The Good with the Bad

The day began with insomnia

drifted into lateness

and fell into despair

One found dead, the news feed reads

the reaper’s  prize

at last

sorrows grips friends

still other silent cheer the end of the road

two kids in a doctor’s office sick with the flu

 

two strangers cling to life

victims of happenstance

attended by the best

No news is good news or so the fellows say

No news is bad news worries the friends

beloved ones

Victory arrives late

lesson learned, acceptance obtained

a child born

new shoes,  credit extended ,

then end of an abusive relationship

 

No clever words need

or cliques expressed

Just another day

the good with the bad

the bad with good

perspective the only means of definition

 

 

Season of Giving

For the past six years, I have had the honor of working with the students at the BETA center in Orlando. The young women I work with are amazing and it isn’t a cliche to say that that inspire me everyday.    Yes, sometimes they frustrate me.  But, they always make it worth it.   Their stories would break your heart, but those are their stories and not mine to tell.   There is a lot more to the BETA center than my school.  A lot more. They help 1,000’s of families every year in Central Florida each year.   They really do change lives.

Please consider giving or at least sharing this link with others.   BETA Center Go-Fund-Me .   These beautiful young women are trying to do what is best for their children like all of us they could use some help.

 

Blinded

blinded by smoke

scored by the heat

nothing but the most bitter fruit

left to eat

nothing left but to fight

to fight

to die

and maybe then be heard

or be seen on CNN

and misunderstood

still better than

do nothin’

being the big man’s punk

and doing my time

in the oligarch’s machine

better to go out

with a stone in my hand

than dying in an attempt to live

the promised life

 

Fighting for Jess

Over the weekend,  Jessica, a writer and teacher, went to social media to ask for help. She is starting her battle with cancer.  At 32 years of age, she is about to battle for her life and she is facing it with the dignity and grace of both a lady and a warrior.

Treatment is expected to last six months during which Jessica will under going chemo and radiation for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Nodular Sclerosing Stage 2a – cancerous cells in lymph nodes throughout chest and neck.  Even with her diagnosis, Jessica says that she is lucky because Lymphoma is one of the most treatable cancers.  Life, however, doesn’t stop because she has cancer. There is no cancer time out for Jessica’s bills. She is asking for help covering the medical bills as they come in and to help pay for other cancer related expenses.

Jessica is an amazing woman and writer.  Any help you could provide, even if it just boosting the signal, it would be greatly appreciated.

JESSICA IS GOING TO KICK CANCER’S BUTT!

April Page 8

Six days, six pages and a cold. This morning, I so wished badly not to have to get out of bed and go to work. Even as I type this I am contemplating how badly I need to go to work this evening. I am thinking that I made a mistake coming to work.  My body is now screaming at me. I need to go to sleep. I want to go back and go to bed.

But, I am not going back to bed.

Not now and not for at least a couple of hours. I am toughen it out. It is actually easier for me……

Well, days 6 and 7 were eaten by the cold. Completely eaten.  Nothing at all is left of day 7 and all that remains of day 6 is above.

By lunchtime, I forced myself to go home and rest. There was no point in pushing myself and there I have been for the last two days. In bed. In a sorted pjs and comfy clothes. The only part of I enjoyed was having a milkshake for lunch and getting to read whenever I wanted. The spirit was willing but the flesh was contaminated.

I could have and maybe should have stayed out and extra day.  But  I made it to the end of the day and I am back on track with my pages. Tomorrow’s page will be different than the previous days, less journal and more fiction.

Luke explaining to me why this is his side of the bed.
Luke explaining why staying in bed is good for me.

 

Writing in the Dark

Depression and self-doubt are my two greatest struggles as a writer.

Reading one my favorite author’s blogs, I realized that I spent more time with depression and its friend self-doubt than I have spent working on the craft of writing or any of my other passions.

It weights on me, holds me down and keeps me from working on my dreams. It keeps me running in the rat race and not breaking the glass that keeps me contained.

My birthday was a joyous. Friends and family came to celebrate as well as laugh and sing. Less than a week later, I am struggling to right myself in a sea of emotions. I want so much to write. To write and write until I finish another book and then another has been published.

Somewhere in there, I would have a family of my own and not be in debt. There would also be a garden and a library where I can read, nap and repeat to my heart’s content.

At 38, I fear that I am running out of time. Depression and self-doubt are wearing me down.

I feel my feet dragging through my life. Depression telling me that I am not worthy. Self-doubt pointing out ever failure to confirm every whisper that Depression utters into my soul.

Words identify us.  Words and the perception that they create define us.

The word that defined me and still defines me is survivor.  No matter what is that comes at me, I survive. There is comfort in that and there is a lot of fear. Fear that I will never learn to live another way and fear that this is the only life meant for me.

I am not trying to be dramatic that is just what Depression and Self-doubt do to me at time.

In the end, what makes me a survivor always wins out. The ability to keep going and not to stop. Not to stop  trying to do more than survive and to keep writing. The next book will come.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: I Will Hold My Death Close

10502254_592407747547506_7740250097570509581_nI Will Hold My Death Close by Stant Litore

Available for pre-order on Amazon for your Kindle

Circa 1120 BC – Israel –

The story is based loosely on the events of Judges 11 where Jephthah (Yeptha) promises to sacrifice the first thing he sees upon his return home for victory over his enemies.  The first thing, he sees his daughter and only child.

So one might expect that the story to be told from the father’s perspective and involve his internal struggle keeping such a horrible promise.  This is however an installment of the Zombie Bible and Stant Litore has a way of turning the story you know into something beautifully different. Something powerful.

Jephthah’s daughter is marked for death and flees to the hills where she has to fight for her life from the unburied dead (zombies).    She fights off the dead knowing that at any moment, her father could appear with his stone blade in hand to take her life on the sacrificial alter.   Through the course of her struggles, she remembers the songs of her mother and how she stood again the unburied dead with only a stick.  She fights to keep her death close and her own.

The centuries to come will not remember her name. But generations of young women will climb the hills to remember her.

Litore once again proves that he is a master storyteller.  This story didn’t let me go for a moment and literally left me grasping for breath at end.  He has taken the story of Jephthah’s daughter and elevated beyond the scanty lines in Judges 11 to something incredibly powerful.  No matter what your faith or spiritual path, there is something that you will find to love in this book.  I really am in awe of Litore at this moment and can’t wait to see what he writes next.