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Entries in Discovery (39)

Sunday
Sep112011

Art, Writing, Perspective, Discovery

I used to think about art as something one-dimensional, linear and hung on a wall.  Of course, we all know that is a very closed-minded view of such a vast and varied form of expressionism.  Art, to me, was putting brush to canvas and that was about it.   However, even with my naivete,  I absolutely loved paintings and art galleries.  I visited every one I could find.  I even traveled to other places for the sole purpose of visiting the art galleries.  At first, I was most enthralled with renaissance art, which was so colorful, detailed, beautiful and foreign to anything I knew or understood…and had the depth and dimension that earlier medieval art lacked.   I couldn’t get enough of it.

[caption id="attachment_1871" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Creation of Man ~Michelangelo"]
[/caption]

Later, I began studying artists, and my newfound knowledge offered me perspective and a new and raw depth of curiosity for the artist, his history and of course, his craft.  I began noticing similarities in different pieces from the same artist.  My favorite of all time became impressionistic and post-impressionistic art, and most specifically, Vincent Van Gogh.   His “Irises” was my favorite, and not just because of its beauty, but also for its beginnings and creator.  Van Gogh painted “Irises” in 1889, just after he had committed himself into an asylum in France after bouts of self-mutilation.  Inspired by nature and his surroundings, he painted some 130 pieces while in the asylum.   He expressed his pain, healing, insight and wisdom through his art.   He was a raw, prime example of a tortured and starving artist, one from which many subsequent artists down through history have gleaned much inspiration.

And how could they not?  He was a man who lived his art, albeit walking a thin line between reality and insanity.  Practically every brushstroke from his work has been scrutinized, critiqued, appraised, studied and copied over the years.   For me, it is a rare treat to visit a gallery where one of his works is featured.  A humbling experience indeed.

Irises~Vincent Van Gogh

And so it is with writing.  My art.  And many of yours, as well.   I studied the great writers, and American Literature was always my favorite.   Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, and Poe gave me hundreds of hours of pleasure, and still do on occasion.  

However, now my writing has taken its position on the front-burner of my life.   I am working on a novel that is ‘working on me’ as I write each page.   Up until now and this book, I didn’t understand what putting myself completely into my craft was.  I didn’t understand the frustration, the sweat, the loss of sleep…..the joy, the sense of accomplishment, and the pride that comes with finally working on something that is completely of my own building and design.  

I understand now.   I understand those starving artists and those writers who made their life’s work putting their stories on paper.  Oh, I don’t even pretend to think I am anywhere near that level of dedication and professionalism, not to mention expressionism.  What I've learned from studying art and studying writers is that depth of expressionism comes from many wells:  talent, life-experience, knowledge, spirit, perspective, and change.


And?   I understand why I am so driven to write. 

And?  I am thankful every day that I have this love of writing inside me.  Writing is my art.  My craft.  And I’m finally letting myself create.    And there’s nothing quite like it.

How do you feel about your writing?  Is it for escapism?  Amusement?  Or is it a deeper, driven influence?

(Images from Google Images)
Wednesday
Sep072011

How Terri got her butch back

Today I was in the mood for a fairy tale.  So I decided to write one of my very own.  The story you are about to read is purely fictional.  The names may sound familiar, but pay no attention.  This is purely fantasy and pretty darned awesome, if I do say so myself.  Hope you enjoy!

***************************


Long ago in a land far, far away, there lived a happy-go-lucky lesbian named Terri, who spent her days free from worry about manicures, pedicures, hair styles, make-up, designer bags and stilettos.  She frolicked, instead, in her comfy jeans, Broncos t-shirts and Reeboks, and never worried about missing a sale at Kohl’s or getting the perfect pluck on her eyebrows.   She was awesome.  And she was butch.

As the years went by, and she succumbed to peer-pressure from co-workers and straight friends, Terri slowly began her metamorphosis into the prissy, persnickety, pain-in-the-ass that she is today.   The outfits must match the shoes and the purse, and leaving the house without makeup is out of the question.   The wonderful hours once spent as a fan of the Denver Broncos are now wasted in the aisles at Marshall’s, jockeying for position and fighting over the perfect handbag.  Yes, both activities take skill, but the latter earns a zero on the butch meter.  

Our Terri has lost her butch.  

Sadly, most of her “change” happened over the past year.  In the fall of 2010, Terri decided to grow her hair out.  For 20 plus years, she’d strutted around with a super-short doo, looking butch and quite content with herself.  However, one day, when she entered her bank and the teller said, “May I help you sir?”, Terri decided too much butch might not be a good thing.   So she began growing her hair out. 

As her hair grew, she spent more and more time in front of the mirror. 

Again, not very butch.

She washed, conditioned, colored, combed, brushed, curled and straightened her hair as if she’d never seen hair before.  She brought the phone into the bathroom with her, and took her own picture.  She began shopping in the hair products aisle, buying such prissy things as decorative combs, scrunchies, headbands, clips and rhinestone-studded bobby pins.

As if having fabulous long hair wasn’t enough, Terri began shaving her legs on a regular basis, instead of the required shave before a doctor visit.    All the hair products and shaving paraphernalia and creams and new makeup ran up quite a bill, and Terri was thankful she’d landed a decent job.    Let’s face it; you can’t purchase seven pairs of sandals in one summer, along with two pedicures and four handbags on unemployment benefits.

Then Terri lost her job.   So now Terri had lost her butch and lost her job.  Things were starting to look pretty dismal.   She’d grown quite accustomed to her Tall double vanilla latte on the way to work each morning.  

Again, not butch.   Terri used to drink her coffee black.  And strong.

So times got tough and since Terri was no longer tough (because tough goes with butch and butch was gone) she had to resort to some fast and furious job-hunting.   She had to feed her UNbutch habits, you understand.   In the meantime, she stopped wearing the expensive makeup unless she had a job interview.    She drew the line at hair products, though.  Her long locks would not suffer just because she lived below the poverty level.   

She couldn’t help thinking, though, that it would certainly be cheaper if she were the happy butch lesbian she used to be.     Ah the good old days.

So, the handbags and sandals were thrown into a heap in her closet.  She kept her very favorite purse and sandals at the ready, however, just in case she needed a prissy-fix.   She put the scrunchies, fancy combs and rhinestone bobby pins away, leaving only a headband and some plain bobby pins to keep the hair out of her eyes.   She started making her own coffee, sans the cream, and squelched the urge to primp-up and take pictures of herself.

She was starting to feel like the old Terri again.   Care-free, jagged fingernails, unpainted toenails, unibrow and all.   It was good to get her butch back.  

Why did she want to be her old butch self?   Because Terri was at her happiest when she wasn’t trying to impress anyone with her blinding beauty and her feminine wiles.  She was happy to just be funny and loud and silly and butch. 

Women like her that way.  Butch.

Her friends like her that way.  Butch.

Jury’s still out on her Dad, though.  He probably prefers her a little less butch.  But we won’t ask him.

The long hair stays though.  Because it’s fabulous and she loves her hair.    She’s not a girly girl, but she is a girl. 

The hair stays.

Now for that job.  Terri needs a job so she can buy some new Broncos tees, Reeboks and jeans.  She threw all that out when she got all prissy-fied.

And that, my friends, is how Terri got her butch back.   Well, it’s a work in progress.  But still…..

The End

Well, sort of…



(Images from Google Images)
Monday
Sep052011

Go Terrri! It's your birthday!

 

Tomorrow is my 58th birthday.   While it’s not a ‘stop the presses’ and ‘film at eleven’ monumental occasion, it is important to me.  I have always loved birthdays and I’m happily not one of those women who stop having birthdays past 39.  I don’t mourn my younger days and what once was.   I will save such somber emotions for more pertinent, appropriate and hopefully far-off times.

I celebrate birthdays, and yes, even my own.  I have had the pleasure and privilege of being me for 58 years and I am truly thankful and grateful for the opportunity.  So what’s not to celebrate?   Bring out the good wine!   I’ll have the red, room temperature, thank you very much.  Now, let’s all drink to my birthday, shall we?   Cheers!

I remember when I was in my 30s and I visited my Dad in Georgia.  He was shuffling a deck of cards and I remember looking at his hands, swollen with arthritis, and thinking, “Are my hands going to be like that when I’m in my 50s?”   At that time, being 50 something seemed so far away and so old to me.  I didn’t really want to think about it much, so I really tried not to.    I wonder now if my sons look at me and feel the same way I did back then.  No, my hands are not like my Dad’s, but my arthritic back certainly shows my age at times. 

I guess if I could relate anything of importance to my sons, regarding my life and my age, it would be that I am still here.  I’m in here, inside this older body, and behind this more aged face and tell-tale gray hair. I’m here.  And I’m the same intelligent, passionate, caring, vibrant and fun-loving person I have always been.   And when you are my age, my sons, you will understand how this is possible.

The best thing about being me and about being 58 is that, even though I may not be the huge success at life I’d always envisioned, I do know myself and I accept myself along with my excess baggage and flaws.  If I would have known myself this well back in my 30s, I may have been a lot more successful at life.  Or maybe not.  Either way, I’m ok with it.  And how can that be?  How can I be ok with my life as imperfect as it appears to be right now?

I am ok with my life because I know  that I am the only one who can change it, make it better or worse, make a difference or not, and/or waste it or make something of it.  It’s up to me to define my present and redefine my future. 

So what now?

So many possibilities!  I’m excited for the future, not in dread of the years flying by.  My life’s experiences, good and bad, have prepared me with the wit, wisdom, courage and determination I need to cushion the blows that may come my way in my future journey.   Those priceless gifts only enhance any man-made skill sets I’ve managed to pick up along the way, thus further strengthening my will and ability to continue through this amazing, incredible life!

So, raise your glasses and drink to me and my 58 years.  I shall raise mine and drink, as well, to my life and to all of you, my friends and family. 

Because, without you, my wine or my journey would not be as sweet.
Friday
Sep022011

A fine predicament of my own donut design

Lately, I have been on a health-kick.  I’ve been walking every morning and doing some stretches before and after.  Mind you, I haven’t been on an exercise regime for more than two weeks at a time for a long while, so I’m not exactly buff.  Fluff would be a more accurate description.  The ‘fluff’ hangs around me like a bad cold or a nosy neighbor.   Just hanging there.  Fluffy. Droopy.  Doesn’t fluffy sound better than fat?  Still.  It’s fat.

And it’s in my way.

By in my way, I mean it all gathers up front when I bend over to try and tie my shoes, and then I have to stretch extra hard and extra far.  This results in an inevitable stomach cramp, forcing me to stumble over to the bed and stretch out until it subsides.   Or until I wake up from my nap, whichever comes first.  And conversely, all my fat meanders around back when I try to sit down on a bench or chair that is low to the ground, making my knees buckle.  Sometimes it’s a hard landing.  Quite frankly, I’m a bit worried about my La-Z-Boy recliner.

So that’s why the health-kick.

I’m tired of wearing flip-flops so I don’t have to tie my shoes.  I’m tired of spilling my coffee because I can’t sit down gently.   I want to recline with ease and grace, complimenting my ladylike demeanor and my delicate sweetness.   What?   I’m serious.  Shut up.

I want my girlish figure back.   I’ll settle for a boyish figure.  Right now my figure is more rhinoishtic.  Or hippopottomish.  Take your pick.

So.

I exercise.  Badly.  And with little or no finesse.  Case in point.  This morning, I got down on the floor to do my stretches, leg lifts, sit-ups, nap and pushups.   When I finished up three minutes later I was exhausted, so I slithered over to the couch in order to have something to hold on to while I got up.   Using my strong, muscular fluffy droopy arms for leverage, I held on to the couch and got up on both knees.  So far so good.   After that, I raised one leg to the stand up position and immediately had to rethink my situation.

Both my legs had sharp pain kinks in them, forcing me back to my knees.    While thinking , "Wow, being on my knees sure isn't as much fun as it used to be!“ and then thinking, "Lordy, why do I keep eating those fucking donuts?  Just shoot me now”,  I got this stellar idea.  I would just grab the couch with both hands and stand up, pain be damned!   And it was!   Or, rather I was.  Damned, that is.

Bad decision.

Screams ensued. Big gnarly cramps. Both legs. Me on my knees leaning on the couch.  No way out.  There I was, with thoughts running through my head of having to walk on my knees for the rest of my life.  Or even worse, having Joan walk in and have to help me up.  She’s already had the pleasure of pulling up my drawers when my back went out the other day.  She didn’t need to see me praying to the couch pillows.   At that point, I had already confessed all my past discretions and pillow-abuse sins and was starting to account for my doily fetish.

No, she could not catch me in that position.  I had to get out of there.

Finally, a light-bulb went on somewhere in my brain and I decided to massage my legs to try and get the kinks out.  That seemed to work pretty well and after a couple minutes, I was able to pull myself up far enough to sit down on the couch.

Whew!    Saved by my magic fingers.   I always told Joan I had magic fingers, but she ignored me.  Magic fingers are good for lots of things, you know.   Her loss.

So, that’s how I got myself into a fine predicament of my own donut design.

What did we learn from this excruciatingly long story?

If you’re overweight and out of shape, don’t get down on the floor unless you’re diving for donuts.  Don’t bother with the exercises, either.  Just have your masseuse on speed dial. 

 
Tuesday
Aug302011

Terri's Little Corner Turns One Year Old!



Hi ya’ll!   August 26th was my Blog’s one year anniversary.   Sheesh, the year sure went fast!   I’ve made nearly 180 posts and had several thousand comments and visitors.  I’ve broken no records, but my readership has steadily increased, along with my online acquaintances and new friendships.    Through blogging, I became a fan of The Twitter and became a bit more social-networking savvy.

Over this past year, I’ve spilled my heart out to you regarding my unemployment woes, my family and friends, my hair (oy), and my eternal affinity for the ladies.  I’ve developed my abilities in short fiction through presenting on the blog and learning from your praise as well as critique.

I went back over all my posts over the past year, picking my favorite eight, and have listed those below.  It was hard to pick just eight because, like you, I put my heart and soul into my writing.  So please enjoy the past reads if you didn’t catch them before:

It Took me 57 Years  May 29

I Hate Job Interviews  Sept 14

Why is Everyone so Afraid of Us?  October 11

Unemployment and its Side Effects  Oct 2

Porch Sittin’   Nov 26

Cancun  Feb 16

Destinations  Jan 23

Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Purse Whore  Aug 27

It’s been a good ride for this old broad.   I just want to say to my blog friends and family that I love you all and appreciate you more than I can say.   There sure are a lot of good people out there.  I’ve made friends from Maine to Seattle, as well as Hawaii, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Canada and beyond.  And each and every one of you entertain and delight me with your amazing blogs.  I have quite the list of blogs that I regularly peruse.   I am listing those below, and hope that each of you will visit some or all of the others so our network and friendships can keep growing.  Conversely, if any of you have favorite blogs you read, please share the links with us in comments, so we can share the love and laughs and adventures.

Thank you!   Hugs and Kisses and Much Love!    Cheers to another amazing blogging year ahead!

Grandmas Briefs

Babe's World

Telega Tales and Tart Cookies

Two Normal Moms

Wrestling With Retirement

My Inner Chick

LBDDiaries

One Life

Kluckit

m1k3ybuddha32 Musings

Little Patti

Thoughts to Mull

From Tracie

Hawleyville

Erin Margolin

By Any Other Name

Body of Work

Mommy Go Something Something

Away We Go

Shades of Blue and Green

Pamela Hutchins Road to Joy

Flying WG

The Sluiter Nation

Mommy Pants

Like Water Off a Rock

Notes From an Alien

Laura Petrovich-Cheney Art Blog

All Kidding Aside

All Fooked Up

 Well I'm sure I missed a few....and if I missed you, I am sorry!  Please list in comments and I will rectify that situation asap.   Thanks!

Friday
Aug262011

Making a Difference

I was just sitting here minding my own business, drinking a little vino, reading some blogs and doing a little #drunktweeting.   If you don’t understand #drunktweeting, not to worry.  I don’t either.  I just copied it from the tweet boards.  I think it has something to do with taking a swig of wine, sending an obnoxious, stupid, sexually slanted, or garbled tweet……and then rinse and repeating.  

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  I don’t get out much.

So I was doing all of the above, quite content in my delusions, just like any other Friday night.  Only this little one-woman party was actually a celebration!     Change is in my future and unlike a lot of people my age, I thrive on change.

Today I visited a wonderful place.  It is a medical clinic for the underprivileged and uninsured.  The name of the clinic shall remain anonymous to protect people’s rights.   The clinic is run by a doctor friend of mine who used to be my primary care physician.  She is amazing and the work she is doing in that clinic is important.  She’s making a difference. 

She was laid off from her job as a primary care physician with one of the main hospitals in Las Vegas, and both Joan and I were devastated.   She was there for us after Joan’s stroke and through her recovery.  She took so much time with us and cared about both of our needs and issues in this most difficult time in our lives. 

The powers-that-be laid her off last year, not because she did anything wrong, but because she took too much time with her patients.  Imagine that!  Caring enough to actually spend time with your patients?  Unheard of!   I learned today that it had been a very difficult and stressful time for her, as she’d never had anything like that happen before.  Consequently, and sadly, we could no longer have her as our primary care provider and were forced to pick another.  

To my surprise and delight, our favorite doctor made a comeback!   No, she didn’t come back into mainstream HMO and PPO…ville.  No sir.  Now she’s the director of the special volunteer clinic and has a big office and does magical and wonderful things for people with needs.    I am so happy for her and so proud to call her my friend.

Today I visited the clinic and talked with my friend in her big office where she proudly displays pictures of her three handsome sons.   Upon first entering the clinic, I received a warm reception and felt quite welcome.  The staff were all lovely and looked very happy to be there.   I don’t know how many of the staff are volunteers, but everyone seemed to work harmoniously together.  I felt no stress or discord whatsoever, and these days that is the exception rather than the rule in any workplace.   It felt almost home-like.

While having my chat with the good doctor, I realized that I wanted to be a part of this wonderful place where people do good things and make a difference.  So I volunteered to be a volunteer!   I asked if she could use my services in the administrative area of the clinic (as I have no medical skills).  She broke into a big smile and said “Of course!”   Then she introduced me to some of the staff and gave me some forms to fill out.

It looks like I’m on my way to a new adventure and journey.  I will only be able to volunteer a few hours a week, but the doctor assured me it would make a difference.  I’ve been so self-absorbed for so long, with being unemployed and strapped for cash that I hadn’t stopped to realize there are others much worse off than me.

I turn 58 years old in a couple weeks.  I want my 58th year to be a productive, happy year and one in which I branch off into new and exciting directions.  Life is an adventure and each day is priceless.  No time to waste!

I’m excited about this new opportunity.   I’m sure I’ll have stories in the future to reflect my new volunteer work.   So wish me Godspeed as I go forth to “make a difference”.  

OK, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself.   

But I’m so excited! 
Tuesday
Aug232011

Sometimes I can Hear the Wrinkles

At what time in a woman’s life does she realize she is old?   Is it the telltale signs of gray hair or lines on the forehead?   Is it the passing of menopause?  Is it the arthritis in her back or the tendonitis in her shoulder from all those active years?    Is it the loss of muscle tone and beauty? 

Do you think such a woman is old?

Let’s not be so quick with our judgments, and look at some other measuring criteria, shall we?

Is a woman old when she’d rather curl up with a good book and nice glass of merlot than be in a crowd?   Is that sparkle in her eyes when she gazes upon her precious grandchildren a measure of old?  What measures the old?   Is it her wisdom?   Is it her memories?   Is it a life lived fully and with little regrets?

I offer that the woman is not old.   She is, instead, a priceless gem, a precious metal, an honored and, deservedly so, revered member of society.  

She is still on her journey to reach her true worth.  A journey that is a culmination of her life, and those lives which have been touched by her.

***********************


Being in my late fifties has opened up a different level of awareness for me.  Sometimes I don’t know quite how to handle it, as it seems too much to take in all at once.  Other times, however, I am sad because I can’t do some of the physical things I did in my youth.  I was always very physical and now arthritis truly is taking its toll on me. 

 But still, other times, I am content because I’ve learned so very much in my lifetime, been all over the world, loved and been loved by many, and have a family of which I’m so very proud.   Age does have its privileges, of which memories, wit and wisdom are just a few.

I don’t dwell too much on my age, except for when I’m reminded by some well-meaning younger person calling me “dear” or “sweetie”.  That does not amuse me, even though I know they are merely paying their respects. 

In fact, I still love my Classic Rock, and I love to play it very loudly while driving down the highway.  Sometimes I sing…badly and loudly.   I’m a Rock Star in my own mind. 

I still enjoy a good rollercoaster.   In fact, there aren’t too many I don’t enjoy.  I love to dance!  I love computers and all things techy.  I love flowers and good food.  Italian is my favorite.  Nothing beats well-made pasta and sauce.  

And, as you’ve probably noticed, I still go on and on about me.   Writers tend to do that.  We like to get the word out…even if it’s just about ourselves.   We need that audience.  It’s our fuel.  One of the best things I’ve discovered in my “not so old” age is writing.   I don’t know what I ever did without it.

The next time you look at your partner, your Mom or Grandfather, take a good look.  I guarantee you there is a person inside with a lifetime full of experiences of which you could learn from and delight in.  So take a little time to listen and share.  Of course, if Grandma hits you over the head with her cane, it might not be the best time.  But try again later.

Thanks for reading.  How do you feel about aging?  
Sunday
Aug212011

Hitch in my Getalong

Saturday morning I arose, drank my coffee, ate my oatmeal, and then promptly and enthusiastically headed to the store to do our weekly food shopping.  I did this because I am a dutiful wife and lead a glamorous Las Vegas life.   It’s all good.  I am fine with doing the food shopping and, in fact, had visions of Jell-O Strawberry Cheesecake Mix in my head. 

Don’t judge.  That stuff is freaking awesome. 

I go about food shopping in the same fashion I cook, clean, study, and live most of my life.  There is absolutely no method to my madness.  Well, except for the start and the end.  I always start to the left of the store, though, and work my way over, and consequently end up on the beer/wine aisle.  Fitting climax for such a humdrum task, wouldn’t you agree?    I earned that $2.77 bottle of Wal-Mart special merlot.    That’s right.

But back to my story.

I finished my shopping, and obediently motored on home, not even stopping at the Krispy Kreme Donut store on my way.   I did drool a bit though.  Have I ever mentioned that I gave Krispy Kreme’s up?   I can’t remember why, but I am sure it had something to do with one of my many rollercoaster diets or possibly a cleanse.   I’ve long-since abandoned the diet/cleanse, but for some strange reason I can’t bring myself to pull into the Krispy Kreme drive-thru.   We’ll just call it my own little personal rebellion against Fat. 

Shut up.  It could happen.

I arrived at the apartment and began carrying the groceries up the 18 stairs, like I do every single Saturday morning.   It’s my job, and might I add, I do it because I fucking have to  Proudly.   The first load consisted of a 24 pack of Diet Pepsi  in my right hand and six or seven plastic bags of groceries, plus my handbag and keys, in my left hand.   I’m pretty strong.   And I do it to impress my woman. 

Turned out, she wasn’t even looking.

I got in the door and dropped my load  (The groceries. What did you think I meant?)  and headed straight for the bathroom.  I had to pee so badly my eyes were watering.  I swear.  So I finished and started to get up off the toilet, and my back went out.  

There I was.  Drawers down around my ankles and my hiney in the air because I could not straighten up. 

It was painful.  And embarrassing.  And apparently quite freaking funny…to my beloved.

I screamed for Joan to assist me and she pulled up my drawers helped me get to a chair.  I can’t understand what the hell she thought was so funny, but she just couldn’t stop laughing.   What is so damned funny about my drawers around my feet and my shiny hiney?   I was not amused.  She was though.  Quite amused.   About that time, I was trying to remember why I ever married her in the first place.  Her sense of humor?   I think not!

So, for the last two days, I’ve been hopping around from chair to couch to bed, and all the while, using a cane and still not quite able to stand straight up.  Joan has finally stopped laughing and all is peaceful in our little world.  

But…every now and then, when I hobble by HER chair, a little chuckle slips out of her mouth.  I immediately give her a dirty look and she promptly goes into throes of laughter.   I hate her.

I love her.  I just need to find a sock that will fit in her mouth, so I can get some peace and quiet, and heal properly, you understand.

Back pain is not a laughing matter.

Stop that!