had with a black male born in the late 1970’s recently, with one statement he had. A traveled man himself with the Air Force and time in war in the Middle East. We discussed politics, racism, and travel and then those all hand in hand.

Being a traveler we discussed my project and travel currently and it came to discussing some groups I know, such as and the very white world of RVing. We weren’t discussing ideas or asking why’s, we were just stating what is. And then he said “I’ll tell you why black people don’t travel the way white people do all across America…

Black people don’t travel, hike, do your RVing, camp, and all that because we’ve been told to stay in our PLACE for so long. We don’t even have the concept to step outside of our neighborhoods, our blocks, or the place that the white people have put us in for generations. We are allowed where we are told we are allowed and we don’t go where we aren’t allowed to go. Even now being allowed technically, doesn’t mean we are safely allowed or welcomingly allowed.” He said.

There was more to our long and very good conversation. But this part is burned in my heart. I teared up then and there. The truth and clarity of that statement will literally haunt me. And it is truth. Clear as day. And thus BlackHistory and what Being Black in America is is not history but still of today. Because people still chant #MAGA in open racism.

As a white woman I truly hope to allow travelers of color whom I come across to feel welcome and safe but I’ve been through all of the deep south and through the recent elections enough to know just how unsafe they truly are. I feel unsafe as a woman much of the time. I can’t imagine feeling unsafe all of the time as a black woman or even worse, the way we see black men treated by white men in the media. Forever in my childhood will be scarred the memory of watching the news of James Byrd Jr. And the past couple of years have been black men being murdered by the police for 100% no reason other than being black, like Philando Castile. Never will a police officer fear me, in fact his guard will likely always be too far down. The opposite the officer in the case of Philando Castile was.

It is sad. I remember this being a topic even in California with a guy on a hike-date in my early twenties. His mother worried about him for these reasons. Yet another more recent LAPD beating overkill of a black man had occurred. It was 2004. I had watched this one the news as it happened and then again over and over. My first young and naive white privileged thought I still remember today as being “My mama beat me if I ran, too” but what I was only just about to realize was that the long long generation long history of police beating, lyching, and killing the black man and raping of the black women had come long before and that the reason a black man ran today wasn’t why he was beaten, the reason he ran was because of a generation of getting beaten. (Stanley Miller).

What is something to note with our recent gun debate is that the LAPD was first banned of batons because of the beating with them. And then Police Chief William Bratton banned the large flashlight after the 2004 incident and called for manufacturers to make a smaller model. And guess what? There are no beatings with batons and less with flashlights now.  And though the LAPD has had the worst reputation, it has also had the greatest improvements. Not all police training and police departments across the nation run by very high standards if any at all. Certainly, lack of procedure can be pointed out in 100% of all of the media highlighted issues.  Though even they are still far off the mark yet.

This is why the awareness of Colin Keapernick is needed. So many people don’t SEE the problem. They don’t even think what they do come across is a problem. And, as my naive self once was, that is the problem. And prob less can’t be fixed without knowing about them. And it shows that the eveil American treatments of Black people are not #History but that still of today.

We discussed growing up in interracial families. I had the experience of having mixed sisters, but here was a good long come to wakening conversation with a mixed young man and how police treated him, an upright college educated hard working person. Or how dangerous an angry, jealous, or looking for trouble, or racist white man can be. My eye’s had been opened even further than I thought possible as the girl from the south, from Texas, from an interracial family, raised knowing full well what hearing the word Nigger sounded. It’s seen/lived/realized/understood different from child to adult and it’s different from black man to black woman.

A black woman has a lot to fear, too, though. As any woman, times about three more than myself. One friend told me a long time ago, as a black woman herself, “it’s just that black women have only ever known violence toward them to not know there is something else to compare it to. We are stronger for it but the white man will take credit for that, too, so that we don’t even own that. Black women don’t own anything no matter how much we pay for it.” I can’t imagine carrying the weight that they do on their shoulders, but as a white woman and a feminist I will forever try and ease their burden, try to carry my part of the weight. And try to solve some of the problems of justice. If for no other reason than it being simply the right thing to do, then for my two young sisters who will forever live as woman, and black woman, in America at a time when white supremacists speak freely and openly at colleges leading the next generation of racism in charge and promise of a white America, and of their extinction and who have to live with their own white mother calling them Niggers and treating them worse even than the world they will ever meet outside. Their burden will always be greater even than mine even within the childhood we shared and now as grown women in the outside world.

Though this article has two lines that completely devalue black girls and try to twist a story on social media, there is a LOT of good information in here to share, and many links to good sources.

I want to share this particular article because it shows how easily one person can ruin an entire cause with a false debunking. Though missing persons were down, missing young black girls were still very high, it was just getting a voice and a spotlight and #TimeMagazine decided to try and shut it down with two very bad lines and a terribly misleading headline just because out of passing things along on the internet SOME information as inaccurate (that 14 were missing in 24 hours rather than within less than a months time) and regardless, as is said “Members of the black community also perceived a racial dimension to the scarcity of news coverage. Black children who go missing receive less media attention than white kids, says Natalie Wilson, who runs the Black and Missing Foundation. Wilson and her sister-in-law Derrica founded Black and Missing in 2008, after the disappearance of Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old woman from Spartanburg, S.C., went largely unnoticed by national media. A 2016 analysis of online coverage of missing persons published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology found some evidence that cases involving white women not only draw more attention but more intense coverage. (The late journalist Gwen Ifill once dubbed the phenomenon “missing white woman syndrome.”)” This is truth.

Black people get noticed in the media less unless they did something wrong. And that isn’t something to ignore. As example of bad “debunking” articles, recently people sending articles “debunking” 18 school shootings so far this year, while their own articles still note 18 shootings at or in or on school grounds situations…it isn’t false, fake, or untrue. It might be worded a little differently and yes, let’s pay attention to details in journalism. But 14 girls missing in only one months time rather than 24 hours time in only one city without any news media attention is still something to bring to the forefront, and not allow SOME of what is on the internet (14 in 24 hours, or 18 school involved shootings maybe not by a mass bullet spraying killer but still 18 school involved shootings nonetheless, and all just as important as the other way) overshadow it. There are now more articles saying that 14 girls aren’t missing, rather than spotlighting that they, indeed, were legally reported and missing, because of one false timeline of 24 hours rather than a one months time. And now, as before, women of color who don’t get media attention when missing like white women do, or black women’s murders investigation with the media attention that a white woman’s murder gets (you don’t see a lot of black women murder mystery tv movies, either, do you?) So again, their voice is lost, as they often are.

And that goes without mentioning the #MeToo movement, started by the voice of a black woman,

And even the voice of a black woman in a hospital after giving birth and while, literally, on the verge of dying, doesn’t get heard.

And in all the mental health talk of late there hasn’t been whispered that of black women and mental health. Or even mental stress. Even Sandra Bland seems forgotten already and mention of mental illness then didn’t spark the fire for discussion.

And only recently it was black women who turned an entire tide in Alabama, of all incredibly places, to blue in voting in a Democrat Senate against a racist pedophile white supremacists which the white people of Alabama seemed to be moved even more to vote as bad news came out about him. Without a voice given about it at all beforehand, black women surprised the entire world with the largest American history change in over 8 years, when the first black president had won election, and by the smallest minority numbers to show how powerul even a small voice can be. They did it quietly but their voice spoke volumes to the world and upon history. And as a feminist and a Democrat I truly personally thanked and thank them now, but a week later it seems that incredible moment was already over and of course the focus was, in the end, still a white man who had the Senate seat even if it was black women who allowed him to have it. Do they get that credit? That THEY own that seat, that THEY put him there? No, still it seems somehow yet to be realized. Even white Wonder Woman in a movie got more than a week of media attention than those Wonder Women did.

And when black lives were being killed in large numbers, it was black women who created the Black Lives Matter movement. Simply because Black. Lives. Matter and in the killings America was saying that they didn’t. And what they face everyday is being drowned out by the voice of white people against it. Why doth protest the death of your unarmed men? They say, surprised and mad that the black, much less the women, dare to raise a voice. Long live the America that put black people AND women in their place to be spoken to but who are not allowed to speak! They say in their #MAGA way.

But we need to listen to the voice of the black woman.

However, even for me and the voice I raise for injustice and people of color, women, black women and men and unarmed killed children and so forth…I had moments, and still do, when I have a whole lot of learning to do. The eye-opening was the naivety of my young 20’s in a time when even many black people seemed to find the most rest they’d had in …ever in the history of America. But once the eye-opening was offered, it was up to me to learn, and seek being taught. And I do every day now. There is so much more to learn but I most definitely try and learn it from the black American’s and people of color all around the world. I always try and listen to their voice, and give them space to be heard.

Why do I care? Because I don’t have the weight of burden that they do. And they don’t have the choice of having that weight of burden which they carry. To be human is to be a friend and help to ease, and to carry the weight of the burden, and hopefully one day to help them fully cast it away. But they can’t do that without being heard. So in the personal experiences listening to the voice of my first story above, and the voice of the second, and the voice of the woman friend of mine in the third….I try and listen because “they don’t need any longer to be kept in ‘their’ place, but be allowed to actually live in the world among us all and us all together.” Real change comes from real stories. And here are three that I have heard in person that have moved and shaped my entire life.  And THAT is America.

#BlackLivesMatter #BlackWoman #BlackMen #BlackAmerica #America. #MAGA can not win. #POC #WOC #Feminism


Who’s your Go-Getter?

Not sure about some of these listed on BookRiot,   but good topic. Who are some of your Go-Getter role models you read on?
Mine change all the time, not change but get added to. Currently, they are;
-Hillary Rodham Clinton and reading what is an inspiring book of What Happened. And the poise she keeps even during 30+ years of lies and rumors and hate and total opposition against her. AND regardless of personal thoughts, still dealt with a difficult relationship in the public eye. Lord, can I relate to all of that. A true teacher.
-Gloria Steinem, especially after reading her book On The Road. That woman of her age and still Go Go Go. But you can really learn a lot as a writer, an activist, a woman, and being a white feminist working alongside black feminists as hard and as much as she does. I don’t think retirement will ever happen for her. And turning her writing into her advocacy. She is also a white #feminist that really opens to door in teaching other white feminists about fellow black feminists, Something truly needed in that gap we white women need to learn a lot of. For us, it will take the voice of the white women to show us that, I know this, and I hope to also be that kind of feminist. She has opened a lot of doors for me on that and taught me to be a better feminist.
-Roxane Gay. This one says her mind but also isn’t a jerk or an idiot. I mean, like take Lena Dunham. I love her work (only recently discovered because the bad feminist in me had to watch Girls all 6 seasons just for Kylo Ren, prior I just avoided her stuff.) As a writer I am in awe, as a woman and a feminist I want to just make her stop. Roxane says some controversial shit without being a twerp. There aren’t moments of hand to forehead and thinking “Nope, you just ruined it for us all”. But as an outspoken black feminist writer, this woman seems to only open your eye’s and make you want to buy her a drink. I suggest reading her works for real, all of her essays. And what is funny is because of what you’ve read about her and then you read her straightforward writings she does seems like total brass, maybe even too much….so then I suggest you just punch her name into youtube for a day and seriously you are like “Dude, she’s so fucking chill.” I could listen to her forever. I often do for a good portion of the day and have in two lectures in person so far. She so fends for herself but somehow you kinda want to beat other people up who say cross things about or to her like you would protect a close friend or a sister. Her writing is a great eye-opener and as a writer I can truly admire. As a memoir writer I can even more so. Her then taking a stance and leaving a publishing house with her book because they chose to publish a right-wing antagonist. A Woman, who is also black, who took a stand and not only got her book published anyway, then ended up staying on the best sellers list for record-breaking weeks, discussed her very tiny advance (I think her’s was about twenty grand while Milo Y’s was like 250 grand with that same publisher) openly which as a writer is like awesome stuff. She has become a large part of transparency in the publishing world that is very needed. And her stance caused the publishing company to drop Milo Y, even in the face of lawsuit over it, and his book bombed when he took it to publish (I think he self-published after that). One woman’s voice made huge waves in not only the world of writing but the meaning of lines drawn in the sand for freedom of speech. We do NOT have to allow ourselves to be bullied as women, and black women do not have to allow themselves to be bullied. And writers DO have the power over the publisher. And good vs evil will win. You know…a lot came out of that. But the backbone that took was amazing. Like, Warrior Queen stuff right there. I had a year of HRC’s book, her doing that stance and reading her book, and Super Woman came out. It was a kick-ass mother fucking 2017 regardless of the wimp that got elected into the White House. I always said there was more power outside of the White House and office BECAUSE we had a voice on the outside without the restrictions of the inside.
-I have to say Joe, because he’s really worked hard and done well. There is nothing to read on him except what I write. And I am sure over time much more of that will be done. He is amazingly encouraging. I had not realized before how little…or rather zero encouragement I had out of relationships of any kind, friend or lover.
I had not realized how much I dove into being there for them, encouraging, and even driving whatever they were doing forward (even to the point of annoying and bossy) while I not only would often abandon my own thing but never once had encouragement or faith in me and what I did. I have that so much now in ways I could never have imagined. It is really eye-opening and heart and soul filling to have at least one person truly under any circumstances in your corner. He works very hard and would do anything for me if I wanted or needed. He doesn’t settle down and he goes after what he wants. We have the best conversations on this stuff and that is another thing, he truly values my input on everything. He is non-conventional and relishes in my non-conventionalism and that is something that truly often drove me apart in past relationships and now only drives me forward. I have constant emotional support and it makes a huge difference when in 36 years you never once had it otherwise.
-Another example would be Jhumpa Lahiri who as soon as I read about her I read everything from her. She is a woman of so many backgrounds who truly strives to pull them all together and live in them, and beside them in her own. These are struggles all women can relate to in some way or another. She also wants things that are a bit unconventional for her and her entire family and she does them. She seeks to learn and she writes so beautifully.
-Arianna Huffington is on the list since reading all about her ages ago and now her books. Sleep and women=the relationship. Striving to the top. Working harder than everyone else. Doing double duty as a mom, wife and CEO in her situation until literally passing out. Stepping out from her comfort zone and creating creating creating and learning about live and living and quality over quantity along the way. Not to mention all she has achieved as a strong woman in the field of the writing and business world.
-Michelle Obama. this woman has had so much class and poise in the face of death threats over literally the color of her skin. She has been a great mother, wife, and first lady, an example of a woman. She comes from amazing educational background and continues to be a presence for woman everywhere. She doesn’t only become someone only some can relate to, but really all (if not the problem is yours, not hers). She dares to be different, herself. In this, I also place Barack for much of the same. I love how they chose their portraits to be done, by whom, and in what style. Black American Art. Not being conventional because conventional America is a racist old and outdated America. And being supporters of great art. Even past, if not more so, the White House they strive for a better America.
-Amy Tan, OMG I am reading her latest now, a memoir. And I can relate to her as a woman and a writer SO much. I have been in awe of her writing, her books. I can’t help but buy two copies, both in hardcover, one to keep sacred and one to underline and highlight the hell out of.
-I have to really put Elon Musk in there because this guy has been Go Go Go since teenaged years. He has a brilliant mind that expands constantly. He tries, he fails, he goes for it, he creates. Good bad or ugly it’s pretty revolutionary and exhausting just reading about it.
-There are some big names like Mark Zuckerberg and both Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Jobs and so forth because of what they’ve done with themselves and created. I mean…a teenager in college creating things in a dorm room is already impressive. Having created things I literally can’t live without even more so. They are in my lives and influence whether I like it or not. I say this as I type on my Apple laptop and share it on my Facebook page. But they have all been people who truly give back to the world as well in very large quantities. Especially say Melinda Gates, who create motion in ways and places needed around the world for others in need, it goes beyond giving money. But they have all created economy that we run on as well. I mean…I can barely get my coffee made without spilling it all over the floor and here they are pretty much running the world. It’s impressive whether you like them or not. And even if you don’t, your life is influenced heavily by them.
-The organizers of Black Lives Matter, Colin Keapernick, Jemele Hill, the organizers of Pantsuit Nation and the Women’s March as well as The Black women March, when the cast of Hamilton spot to Pence, and other such situations because they literally put their lives on the line for awareness and social justice. They are doing this in my day and age. I get to see this in action. It must be how some people feel about having grown up with Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks, Florynce Kennedy, Cesar Chavez.
-Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Cecile Richards, Wendy Davis (though she didn’t take the opportunities she could have this past two years to come back and do it again, I admire her for the time she did), Alice Walker, Me Too founder Tarana Burke: ‘You have to use your privilege to serve other people’, for women who truly work work work out of the mess of from the bottom up, creating themselves into what they are, doing for others constantly, teaching, bringing teachings through in their arts, showing the capabilities of woman, mother, wife, self, CEO, creator, artist, whatever. Creating entire movements that change the world. Supporting other women. I can name a lot more women and men here, too but these have been some of my most in the lately list. Also, one day I want to be Shonda Rhimes when I grow up. But I need more coffee to even think about that woman. lol Talk about Go Go Go. When I feel I don’t have enough time or feel overwhelmed, I tune into some Shonda Rhimes on youtube speaking in the background of my work and get back at it.
-I am totally loving some role models in various writing, project, or just go-get-em in some like Gina Rodriguez, Tracee Ellis, Lena Waithe, Jessica Williams, America Ferrera among others. I love reading the works of other fantastic women.
I personally did not have good female role models growing up in my life or family. Or any role models really. My grandmother disowned my mother and in doing so disowned all of her grandchildren. That was a huge abandonment issue right there for me. My birth father has not been a part of my life. My mother was the perfect example of who and how not to be as a woman, a mother, a wife or partner. My older sister chooses to be MIA one minute and in your life the next, it really creates trust issues. And not in one place is there or has their ever been true love, support, encouragement (in fact there has been the opposite of all). Ever since I struck out on my I pretty much have sought them out. I seek strong, hard-working, creative, independent, and teachings to offer types who typically overcame diversities and childhood hardships and treat themselves and those around them very well and uplifting in those I read of or those in my personal life as well. I pretty much surround myself with this now. I have a LOT more for the “not alive now” category or who have influenced me in many ways over my lifetime, such as Maya Angelou being my influence to become a writer and writer though life, that you can turn real ugly into real beauty. I more recently run on the quote “I write myself back together” of Roxane Gay. And there are many not listed here who have at one time or another been an influence. Some I may not have even realized. Using your writing or art for what you wish to achieve in the world as well as within yourself is a big part of my influential people in my life. Keeping a head held high and the strength to walk right through the crowd that hates or judges you most has always been one for me, and has really been put to the test. Holding poise has literally gotten me through, and after, seven months in jail, divorce, and small town living and rumors among more. Basically also my entire adult life so far.
Who are your Role models? Your model of Get-up-and-go each day? In your projects and works, and creativeness? In your daily life?
#Influence #Rolemodel #WontStop #CantStop

Childhood Trauma.

TED Published on Feb 17, 2015 Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.


Understanding is seeking. Questioning is a seeking. Understanding is a platform of where to go next. From the platform one now has the understanding, information, knowledge, and idea (the biggest part) to approach a solution. A solution is never overnight (especially in anything to do with health and especially stemming from childhood). Having an idea and knowledge and information and a voice and a platform now then allows one to create application of solutions found. This is the kind of person we need in the world.

Diabetes is insane. Asthma is insane. Child allergies are insane. Autism is insane. diseases from HIV to Ebola to H1-N1 to the flu we can’t control are all insane in numbers. We write it off to higher population and traveling. But perhaps there is more to it. Nipping it in the bud won’t be by stopping travel, or staying indoors and away from all people during flu season, or even JUST putting down the sugar. If that were the case we would have seen diabetes go down in the age of mothers taking away corn, wheat and soy. Being past the era of the 70’s/80’s hostess cupcakes in our cabinet. And we would have seen less autism by now. Not more…it’s been decades of mom’s talking about this now. It is no longer something new, yet the birth rate of it hasn’t started slowing down. Flu and other diseases would be down because of modern medicines attributions of being high by vaccine and knowledge and safer sex and even abortion (in cases such as HIV).

So, maybe there is something beyond all that of which is handed us to take care of the symptoms when we still rather ignore the cause.

Some of the worst diseases come from some of the most War-Torn countries, and from the most worn-torn generations of them. Mental illness in America is higher of the generation of children stemming from WWII and Vietnam and Gulf War and now the 9/11 war Veterans and protestors and civil rights timelines and children of Jewish WWII survivors and more.

If somebody did a study beginning now of the refugee’s of Syria and followed the children from say 5-10 years of age to mid-thirties, I bet it would be the best study conducted of this to date. Except there is one factor. Syrian refugees pretty much know that they are and can leave. There is hope among the children. The war there has always believed to soon end.

But we could take a second study in somewhere in a part of the continent of Africa that not only is in freshly bloomed war today but has been for decades and there is, let us be honest here, likely less chance of an end anytime soon. The children that were 5-10 years old almost three decades ago could be a study as well as beginning with a comparison to Syrian and American children of 5-10 years old today and through until their mid-thirties.

Each individual household in America is a harder breakdown. As the subject of more recent studies go, some kids got spanked and turned out fine, some not so much and are dying from heroin now. Child molestation turns often to drugs and prostitution in America, this is fact. Raised in a domestic abuse household creates a higher chance for a male to become an abuser and a female to marry into it. But the overall is a lot harder to pinpoint a trauma comparison rather than an individual basis. And demographics vary widely and would affect (single parenthood, drug parents, parents with mental depression or other, white neighborhoods, Chicago black neighborhoods, black & White north vs black & white south as also East/West and Middle, gang territory or not, public school vs private and so forth. Children in war-torn countries or  the continent of Africa (whichever portion at the time is more the same demographic affected at that time/Say Somalia, Syria, And say North or South Korea, (all in comparison of America) are more likely to be much more the same demographic in about every category (same religion/both parents/same type and level of schooling, same type of trauma).

However, the studies within America childhood trauma alone could be amazing in vast directions and large enough groups. It would take a lot for one group to conduct all of these studies and you would want it to be all one group, or all of the same groups working on each of the same projects for their own varied outcome to be evenly found. Five different groups doing five different area’s will only come out with five different results with a few similarities, even if enough of them. In America, each home is a bit overall different where-as in or from a war-torn country the overall situation is THE focus issue. Not too many Jewish child survivors of WWII think back to that one time their sister got a better birthday present than they did over being in a concentration camp.

Sadly there are several situations of childhood trauma to choose from to study, as well as compare and all within the same generations of technology and knowledge. But starting as an adult now, in understanding your own past we could begin as individuals and with these types of studies done now to begin not only to understand but to learn to unwind the tangle of issues and to begin to make better decisions and fewer mistakes, maybe even just mistakes with less weight and less repeat. As far as that part of it goes. Perhaps with better understanding, we could seek care for mental health before it is too late, and even do our best to counter physical health. and, I spent seven months with the time to question myself “I don’t DO bad things, but I KEEP ending up in bad situations. WHY? And why do I make bad decisions? Where am I repeating even when I think I am not and work very hard not to? And then, how can I change this?” I personally have said in life “ok, don’t’ make that mistake” and somehow in a long roundabout way, if it isn’t that exact mistake, it seems to come to another or the same even if another form and from another rout. ALL mistakes are, in the end, the same with just another name. I KNOW better and DO avoid it and yet….so I sat for a LONG seven months and two days meditating on the why, when, where, what, how, (the who being me as regardless of what “happened” TO me, it was ME it KEPT happening to. I was the one who was making the mistakes.I looked back at ALL big and small decisions and ALL big and small mistakes that got me to where I was sitting for those seven months with a lot of time on my hands to think. I was in jail. And this brought me to the NOW. As in what to do now, how to really fix the problems, not just THINK I was? To make better decisions (which was my big come back to focal question).  WHERE I could find in my life that what I had been trying to avoid always became exactly what I did (in one form or another…one mistake for another mistake just like using one drug over another drug way of thought).

None of this, for me, is to lay blame. But to figure out the path of now. It is like trying to stop a wound from bleeding but not knowing where the bleeding is coming from. One you know, you can usually make the fixes needed. This is not a Ted Talk of “Here is an un-fixable problem” in my view, it is a map to give you directions to an eventual destination. This is only one of the very few pieces/studies and more coming out about how much your childhood (and even further in some cases) affects you now and your future. It is an understanding and an understanding is only a beginning.

I listened to Roxane Gay say “I wrote myself back together.” My writing is a way of creating a map for me. This is why much of my writing is memoir literature, Literary realism, though I have a love and a secret side of mythology, and literary fiction. But even in my fiction, each piece is a part of my own map on another level and sometimes mythology rings a little close as well, being some sort of connection felt.

And, though not everyone has a seven-month jail stint to stare at a wall and give yourself time to think and reflect real hard, perhaps some quiet time in a  cabin and a clean notebook and a favorite pen could work for some people. And maybe writing isn’t the way of everyone. But I do believe in people finding their therapy. Their passions separate from that even if intertwined, and I am pro-actual therapist as sometimes having someone who can make decisions or help to lead you to better ones when you aren’t in a place to do them all by yourself is exactly what you might need. And a therapist might be a one time gig in your life, or an on and off someone to talk to in confidence, and lack of judgement. Whatever fits you. As adults we might have scars from our childhoods. We might NEED understanding. But we also have to DO something. And creating our map from where it started to show us where we are going in in our hands and tools like the talk in this video are available to us.  Each person’s “map” might be different and done in their own way. Mine has been reflection and writing for the most part. And I will always have questions that can’t be answered or answers that can’t be understood. That takes a bit more of our own mapping of finding ways to work with that.

In doing this and in learning how the childhood affects adults, perhaps the cycles can eventually be broken. Less domestic abusers, less domestically abused. Less prostitution or loss to drugs, less mental instability and less many small mistakes in our decisions that can add up to very large consequences and heartache.

And perhaps not. And likely not all “issues” will ever go away Or all trauma “healed.” But here, this video is a puzzle piece of understanding and my commentary is only an idea.


Published on Feb 17, 2015

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

#PediatricianNadineBurkeHarris #NadineBurkeHarris #childhood #ChildhoodTrauma #MentalIllness #MakingMistakes #Health #Decisions #ToolsforSelfCare #Ideas #TedTalk #Life #Lifetime

Georges’ face says it all.


This is the face George has after Joe has left back to work yesterday afternoon. It pretty much matches my mood, too.

So, Joe works away for four weeks at a time, home for two.

And most people will say “awww, that must be hard.”

When really it is not in most cases. The day before he leaves…really the second it hits our last weekend together (he always leaves back on a Tuesday) my mood starts to shift a bit for it. And the day he leaves – especially when suddenly the presence of him is missing loudly. That is when it is hard.

But for the most part, the nearly three years of dating, and over two years of living together and with this schedule, it works so fantastically for us. It gives each of us time to miss each other…something that is needed in EVERY relationship if you ask me.

Maybe some people do well or best without ever being apart, but I know that I am not that person and I don’t think Joe is, either if given a true chance.

Personally, I am one who likes a lot of by myself time. So a lot of someone around never works well for me. The two weeks he is home we are pretty much always together which is perfect but would be burn out if longer, too.

Of course if schedules were different there would be, or much more effort to be, more time apart each day.

I dive into my work and a schedule that doesn’t always fit him, frankly. And certainly doesn’t leave any time for him at all. I think he’d feel the neglect of it if he were around more often. The way of our schedule now he doesn’t get that chance. Now, if we ever change this schedule of ours, we will adjust…as one does. But I love having a month straight to my work and then two weeks completely away from it as well. It isn’t just my relationship with Joe that works with this schedule, but my relationship with my work which does. I think it takes me a few days to warm up back into my works as well but once I am in…I am in, and flipping in and out every day at 5:pm wouldn’t work for me at all. The last few days of my work month I seem to head back to the surface and begin adjusting. I even begin adjusting toward work before Joe even leaves. Craving it by then…the time I’ve stepped away from it gives me time to miss it, too.

In that I give myself a down day before and after vacation to myself…not to him, not to work. Just 100% to myself (albeit some pet care time and attention, too…they can be needy but still not as needy as real children.)

I don’t have interruption in my work month, or stopping at 5:pm for dinner. Or getting into conversation with Joe during dog walks when my mind is completely wrapped around a piece of my work. And this works for me.

But it sure doesn’t make the parting any easier, either. Suddenly like a big something’s missing enters the home for a moment. I pull my work out that has been put away. The table suddenly loaded with books again. I do a deep cleaning. I take George for a walk. I make a dinner for one. I comfort myself a little in a TV series I’ve been watching which I have zero time to catch Joe up on for him to join…nor do I wish for him to join it. Some things I also want no one else’s opinion or input, or care, like or dislike. This is my time.

We all need our own time. Not enough seem to take it.

And when he first enters…we always call this Day 1, is a little of an off day as well. He personally is always going through a “coming-back” himself. society, driving, lights, noise, traffic, things, a lot of people after being isolated on a boat for a months time. He takes time to adjust…for his knee to stop bouncing at a table. For him to settle. We run tons of errands because he just has to “do things” that first day. And the sudden presence in the house is like a home of guests…the puppy is extra bouncy, the cat not settling, a person to walk around, an energy that can be draining for a person who’s been used to a quiet for her month alone, suddenly someone steps in and it is all gone. I find myself exhausted by the first night we go to bed, and even then my body turns to adjusting to another body there all of a sudden. It takes adjusting, keeping our sealegs on. I literally fear changing it drastically (I would like sections of longer time for moments and we will soon get that as well as soon the choice of month on-month off schedule rather than four and two, all that I am ok with. I am just not sure I’d ever be ok with a 9-5 ish weekends off only life.)

We watched the movie This is 40 last night, the first time for both. And laughed at a little close to home jokes of much of it…realizing in deeper concrete how much we personally do not want children in our unconventional lives. We are asked about this…children, marriage, settling into one place, at least every other breath it seems.

That is not us. Conventional and our names don’t fit on the same page of the dictionary at all.

The awesome thing in our lives is the love and support we give each other for our careers. He my writing, and me whatever the heck he is doing at the moment (his kind of work can change companies, always changes locations, and more, plus he always has big offers and opportunities to field and his career is a constant climbing ladder the past two years and pretty much the next two so always a bit of change). I’ll admit I feel that I get more support from him full on while I usually give my unasked for (he says always asked for) advice, but in the end we both have a “What do YOU want to do?” way of it. And the best part is both of what we do always works with the other. Even the recent “So how’s Dubai sound for five years?”

I LIKE being alone for four weeks. I LIKE having time to miss him. Because let me tell you…me? I would get SO mean when I need space if I didn’t get it…and seeing another person daily probably don’t give it to me even if large chunks of the day were to myself. The day is never long enough. But at the same time I LOVE when he is home, I love his smell, his presence, his voice (after coffee). It has a little give and take I guess, pro and con, or whatever to it all. Either way. And it seems the “con” always really has a pro to it…like the chance to miss each other/appreciate each other more because of it. But neither of us are 9-5 people in any way shape or form. And after four weeks on a boat with five other men I am sure it helps him appreciate me a little more. I am not the easiest person. Lord knows.

– I’ve tried leading men to a more unconventional life before and it never works…even if they think they are, they haven’t been. And whatever their gig is never has room for me, or mine never seemed important (Joe couldn’t think my work more important) or where we needed to be and when never worked out. Or, God, children. Joe has had the same issues in his experience. Not one to stay in West Virginia after the Navy, his then g/f wasn’t one to leave it. –

If kids were involved I wouldn’t want this….at all. I know most of the other men Joe works with have children and a wife at home. I couldn’t do that…they wouldn’t see their father enough. The pets adjust. George did have three off-days the last trip. Typically I just settle into a calm, quiet, we take our walks, and soon we find the rhythm for our month. And then again, if kids were involved, this mommy would need a lot more writing retreat away time. lol

Anyway, this past trip together had a lot of realizations of how unconventional we are, or want to be, or how people see us at times.

We’ve now grown to a deer in headlights look forgetting how to answer when people ask us “Where are you from?” It always takes a moment and we both answer “Galveston Island.”

Well, I am sipping coffee, my work is back in order and ready to begin tomorrow. My next month laid out (I did a major plan in December and this year’s work is pretty set but monthly needs a go over)the home is clean and I now have a new wool sweater because Joe shrunk his favorite one. It is now my favorite one. lol It is cold outside and February but my cold in the South isn’t near as bad as what Joe is heading up to on the river up to Chicago. Poor February Aquarius raised in the north baby that he is. I am toasty in our home. Just missing sharing the couch sitting on opposite ends with books in hands and feet tucked under the other person to keep warm with a cat curled up, a comfy blanket and a dog at our side.

Georges’ face says it all.

#Relationships #Love #Puppylove #WorkLifeBalance #Work #Vacation #Joe #PegandJoe #IAmNotJoesSecretary #TheStoryofGeorge