Four States and Seven Days.

 

Peggy J Davenport
I had to run up to the office and came back after having coffee with the lady up there (this is the south, you don’t run in and rush out- you sit and have a chat and a coffee). When I come back he has the bed made (very important to me) my coffee made, the pets cared for and has George hanging outside with him while he is fiddling with the jeep. My heart is warmed.
We are sunburned, tired, have been to every boat dock in four states on the coast just in the last week, six beyond that so far, and more in the coming near future, and often in the bays. We have had long days and walked a million miles under the beating hot southern sun in July. Boat docks, btw, are like walking the damn desert with all their glare from white boats to hot decks both wood and cement and glistening water. The morning may at times begin overcast and cloudy and soft on you but the sun will make up for it with a vengeance when she does decide to wake up. Between walking and standing on hard ground a lot and a lot of driving and a lot of boat time and heat and sun our bones are tired and long days. We feel 80 in our 30-something bodies by the end of the day. But we hold hands and smile and say to each other “I am happy” with a satisfied smile.
I am becoming quite the expert (nowhere near it) on sport fishing boats and yachts and Joe, in the falling into it, in the moment, the people who love to show off their boat and a good sailing time and because…boat people are the most welcoming, is learning sailboats, quite by accident. Though we are in search currently of the sport fishing boat/yacht for live aboard and south islands fun, moving from RV to water, the sailboat is a future project dream of mine and where my expertise lies, so we are both learning quite a bit about the other, we call these his project and my project. I loved the old seaman who whispered to me “once he gets used to understanding sailing he will be much more comfortable with it and fall in love and you will have no problem with him on them” Sailing people get me. Joe worries about me alone…out there, the times that he will be away.
We are looking in the lines of the Hatteras 50 (a yacht would be nice but harder to find especially in price range and a sports fishing is actually live aboard super nice and bigger than our RV now) but open to good and bad, project redo and pretty well done and other boat names depending, but in the idea of. Being so open means more possibilities to look at. This will take us months. I only wish I could combine the interior of the Viking with the exterior of the Hatteras and I think my favorite boat would be born. This is about as far as my knowledge for them goes so far. Though listening to the engine talk…I somewhere in my dreams might be able to draw a very good diagram of them now.
We have had gelato slash book shops open for us on a day it was closed completely for the entire day with a lovely man in long graying dreadlocks and inviting smile waving us in and we realized it was closed and began to walk on. Who gave us samples and then free gelato to go, though we ate it up while conversation began and took awhile before an end. They have the right idea with their Old Fashioned gelato, based off of one of two of my favorite drinks, though I do believe it might be more my winter drink while the Pimm’s Cup is my summer. We found and discovered Indie bookshops slash coffeeshops with grand displays of southern authors (the Mississippi book festival is next month) Pass Christian Books and Cat Island Coffeehouse and and I hear the tongue of many when they say the name of their town like silk falling off a woman’s shoulders. I drink up the accents and speech of some, of many, of all, from the harshest to the most delicate, and tuck it away for my own book writing. I find that that this is a place where Jesmyn Ward and many like her have come to read and been supported and where I am invited to come soon. I buy the last two of her books I have yet to read. (I have so far read and LOVE Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel and Where the Line Bleeds: A Novel.
so I picked up, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race and her memoir, Men We Reaped: A Memoir And I still have her other book I will soon get,Salvage the Bones: A Novel. Not only because she is long an author on my list, an amazing author to read, btw, but also because I am in my Deep South Five writing project currently and currently reading books by authors and in the setting of New Orleans and of the deep south, as well as the movies I am currently watching.
I learn that the gelato shop owner is the same as the bookstore/coffeeshop owner and we discuss literary south, authors, readings, book events, and the scene. That they have no shortage of literary events and readings and authors and are half a year booked in advance and busy, they do not give up and lay dormant like one indie bookshops I met did and who had saddened me greatly at their defeat of a literary scene only a few cities and the same state down. Joe has an understanding here that I have listened to talk of boat engines enough to not rush us to an end.
We stumbled into an antique shop in the middle of the beautiful (and one of my newest favorite places) Mobile Alabama. Historic buildings…this one in particular has seen better days. I am more saddened while traveling through New Orleans and Mobile and other like smaller places from Miami/Hollywood Florida to Texas how little Galveston Island actually does put the effort in to preserve what should be even easier. I am more saddened that the Hughes building there is no more. And then here I see so many…so many and never going away and so much harder work put in and so much more they have gone through in hurricane and storm and flood and yet standing so gallantly. And as much as I love the island and thought once they did well I see how little is really there, left, and standing and how flat the peoples efforts really are and yet once had so much more potential but so much of it is already lost…gone. I even see so many other states with so much preservation effort put into the nature side of it and know that there is about one lone woman who works so hard to do all that Galveston offers in that aspect. Without her they don’t care and even with her the city itself is one of her main enemies and with whom she battles against their destruction. I see how other places take care of their tree’s…from San Antonio to Florida and I know another woman who places her work there but when you leave the island you find that you have missed trees, and funny enough, it is so far the least of the boating community for which we both love and felt we were missing. I am not done there with dreams I have built but I am glad I am broadening these horizons. I honestly don’t know if there will be enough left for me when I come back, able to put in myself. For those who put in…keep it up, you are the islands saving grace. For the city, I ask you to visit San Antonio, New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama and Pass Christian, Mississippi, Hollywood, Florida and Miami and a few conservation and state parks along the way and all in between and too many to count for both city/town and nature conservations and economy and …life, for a few suggestions of how to do better. Funny enough for resources you have much more at hand than some of these do.
In Backflash Antique in Mobile Alabama only a short few blocks away from what is now the Malaga Inn that was in the 1940 census the address of my great grandparents and two of their four daughters, one of which was my grandmother, aged 10, I discover the perfect camera bag (thanks to Joe’s good eye) that I have been in search of for months. And I hear the most beautiful name I have ever heard…Charlana, added to a combination with a last of exactly the kind of name amazing people are born with, Charlana Quiovers. And a gentleman there, meek and quiet and a love for antique and history who was amazing at tour guiding us through to exactly what we would like to see. He got us immediately. We aren’t the typical RV’ers. We don’t do it for the BBQing and pools. We do it for the exploring, the history, the learning of the people, the architecture, the discoveries, the antiques and art and literary and music and the food…oh…the food. We exhaust ourselves with the miles we put our feet to in walking all around a town or city, and when in the right place and time, the mountains and hills of the nature a place has to offer, and now even, by boat more often, the swamps with a rest upon our feet but a sharpness for our safety, and our senses. Birds and nature and animals and trees upon the cool waters in the warm air underneath the shade of these grand ancient moss laden trees. But the walking…It is the only way to stop for hours on end in an afternoon and have perfect conversations with perfect strangers. And at times be invited upon a boat for the next several hours and taken out into the open waters, sails unfurled. If you never hear from us again, we likely died happy.
In seven days and four states I haven’t taken one picture. I have simply enjoyed it all. Good thing my storytelling is in words…..more coming on all of that. Within the binds of a book and a story of a character.

Wake up!

received_892723567494862

Ok, real adulting question for my friends here; I was once and raised as an early to bed early to rise person. Natural and without an alarm even. The past going on three years I have been very dependent on my alarm, but now working for myself (even with my own strict schedule) I have found it harder to wake early at all. And I am not just a little extra sleeping in. I am taking like a twelve hours sleep. My big problem is that back in the age of my 20’s I could also manage to stay up late and still wake up early…those days…ahhh memories.

Now I find myself wide awake very late but I also don’t feel that I get my best work done then, at all. So I feel it is closer to wasted time (other than the reading that I end up doing.)
I don’t like the feeling of waking up “half way through the day” at all, and set a lot of alarms to have to walk through, but I zombie sleep turning them off and head right back to bed (now that the cold weather is here REALLY doesn’t help staying out of my nice comfy bed.)

Working for myself, I try and shift my days schedule to fit from hour I woke to hour I sleep regardless but again sometimes the productive doens’t happen that way either, and my job needs the creative and the productive. This also began to be a problem before working for myself so it’s not only the work for myself thing I need more sleep but then feel that “too much sleep” feel. I have more and more trouble waking early.

Things I’ve tried:
*Coffee prepared and ready to go.
*No coffee and a lot of water and also juicing. Not being dependent on caffeine.
*Alarms everywhere to walk to and even move stuff around for basically booby trap myself to think in my zombie walk.
*More written plans of action than I can count
*Music of all types.
*Wake at 4, wake at 5, wake at 6, wake right at dawn, wake when the sun is up, sleep with the curtains open to wake with the sun and not in a dark room. No tv, no computer, hours prior to bed. Name it, I’ve done it. Also super healthy and health reasons ruled out.

So to other adulting people; tricks? Tips? Real you could hold a gun to my head and I would still just turn around ad go back to bed moments in your own life?

Wake up! Why don’t you put on a little makeup?!

I have to build a wall so Trump can’t come grab my pussy.

Image

Because we needed this conversation, yes. But kudo’s to to these men, no. You are an idiot. It was “her fault. She didn’t stop it. Where did she draw her boundaries.” This is why girls don’t know how to handle this shit when it does happen. And when we speak too soon we are lying. If we wait it’s about why we waited. Like the women with Cosby…for fucks good lord people…he was America’s FAMILY MAN, it was also the time and day there were zero laws protecting such things. Nobody would believe them. So on and so forth. I guarantee you out of 50 women, someone told someone who told them not to tell anyone. We know we aren’t safe. We know we will be blamed. This is how YOU raise us when you make excuses for this shit. I carry my gun or knife, currently in the wild, not because of the boars and animals which to fear…but because of the men I might come across!

I guess the same can be said for abusive relationships. Those boundaries weren’t drawn!
The same can be said for the four year old molested by her father/brother/uncles. She allowed it to happen!
I guess the same is said for every woman who ever was sexually harassed in a job. It was her fault!
For every woman raped after going to a bar or party. She asked for it!
For every woman period. She shouldn’t have worn that! Been there! Put herself in that situation! Screamed! Did she yell NO ? Enough? Loud enough? Did he hear it? But did he understand it?!

Dealing with sexual harassment as a young woman has been HARD!
I wasn’t raised knowing how to. In fact I was raised that attention from men was what you wanted! Even from men from whom you didn’t want. OMG you’ve no idea!

I was once told to keep my job I’d have to give a blow job. I DID walk out. But I stood there for several minutes thinking “Did I hear that right? And is he going to laugh because this is a joke right?” To which even still…a joke was wrong, and harassment…yet likely had he ‘laughed for the joke’ I might have laughed it off and kept my job…because what else do you do? That is how women are often raised, taught, and expected to handle these things. And on top of it we are told it’s “locker room”, “Guy talk”, “normal and ok and this is how all guys are.” And now even that you would rather elect a President who admits to it! Is on tape of it! In court for CHILD RAPE. Fucking dumb asses. How are women supposed to “stop it” or “Draw boundaries” in that kind of fucked up universe?

The first time I was ever sent a ‘dick pic’ (by email, not cellphone) I laughed it off as “this is what guys do” because I didn’t even know that NO, it wasn’t what guys do! It wasn’t until my 30’s when receiving a dick pic that I even THOUGHT to respond with “Fuck off. Delete my number asshole” and I deleted and blocked them. Even still, I found myself excusing ‘friends’ at times for ‘maybe being drunk.’ Because that is what I am taught to do.

Years ago women might have been slut shamed or even ‘protected’ and told to not sleep around, ‘keep your legs together’, but it hasn’t been until today that women have begun teaching their daughters “kick them in the groin when they grab you, don’t take that shit. You don’t have to sleep with every guy who wants to sleep with you! Don’t take that! Don’t put up with that! Don’t allow that! Not all mens attention is needed, wanted, or should be invited!” Hell, I sure as hell wasn’t taught that!

Women raised in abusive households are more likely to be abused. Boys raised in them more likely to abuse. Much is learned by example. So if we weren’t led by good example (Trump, Trump generation #3 now) we have to figure it out for ourselves. And some people will find that they have morals and don’t beat up their wives or sexually grab pussies when they want! And some women will learn to tell a man to go to hell…but sometimes they won’t until they themselves become a strong and well learned in life woman! It’s best described as a light bulb that goes off one day. Much for me was from surrounding myself over time with strong women and a LOT of reading that woke me up to how I could be, not how I had to be. I really had to find and stumble upon my own examples of strong women. So when I hear someone blaming some young college girl I especially will fuck you up because I remember how young and vulnerable and badly influenced I was then and dear God I am still learning! Apparently so is America!

I remember how easy it was the first time my husband hit me to seriously think “that didn’t just happen” and again and again make excuses, talk it off, blame myself…before ELEVEN months later I finally figured to stand up for myself and draw my boundary. I actually drew one a couple of months prior. Set my fence. Told him NO. Then he crossed it again and so I left then…no more excuses. But I had to spend MONTHS convincing myself to do so. Some of it for me was even having to then admit I’d gotten into such a thing. And I thought from a set example that I “Would never be that woman” because I knew what it was but rather I became very much so because it was what was taught and for many more years than I’d yet had to unteach myself.

I’ve had two bosses tell me I’d have to give sexual acts to keep my job. I’ve been told in the modeling industry that’s the game. I’ve been shown porn on a computer as I walked into a room (with horses) because “Hey aren’t you into horses?” I, BTW, was a virgin then. I was a quiet little mouse of a girl. I weighed 98 fucking pounds. I was new in a city and in a job and to these people. I had no clue how to respond…so I laughed. They laughed. We all laughed. I didn’t yet know what a boundary was! I didn’t know I could voice an opinion! Hell, I’m not even sure I knew what that opinion was. I just know the feeling I walked away with that made me want to take a shower. I didn’t know that was wrong.
I had another boss speak another language talking about sexual acts with me to other men…and then tell me what he was saying wasn’t that at all even though their laughter and gross smiles creeped me out. One man told me what was said. But I needed a job. What was I supposed to do? I had not been taught about jobs and money well at all. I was afraid to let go of what I had.
This does not go into the many approached in bars, on the streets, even chased down a block being yelled after, cars pulled up, creepy landlords who broke into my house, men who physically tried (and did get the knee), texts, phone calls and men jumping out of bushes. The men in bars, buses, work, wherever who ‘accidentally rubbed their groin against my butt.’ The old gay male boss who randomly told me he took his 16 yr old nieces virginity because she ‘asked him to.’ I can’t even tell you all of them.

I’ve said Fuck Off! I was usually then circled by more of their friends in a creepy dark parking lot. I was told by a boss to not be so sensitive when I reported it…finally…after many times. I was told I was lying and that the guy was “their best client.”

My boundary is drawn. It doesn’t have a sign on the fence post that says “Drunk losers come and hit on me, leer at me, and tell me dirty things. “My dating profile never said “Please send me a picture of your little not very entertaining what am I supposed to do with that? dick.”
My ass did not get in your way.
My boobs sure as hell aren’t big enough to get in your way “accidentally.”
My closed bathroom door in a cabin at a party while changing out of my swimsuit did not mean Come On In!
My crotch did not invite your hand to it!

My boundaries are drawn. I did not need a sign around my neck to tell you this.

I can like an orgasm. Read 50 shades of grey. Date. And even flirt without having to tell you not to cross a line. YOU/THEY should control themselves…not that I should be who draws a boundary.

But I guess in your world, it’s not men like Trump who are the problem, but a woman who “asked for it.” When Trump as President comes and “takes your pussy” just remember that YOU ELECTED him knowing that this was his stance ON YOUR PUSSY and therefor you did not DRAW YOUR BOUNDARIES (please hear my sarcasm through these because, I, am not a dumb shit. #StopSexualAssault #StopRape #StopToleratingRape

Guess I will have to take up much more of a shoot now, ask questions later, stance and in court tell the judge to fuck off because I was drawing my goddamned boundaries, saying NO loud enough the fucker UNDERSTOOD. It’s not my fault he didn’t intend rape, or even full on touch me sexual assault…but maybe just the sexual harassment…but how was I supposed to know how far he would push HIS boundary before I set up mine? Is it my fault he didn’t SEE my boundary that said “Don’t be an asshole?” Am I to blame because there isn’t a fence built around me? Maybe I just shouldn’t go n public.

And how can I DARE be appalled at a person like Trump or call myself a Feminist because I went to a Modanna concert?

Teaching consent.

How a man should be.

The Makings Of A Whore.

Stolen Halo.

What I Was Doing When I was Called a Slut.

The people to call me a slut to my face. My mother the 1st time. My boss. My ex-husband. Those are the only time’s I’ve heard this word. Now cunt…heard that a lot more.

How a young girl is approached. What to do?

How do we reply?

When the table turns.

Are young girls supposed to have boundaries with their fathers?

The America of Brock Turner.

It was what she was wearing.

Blaming the Victim. Facts. Rape Culture.

The America of Rape.

Trump.

The America of Trump Rape Culture.

“Kudos to Donald Trump for raising the conversation. Regardless of the election results this year, he is the reason we are all talking about this.” A quote I read today in regards to Anti-Hillary and pro-Trump and his sexual assault.
So…Kudo’s to Brock Turner for the rape conversation America had this year?

WIP: Release 4. Behind The White Gate: A Novel: In The Deep End.

13346713_790128301087723_1278204192607578012_n-1
Into the deep end….

The image shifted from drowning to one of my clearest earliest memories of when I was six years old I would hold onto a big floaty ball and kick in the pool of my visiting grandparents condo on Galveston Island. I kept kicking my way and ending up in the deep end. My papa would sternly instruct me not to leave the shallow end because if I let go of the ball I could drown.
But again and again I was being very defiant that day and would return from the shallow end to the deep, so finally my papa reached down from the edge of the pool and snatched me up, took away the ball and threw me straight into the deep end of the pool. As I splashed for the surface in shock and surprise, sputtering and choking, I looked at him and saw anger, no…not anger precisely.
On his face and in his stance, standing at the edge of the pool, he looked ready to jump in should I not surface but as I looked up at him…my head just bobbing above surface, he looked down and firmly said “If you want to continue defying me you will learn the consequences of the deep end. So sink or swim! ” He said.

I swam that day.

Now…turning away from the blood stained sidewalk, those words resignated in me once again and the determination that I felt not to fail the test I’d felt at age six filled my body now as if a day hadn’t gone by. Not to sink but to defy him to take the chance that I might just drown to prove my own stance, yet not drown. His memory and his words came strong and I realized that, aside from the blood and the shooting…the accident…I didn’t know what else to call it even though I felt it was an accident, and it was, at the same time…I am at a loss of what I really feel about it.

I had made bad life choices that led me to this situation and past all the other previous ones that had at one point or another left me dumbfounded, and I was now paying those consequences of my actions and choices. And often of my own defiance I would drown. Now I was left to sink or swim after having put myself into the deep end.

Extra defiant because of my papa’s image standing beside the pool burned in me and I was determined not to let him save me. I would not sink. I had no choice but to swim.

With that image as I stood across from my building in California, not able to even step over the stain to pack a suitcase I felt my papa’s image calling to me, answering me a direction. Maybe it wasn’t God I’d been praying to after all, but my father.

Now, sloshed down two miles of road and through what felt like two hundred miles of rain, I stood staring at those white gate’s for God knows how long. I had come home. There was nowhere else my fathers image would send me…not since it was his image that drove me away sixteen years ago.

To My Younger Self. Know your potential and opportunities.

74265_465773767067_7590798_n

What I would tell my younger self…

This young girl starting out in a world of modeling. She has a lot of lessons she will learn…most not until a decade after she leaves that world behind for good.

The funny thing about me going into modeling is my joke I carried about how the world you live in as a child often tells you it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside. And then enter the world of modeling. When it’s all about the cover package. Not only there but in adulthood where you find that looks do matter. From jobs to dating to friendships. We are a shallow people. But even I admit the guilt.

What is even more funny is that as I carried such a joke, I had never once been told it as a child by my own mother.

If I could I would sit and have a long conversation with that girl about how the world will expect much less of you than you should of yourself. Much less than what your potential can reach. And not to let society and the world hold you back because they can’t think that high.

Today as we have an easier access to bullies around the world with social media, the young girls also have more access to Girl Power and being a strong girl/woman and that throwing like a girl is a good thing. Hell, now they ‘own’ the 2016 Summer Olympics. Little girls now ‘be like fuck that shit’ when told they should act like a lady or go be some ones house wife or aren’t strong enough. It took me until my thirtes to reach that ability. Though I DID do the amazing, I eventually did falter from it as well.

I would have told that girl to follow her instincts a lot more than she did. I would most of all have allowed her to know what opportunities existed. That as she cut and taped pictures of architecture to scrapbooks perhaps being an architect was a career path possibility. That as much as she was working and striving in her sport and nobody really supported her through it, the keeping on with future ideas would pay off. That those late nights spent typing away on her typewriter had a ring to it for her future. That her organizational skills and mind that immediately built solutions instead of problems would take her far, and could take her even farther in the world of business and now work for her in the world of writing.

It is just something that I think about a lot, how a very little knowledge of what one was good at could turn into a job. And what jobs were even out there besides “Nurse or teacher” as she would hear for women back then and “policeman or fireman or Astronaut” as she heard for her brother. Nobody ever recognized her skill with numbers or that trigonometry wasn’t a usual hobby for a young girl as it had been for her. I would hope that if I should have children I would not only teach them to take a test and teach them daily skills but also teach them of what opportunities even exist out in this great big world.

But, thankfully, life is not too short and I eventually learned much. Sure there are a lot of other things I may have – could have – and even now wish I had done (or not done)…but life also has it’s way of working out and I am truly happy with what I am doing and where I am going with it. There is no ‘time lost’ as what I did end up ever doing taught me a lot for every future thing to do and heck, I ended up in some pretty weird, neat, and definitely odd for me jobs along the way, also meeting many people along the way.

My potential? Eh, not so much reached maybe at all times, but interesting nonetheless. Building off what skills along the way that weirdly work well for me now. So who knows? And would I have ever listened anyway? That young girl? Well, I would have perhaps bought the pants off of my New York Agent and that amazing office building we had, too, and shown the fashion industry a thing or two because lord knows I walked in and saw the problems…and even then had many solutions for them.

But then I was much more quiet and meek so perhaps one of the biggest biggest BIGGEST things I would have told this girl right here….speak up. Voice what the hell is in your head! And just do it dammit because it will really turn into something big. You. ARE. That. Good.

But would she have listened?

Actually, to this, I think she would have.

IMG_20160820_020833

 

To My Younger Self. Adulthood & Friendship.

IMG_20160820_002509

I recently had a pleasant surprise of some very old pictures sent to me. Such another life time that I barely recognized myself in some. Here is a group that I really enjoyed.

I guess the thing I would tell her, my younger self (this would be about 18 years ago) would be that there will be real and genuine friends, they are there. That when others fall away it was meant to be and not to mourn them past their due. That part of growing up, life and changing means changes in friendships as well. But when you do find a good friend who truly makes you laugh, wants nothing more from you than genuine friendship and is there those eighteen years later treasure those kinds for sure. The ones who make you laugh just like in these pictures. Even they may or may not be friends forever as life changes our courses but they are still to be cherished for the times that they were.

Friendship is a funny thing when we become adults. I thought it was just me until all of these big time articles from The New Yorker to Inc. Magazine all came out with some form or another of the topic. Some friends come…and some friends go.

There will be those who do not deserve your friendship. And those who never did at all. Those who were always really in it for what they might get out of it eventually. There will be those that faded away somehow and with no fight or hurt between you but life that flowed a different way. And there will be those of whom you should walk away from. Negetivities in your life that are unhealthy like wilting branches from a healthy tree.

Friends will love you, support you, be protective of you, listen to your points of view even if they do not agree. And allow you to do the same. You might raise some voices but then have a good laugh about it later.

What would I tell this younger smiling self here? That I am still figuring it all out two decades later. But that you will look upon these moments and smile. They made your week. And somewhere once they made a part of your life. Cherish the good friends…and don’t be afraid to cut out the bad. Adulting is hard, but you are not the only one, and it is also not so bad. More than anything this young woman will like herself enough to be alone in solitude and not hate the core of all her friendships…herself. And this shows a strong tree from which many fruitful friendships will grow.

Published Works: The Journey It Takes For A Writer.

Mermaids Published With Remixt

538790_10152137929425626_813259322_n

(Oil Painting and Photo by Artist Elizabeth Punches)

Poetry is what I began with, my first published items being three poems by the age of thirteen in three separate books of the same series, three poems about the seasons. I only remember one more particularly than the others, being about fall, my favorite. After those poems my only next poem was my one and only ever written for a ‘boy’ before I had snapped out of my teen years and into life itself and all that it held for me.

Funny now to imagine the personality that I am now ever having been one to write about crush for a boy in poetic form. But the person I am now understands by far that it would be enough to take me away from writing…and even liking any reading of for the most part, poetry at all for a good long time. I don’t remember it being quite crushing, more a bit embarrassing of an episode.

I do not give it full credit for my turning away from poetry as much as that I turned toward far more different types of writings in that time…..in fact the Political and Police writing came only a few short years later, living in the hub of Los Angeles can do that to a person, as well as whole life times lived in only a few short years and turning on a television to see a tower burn down that you were, at that time, supposed to be in.

To learn of heartbreak for the first time, to lose a child, to know the face of death for me was to shut out poetry rather than as some writers do, embrace it, or drown in it. Rather than to reveal myself to the world, I closed off from it, dealing with only the logistics…at least as far as my writing went. In truth I lived life fully, thankfully I am grateful for this now more than anything else, in that time. I just could not write of it.

Or so I thought I was living fully, but now I know that not to write fully was not to live fully, for a writer, for me. Or perhaps all things in their time…. Decades later and the answers are simply never going to be back & white. So for a long time no fiction, fantasy or dream like writing. No love, no romance, no wishes as my motto was “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” for a good long time during then. Many things changed and molded about me in those years…good…and maybe even some could say bad.

But my poetic voice lay not lost, only dormant as years later in my womanhood of my thirties with many ’embarrassing’ love moments later, my writing having taken much shape and change in direction…again, and beginning to listen to the voice inside that I had shut behind a door for awhile was once again welcome in. Even before this particular poetic piece the writing started to lean once again into a direction where it remembered the magic and mysterious things and the small wonders that made life…happy, full, embraced.

And thus the poetry that had long lay quiet began to rustle and out of it has been not sing song voices of winter or fall but of a richly lived life who has never withered but often fallen. My writing took a turn for song lyrics, fiction stories and once again poetry began to touch my pages, though I carried with me now the politics and other…the harsh of life at times which combined with the romance of life formed another writer…another person.

Somewhere out of this was born, Mermaids . This one really holds a lot for me…my romance of life while writing it was looking at an oatmeal colored concrete wall of my cage while my mind was filled with what I knew to be out there. Wherever the changes at the moment, the scenery in front of me could not ruin the scenery of my mind…part of me at least, was not in a cage. I regretted everything…and I regretted nothing.

Mermaids, (below) is a piece that I wrote and recently published with Remixt , when actually spending seven months in a county jail , awaiting my day in court. I was surrounded by  three hundred women at a time and in my term met, saw, knew the names of nearly a thousand who came and would go.

Jail aside, this moment was written when I would remember a particular evening a year prior when a friend and I created a photoshoot on the beach one evening of sunset on Galveston Island for an oil painting that she would the create. That evening was of friendship, womanhood unite. But also the sky was of brilliant colors and the water like pure glass. After the photo’s we enjoyed a calming swim, surrounded by dolphins, making our magical evening even more so.

A few paintings came out of that evening that then brought more magic…the women of the art world and friends and of our community became what everybody called during that magical island summer, Mermaids. Not one woman wasn’t a mermaid, no matter of color or creed or of size or mind. We united, we stood as one, we laughed, we lived.

Here I was remembering this while sitting, somehow, in my life then surrounded by cinder block the color of oatmeal and peptobismol. Not even the sky in site. What struck me was how the women united, cried with each other, held each other…strangers but in the same place and above all, fellow women. I often thought of my life prior to landing me in that particular moment of life. I had left a husband who, once my best friend and most gentle man, had become abusive and angry  and from whom I had to run from….my mother, survivor of an  eighteen year abusive  marriage , sat and said “I just never thought you would be in those shoes   .” I thought of her struggles with young little children in and out of womens shelters when she attempted to leave and her head down in defeat when she would go back. I thought of how, no matter what, I had not been able to bring myself to reporting my own husbands abuse and had some how landed exactly where my mother had taught me both to not end up in and exactly where to be. I saw a lot of people in that jail there from lives of abuse. Abuse during childhood that broke my heart, abuse from men because they didn’t ‘deserve better’ because ‘that was their life’, they knew no other. The women who fell into drugs to make the pain go away and then sex to feed the drugs, usually what had started their pain to begin with…and a cycle began. The clinging to any man even if he left her black and blue. My mind kept going back to one painting which I had owned and had not yet picked up from the artists studio, that memory of my own self on a beach at sunset. I was a Mermaid for a summer. Mistakes in life and all, I was a Mermaid for life. I clung to my strength rather than fall to my fears. And sitting on bunk 48 for over 200 days, I wrote this for all of the Mermaids in all the world whom I would meet and those whom I would not. Mermaids is meant for the empowered strong woman, because even in our weakest we are, and for empowering our fellow women. They each come from a very personal place which is hard and raw to share but I do believe my writing is my tool in the world and my experiences are best used rather than forgotten.

When an opportunity from Remixt came along learned through Writespace Houston, I knew it was where to send Mermaids, I had an amazing opportunity to not only reach people, but as a writer to learn and grow through the eye’s of nine editors, nine personalities, tastes and choice. I am honored that Mermaids was chosen and collected with several other really amazing poems, many of which I cried over, have shared since, and as a writer, feel connected. My start in poetry began with seasons of weather, I am at a place now of seasons of life, and I only look forward now to where and what may come.

With special thanks to Editor Ezzy G. Languzzi Pubisher Julia Rios of  Remixt Mag and WriteSpace Houston

Mermaids

In the light of the sunset casting it’s colors of like that of inside a shell;
pink, purple…heavenly blue’s.
Like a jewel of feminine beauty, strength and integrity.
But fragile our minds are not, rather made of many grains of sand,
strong, collected, persistent pearls we are.

As the mermaid inside us all, we carry scales of our own design and color.
We mermaids swim among sharks, and brave hurricane storms.
Let us not sink, our breaths be taken away.

But from the cold depths of our ocean floors reach up toward the light of the surface,
breaking the glass of the image of our past and breath in deep the fresh air of our futures.

Let there be, in our minds, a calmness, a stillness, of the mirror like waters after a storm.
Let our past be washed away, and our slate be left clean, such as where the water meets the sand.
Let our hopes reach high, where the water meets the sky.
Let the mirror image our truths.
Let us not settle only to reach for the stars of the sky but have the strength to push through the current and reach instead for the stars of the ocean.

Hear our sirens song, not for the loss of love, but for our love that we give.
Let us find tranquility in our souls, and a soft sand on which to lay our heads.

The rain that comes and drops upon our glass surface, the dark clouds we do not fear, for we welcome the silver linings of promise.

 

Also of note, Artist Elizabeth Punches and with thanks.

 

The day after. Thanks Journalists and Media for ruining 9/11 in 2016.

img_20160905_130617

Fact: I have passed out at LEAST 4 times in 12 years due to over heating and/or dehydration. I am healthy, active and at the moment not under the tremendous pressure and schedule and work load of a campaigning Presidential candidate. I passed out two days in a row due to my period a few periods ago. Yet I am healthy. I am not on and off a plane, speaking engagements, constant meetings, and talking and ‘entertaining.’ Hell, walking through a mall wears me out and I take a nap after every time I do. I have had walking pneumonia several times in my life and a horrible flu a few years ago and I understand the act of still going to work, trying and yet finally your knees just give out on you.
I also suffer from throat issues, most of us actually have a lot of scar tissue from singing or speaking a lot or doing so through strep throat (as I have) and so I get dry throats like crazy and when I do I choke like the mother fucking dickens and it will not stop for an hour straight sometimes. I sound like I am dying and my face gets super red and it’s ALWAYS at an embarrassing moment and of course when I need to speak and make a good impression. But I am healthy.

For those who are on the catheter bender. True or not. Fact:
Over 29 million Americans (early 10 % of our population) have diagnosed diabetes, with over 8 million Americans (over 27% of the population) being undiagnosed. (Another reason healthy lifestyles/sugars and diabetes has been such a big topic in America). Many of these wear catheter for their kidneys. It can and for many is a normal way of life. However, it does nothing to stop people from living and working and even having children in most cases.

For those on the H.C. wears a diaper situation. True or not. Fact:
1 in 3 adults and 80 % of them women have bladder control issues. It is the joy of age, the way our body treats us and we treat it and another amazing perk of being a woman at times (especially one who’s given birth.) I can go into some really fun details here about why an adult might wear a diaper, but an adult who is on and off planes, from plane to stage and again and likely not getting two minutes to herself in a day…well I am far from the days I worked in an office and drank a lot of tea and had a boss complain about the frequency of my bathroom breaks. But in understanding of then cutting back on the hydrating liquids because of it and then of course the consequences of dehydration….
Astronauts wear diapers.
Marathon runners piss and shit and keep running.
It has been suggested that legislatures wear a diaper before a long filibuster, such as Strom Thurmonds over 24 hour long speech.
Women who just gave birth wear diapers.
Adult diapers are a billion dollar business.

The health of being a President IS in question..and should be…but not to the point of over shadow.

Barack Obama
Came into office as a cigarette smoker, though young, each year more than 443,000 people die from this habit.
He also traveled a lot to exotic places where many known diseases can strike and cause problems later in life. Though our President’s all usually do a lot of traveling in the same fashion…each time we are risking the death of our country’s leader. We are risking their health.

There are entire Wikapedia pages dedicated on just the assassination threats of our American President’s.
We are always at risk of losing our nations leader, this is also why we should always consider the V.P. elect just as importantly (aside from the fact that it says a lot about our Presidential Candidate anyway), and the entire Congress and the Judges that run our country.

I share the same blood type as our President before, G.W. Bush. Which is rare, hard to have enough on hand at every hospital at all times. If he had been shot during his leadership there was a higher chance of him dying. There were health regards he had that had been omitted from his given health history as a President. (Him along with many others.) As a young man he did not pass physicals given. He also had admitted problems of alcohol abuse thus endangering later chances of health problems during his presidency. There was much about his possible drug usage.

(And frankly, as a person who doesn’t do drugs, I still don’t see a rich white man who was a young enough adult in the 80’s not touch drugs at east once. Especially with someone who’s taste for gold in their decor and outdated 80’s fashion is so instilled…no longer speaking of Bush here. And btw this brings up the god-awful decor changes of the White House should a certain someone win. Have you thought about that? Ugh. So much for the Jackie-O era. So much for class and sophistication. Shiny doesn’t mean not tacky. But I digress.)

And the list goes on with Presidential health past.

Yet this year this is one of the biggest topics, and more so on H.C.’s side than a just as unhealthy looking D.T. Age and as we know time in the white house ages you like a mother fucker…a no wrinkles solution is definitely not to enter the white house. And H.C. has been through it once and been through it hard at that. The medical records of both candidates has long been topic of speculation. Though only for Trump as he refuses to release, and for Clinton for everything under the sun.

And frankly, I don’t care. Neither or either could have many problems….there is no way in hell that a person that orange who eats constant fast food and is over weight has not any problems of concern or will possibly in the near future….and at his age. And there is no way that a woman of Hillary’s age might not have issues that may or may not be perfectly controllable but can also flare into issues during a 4 or even 8 year term. And hell for the Bernie love the man couldn’t even stand up for twenty minutes at a time without support of the podium. Our youngest and one of our healthiest of all Presidents was shot and killed.

But for both I will say, they have sustained and done hard work in many stages and board rooms up until now, and will both likely do far more for many years to come…in or out of the white house. I believe in a physical, yes. I believe in disclosure, yes. But I also seem to remember that we are a country who does not hire, fire, or rent or sale (by law) by health, sex, religion, race, or creed. You can not by law fire, refuse to hire me, for being diabetic, HIV positive, or pregnant. Or ugly or fat or unhealthy eating. Or even by discrimination of age. So this does not factor in my choosing a Presidential candidate. It DOES factor in my choosing of their choosing of a V.P. and Congress and Judges.

What I would rather focus on would be mental health.
LAPD undergo panels of psych evaluation as do Military.

But also their plan.
I am more concerned about:
Education (foundation before college)
Social Security and care for elderly and Veterans.
Attention on homelessness and hungry children.
Food and GMO’s and Earth care.
Health care in all factors
Dealing with what may come (ISIS, mother nature, and many other issues at hand)
Equality, rights, work force, shaping up and over hauling our police and prison systems.
Taxes
Economy.
And much more.

So seeing a day full of H.C. dehydration but ESPECIALLY on a day rather than what 9/11 is about. And seeing more coverage on such rather than her plan on the above issues, pisses me the fuck off. I am only alive another 15 years because I was severely sick. So let’s move the fuck on. And thank you to media and jerk-off journalists who obviously need that ‘Free Education’ we can waste our money on, for ruining the remembrance of 9/11.

I suggest that media, journalism, and even the entire Presidential teams get the fuck on board here.

To My Younger Self. Don’t stop smiling, but don’t hide the bruises.

31298_1301273653070_4981100_n

The things I would the that woman there but still can’t help but  enjoy the big open smile and the very truth behind it. It was genuine right there. No matter what in life, I smile. But also that I truly am happy even when not everything is great.

Someone said to me that they were sorry I’ve had a bad life and though I have had hard times I do not at a consider my life bad. Do I consider that much should have been different? Especially in childhood? Absolutely. But I still had good and great moments and I sill drew from the bad the best that I could. As a writer I will draw on raw emotions and bad times and when I get to those moments I will speak about them.

I learned a long time ago that if you hide things people will find out anyway and use it against you…so I don’t. I smiled in pictures that ended up in five different magazines and newspapers and looked like the quote unquote “cutest couple” with my ex-husband and nobody knew I had bruises I was hiding from only the night before. My thighs were completely black, I almost lost an ear that I hid with my hair, earlier that morning the puffiness of my face was not one I could take in public and I learned well how to reduce swelling which I did up until the second I arrived. Its crazy what many might hide behind a smile. I did an injustice to women and for domestic abuse everywhere by staying silent. I hugged his next girlfriend as she cried after she had pressed charges against him when he hit her. But it took me three years before I ever even whispered it to anybody.

I talk openly now about myself and my life. Growing up the way I did – abuse in my marriage, mental illness because I grew up with it and have been close to it, even jail, because it does no good to stay silent. Not for myself, nor anybody else. There are a lot of people who have lived through much worse and everybody is trying to find out from others how they did it just as much as they are trying to find out how to bake a cake from pinterest. But I still have no answers.

But though there are smiles that hide a lot of pain there are truly smiles that are full of pure happiness. Things I will treasure always. Moments I was able to forget the bad for a moment and consume myself with the good. And moments when life really was just that awesome no matter how the hurricanes raged, I was able to enjoy the storms. That would be my super power if I was to name one. What would I tell that woman from over six years ago? Just can you believe only six years and yet so so long ago six years. You will make big decisions. They are right ones. You’ve got this. Smile in the face of the storm. You are ok. Of course I also would have told her to hit the mother fucker back. But she wouldn’t have listened. They never do listen to good advice. But as she found on her own eventually, when you do find your voice, use it.

WIP: Release 1. Behind The White Gate. A Novel. Where does it come from?

12316339_706962239404330_3464722383574257206_n

The inspiration of anything I write comes from different sources. Sometimes it’s an item that simply catches my eye and intrigue’s me. Sometimes it’s something that grows on me and forms like a grain of sand into a pearl. Sometimes I work very hard to find it. Behind The White Gate was a story that formed from a mixture of things. Life changes and happenings. My relationship with female friends in my life. My relationship with my mother. My relationship with my sisters. Being able to admit that I had been in an abusive marriage, only years after it had ended. Being surrounded by mental illness and awaking to much understanding of it, findng it in different places in my life, different people connected to me in different ways. Finding my way and my choices as a woman in a different chapter of her life, mistakes and all of time lived. Misunderstanding. This novel is fiction but there is much real emotion put into it. Every day I walked past a white gate and wondered of the history behind it. Not the architecture, but the conversations, laughter, tears and family secrets that the gate, and those gates in our own lives, held firmly behind it a hundred years worth gathered.