Unspoken (#poem)

Reading “Our Grandmothers,” a poem by Maya Angelou mentioned in Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown, I thought about my poet grandmother and wrote this poem:

“Unspoken”

Some things should not be spoken
People tell me
By the way they ignore me
As if they do not hear me
And this grieves me

So I shall speak of it
Even when people try to turn it
Twist it
So that I will not talk about it

Implying I need therapy
That something is wrong with me
For not leaving it behind
Like a wheel that is broken
These things unspoken

They say this to silence me
To quiet me
To control me
But I have been silenced all my life

So I will continue to speak of it
When it’s appropriate
When it’s inappropriate
Say those who want to hide it
Bury it

Like burying the dead
These unwelcome thoughts in our head

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The Sublime Art of the Unreliable Narrator

Today’s post from the Florida’s Writer Association, “The Sublime Art of the Unreliable Narrator,” got my attention, reminding me of a writing group I used to be a part of. We were chatting about something and I was offering my opinion and when, as an example for my point of view, I told of a personal incident, one of the writers said, “You’re an unreliable narrator.”

What??? No, an unreliable narrator purposely omits information to intentionally mislead the reader. I hadn’t done that intentionally – I just hadn’t told that story about myself yet. We may never tell some stories about ourselves – most definitely. It’s different with a book – you can be an unintentional unreliable narrator or you can do it purposefully if you’ve mastered the art.

Either way, it reminds me of all the arguments taking place on social media these days. Each person is set in their point of view and is not listening to yours. We don’t know everything about them and why they have their opinion and they don’t know everything about us and why we might feel the way we do.

My husband and I love to listen to Jazz and sip wine in the evenings. We also enjoy watching TV and movies set in the past – maybe because we’re both such history buffs.

So, in full disclosure after yesterday’s post about Nashville, today I’m thinking of going all retro, Jazzy, fully embracing my father’s era and the novel he loved so much, Letters on Balboa Island. Will my future books be set in the past? Any past in particular? Will my music become more Jazzy? I don’t know what this means, yet, but I’m excited to explore it.

LETTERS ON BALBOA ISLAND

“When I was seventeen, I knew two things that were true: (1) You couldn’t help but meet a man in a military uniform in southern California in the 1950s, and (2) Sooner or later, men would leave. ” – Rosalie

When Rosalie Martin chooses to spend her life with a military man in the post Korean War era of the 1950s, she can’t forget another she met during the war. And when letters surface on Balboa Island years later, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate offers her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and in Paperback.

Writing Advocates in Heaven

One of the first songs I wrote in my songwriting class was “Advocates in Heaven.” The idea of the song is about losing those closest to you as life moves on until one day you feel as if you have few, if any, advocates on earth, which could feel devastating until you remember you now have advocates in Heaven.

This morning as I ate my cantaloupe I was reminded of one of those advocates. We called him “Papa” and he was my grandmother’s second husband. They married a week after I was born. In fact, he liked to brag that his car was the first car I ever rode in. At the time, my father was stationed overseas in the Naval AirForce.

I could do no wrong in Papa’s eyes, and I think that influenced my grandmother’s opinion of me, too, and that kept my mother in check. Any mis behavior on her part would have to be hidden or at least escape my grandmother’s eyes.

I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ – we’d start the day off with Papa’s favorite breakfast of cantaloupe and toast, he’d leave for work and later I’d ride shotgun as my grandmother drove all over Southern California delivering bras, make-up, vitamins, and lingerie to her customers. We’d stop for lunch at Sizzler, which was a big deal back then. Most families I knew back then rarely went out to eat unless it was a some burger or taco joint that SoCal is known for.

My grandmother wasn’t much of a cook so dinner was something simple like popcorn and iced tea or tacos or burritos or so me other Southwestern/Mexican food if Papa was in charge. She would go to bed early and Papa and I would stay up late watching Westerns. He’d regale me with scintillating stories of living the life of a cowboy in Arizona and his daughter and my step dad doing their homework together back in high school in the Central Valley (yes, my step dad was once married to his daughter). I was introduced to country music through Papa and I first read “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by borrowing his copy.

Of Irish descent, he was quite the storyteller. He seemed to recall precise conversations from the distant past, although my mother insisted he embellished them, which is probably true. He was just a storyteller. He reminded me of Roger Craig, the manager for the SF Giants when I first moved to the SF Bay Area.

Today I’m missing my Papa and other advocates now in Heaven. You don’t realize their influence and how they kept things in order until they’re no longer with us on here on earth.

Maybe I’ll rewrite the song and weave him into the story.

 

New Book Release: Raining Men, Version 2.0

One of the benefits of being an Indie author is that you can edit or change a book up after it’s published. And that’s exactly what I did with Raining Men. I’d published it right before I switched gears to songwriting and thought I hadn’t given it the attention it deserved. I hadn’t promoted it or solicited reviews. But I believed in this book and wanted to give it a wider audience. (It managed to get a 5.0 star review during its brief first release.)

I unpublished it and took it back into the writing studio. I read through it, made some edits, added about ten thousand more words and even tweaked the ending. My editor gave it an edit. I then submitted it and a publisher offered me a contract. I was hoping they could give it more exposure than I could.

Well, as it turns out, they decided they didn’t want to publish a book that had already been published. This seems to be one of the challenges of self-publishing – some publishers are for publishing previously published books, some aren’t, and some are vague about it.

So I’m happy to announce, I’ve released Raining Men, Version 2.0.

Raining Men

When California girl Brooke Slade, looking for love in all the wrong places, is presented with an opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, she turns it down, refusing to leave her life in Sunny California. But when she loses her job, she decides to give the Northwest a chance for thirty days and discovers it’s raining more than the wet stuff – it’s raining men. Wading through so many Mr. Wrongs, can she find Mr. Right?

BUY NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.

Social Media for Introverts

I saw this posted by @StrongIntrovert on Twitter.

Do you ever go out, and while you’re out, you think, “This is exactly why I don’t go out”?

After working at home for several years, I sometimes miss rubbing shoulders with other people. It sometimes feels lonely working at home with my cats all day. But when I worked onsite, I tried my best to avoid other people. So I think I sometimes need to see people just to remind myself that I enjoy being alone. I’ll have to imagine passing annoying co-workers on my way to my solitary office upstairs to really appreciate the setup I have in my writing and music studio.

Another person on Twitter posted this:

“I get melancholy if I don’t [write]. I need the company of people who don’t exist.” William Trevor

This is the best part of social media for introverts – the quotes and the people who quote them. You feel connected with like-minded people.

The truth is, I do enjoy being around people but on my terms and in low doses. This week I get to work with my publisher’s cover artist. Next I’ll be working with my publisher’s editor. This is what I’ve missed about writing, and I’m very happy to be back. I’ve got 3 or 4 wips started. Plus I still need to pay attention to my music. Exciting times!