Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Website and News

I am currently building my website and will be incorporating a blog, stories and all sorts of fun stuff. I am also putting the finishing touches on my memoir and will be featuring excerpts on the site.

Thanks for your patience and support!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I was a weird kid who preferred sitting and writing things at my over sized desk, in the cool sanctity of our air-conditioned rentals, to playing outside. I avoided the outdoors so fervently as a child that I have never been stung by bee or wasp and still run to shelter with arms flailing and screams that rival anything Jamie Lee Curtis could ever muster at the sight of any bug. I was not only pale and prone to sunburn but a wheezing asthmatic little thing that was allergic to dust, dander, air and any furry creature that most children pet and roll about with.

As a result of my physical ailments and neurotic tendencies I fabricated my own version of reality that revolved around one way correspondence and watching TV while consuming copious amounts of salad. Most kids love cake and chocolate. I could not get enough leafy greens smothered in red wine vinaigrette. I even re-named one of my favorite shows, Solid Gold, to Salad Gold as a tribute to my favorite food. I imagined the scantly clad "Salad Gold" dancers doing a hot number while dressed up as giant pieces of lettuce and plump tomatoes. I fancied myself a clever, young thing and went as far as to penning a letter to SNL suggesting the "Salad Gold" skit but perhaps it went discarded after my strongly worded five page complaint regarding the cancellation of Different Strokes and the tyranny of it's time slot replacement the much despised, Mr. Belvedere.

I blame my mom for never developing a taste for chocolate. I was told that I was allergic to the wampum earned from a well thought out Halloween costume: Wonder Woman 1982 was my personal favorite. One fall day,when I was particularly peckish and whining from the back seat of my mom's banana yellow 1978 Buick Regal, I learned the truth!

In an effort to shut me up mom threw me a gooey, old Twix she had stashed in the glove compartment for sugar crash emergencies, the old broad was an unapologetic chocolate junkie. I cried out, "but mommy I am allergic" she replied, "no, you're not I just told you that so that you wouldn't eat my Andy's candies and Hershey’s Kisses" and just like that I realized that adults, much like the heads of NBC, could not be trusted.

Today, I am a clear skinned, cavity free adult who prefers lemons to Snickers and bar stools to park benches and am grateful for my sugar free rearing. I have yet to bring my "Salad Gold" comedic sketch to life and yes, I still use my inhaler and will forever raise my fists to the heavens screaming, "DAMN YOU MR. BELVEDERE!" for it was his sheer existence that caused the child stars of Different Strokes to embark upon such sad demise.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Stuff in the Basement

I’ve been beating myself up for days. Mumbling snide remarks under my breath and flinging noxious looks at my reflection on shiny surfaces. This happens to me every once in a while. I feel listless, heavy and useless for weeks and then one day I wake up strong and smooth like a tarantula after a good old molting phase: minus the fasting, unlike my fury counterpart I eat when I’m fixing to shed some dead skin.

It all comes down to one thing: writing. I love it when it’s over and I can step away from a piece I’ve written and marvel at its shapes and colors. But at this point, today, I feel like everything is a beginning and there is no end in sight. Sure, I can write short anecdotes about my childhood all day but the real stuff, the stuff that will sell in book form and surly be adapted to a screen play, hurts to even think about.

I started a draft today, gently scrapping and excavating the petrified fossils in my chest and nearly threw my laptop across the room. See, I can’t get through the words without crying and when I withdraw and simply write facts it all sounds robotic and calculated. I either need to go to therapy or start drinking heavily because this is getting ridiculous. For the time being I'll just retreat to the safety of the now and less painful: this blog.

I wish I could just blog everyday but when I write, no matter what it is, I get caught up in what feels like a sandstorm of blinding emotional turmoil. When the words finally decide to settle in nicely and stop sounding like meat hooks grating against my brain, after I’ve smoked too many cigarettes, sucked down a pot of coffee and realized that’s it’s 2pm and I’m still in my pjs, it hurts to throw that chunk of myself up on to the internet for the world to scan and then move on to something else. I get up from my little red desk and begin to communicate to others and myself via my finger like Danny Torrance from the Shining. But instead of REDRUM it’s READMYBLOG!

When I started writing this I had no idea where I was going or what if anything I wanted to share but now that I look up and see four paragraphs I know I have to publish it because it would be waste not to. I already feel better. Now I’ve got to go at that “stuff in the basement” and beat it to a pulp just like Rocky Balboa because fighters, well, they fight and mostly with themselves.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspiration is for Amateurs

Some days are like cliffs and I fall off the edges. Stomach in knots, my hair a mess, typing with a mouth full of smoke. The patch of skin, on my back, that has been cut open so many times, drives me crazy with a phantom itch. I look over my words as they shiver and bark up at my face. They are hungry and stuck between periods and question marks. I don’t trust them today and they are angry with me and want out of this mess. This doubt is common, or so I’ve heard. Some days I deem myself brilliant and others I wish I’d chosen to be a nurse or mother. Some people are doing so much more. I’m here hopped up on Diet Coke and cigarettes, cajoling and pleading with stubborn sentences.

Write, mujer, write!

I’m sure Dorothy and Truman had days like this. I’m afraid I’ll end up like Flannery, locked up in my house or worse, like Sylvia, with no other way out. I get up and make sure the knob on the oven is safely turned off. Oh, Virginia if you only knew! All I need is the strength to wrestle this smug, blank piece of paper and too full ink pen, into submission.

It’s dark when the lights are off up here in my head. I live for those moments, when something takes over and I don’t know where it all came from. Songs that I hum were once scrolled bits of nothing on matchbooks and gum wrappers. The books I’ve read and love were at one point a few mysterious scribbles in a worn out notebook. I’m sure Frida got sick of her face looking back at her and threw away hundreds of self-portraits I’d give a kidney to see.

So I’ll wait for that little rush to sweep over me while I do dishes and water the plants. All the while baiting my subconscious with crumbs and hoping the stories will follow like ants.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Sun Also Rises, in Philly

Early in the morning, the world silently yawning, you sip your coffee and tip toe around your mind. Caffeine turns your eyes on, wide as a lantern fish. Another cup and the tiptoes will be cha-cha-chas. You make sure to swallow a big gulp of air before it’s tarnished with the angst of bustling commuters. The sky yet to be taken for granted, lights up gradually, in increments, inch by inch, as if operated by a store bought dimmer. Birds, so content in their solitude forget to pick at the ground for treasure. The sun begins to purr and licks at the skyline, smaller than the one you are accustomed to, but just as majestic. Anything can happen and will but this moment is yours. Until the garbage trucks rumble and shake, breaking the spell and the skittish birds fly to their nests, with nothing to show for themselves but ruffled feathers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Junk Drawer

I’m in the kitchen frantically looking for a new sponge to replace the one that is now mysteriously caked with mozzarella on its scrubby side. I yank out the drawer next to the sink. In the tiny junkyard of useless things, among the sealed mouse traps, loose batteries, wayward nails and various busted cork screws, I see it lodged between a key less pad lock and a postcard from my dentist’s office that reads “Happy Birthday, time for a cleaning!”

This plastic anachronism pulls me out of my day. I travel to a place in time where I was the epicenter of all things because my smallness and innocence required it. This relic of my childhood stares up at me and I snatch it from the drawer, coveting it as if it might evaporate if left unacknowledged.

The object consists of two lighter size picture viewers, one pink and one blue linked together by a rusty ball chain. It’s the kind of novelty item that serves as a souvenir from a trip to the shore or a wedding and can be found dangling from key chains – a reminder that you were there. I remember marveling at the pictures when I was a kid. Wondering how they made my tall heroine tiny enough to fit inside its narrow tunnel and then I’d wield the ball chain around my grubby fingers at the kitchen table – wishing I were big, wishing I were her.

Today, I look through the first eye hole and hold it up to the light, magnified is my mom. She is smiling, alive and radiant, wearing a white dress with black polka dots. I scrunch my eye closed again and peer into the other time capsule, expecting to see the familiar image of her in the handmade, clown costume she wore to the Eastern Airlines employee Halloween party. But instead of seeing her making one of her signature silly faces and honking her big, red clown nose there is nothing but a brown smudge.

The euphoria of my nostalgia sinks realizing that somehow in my many travels the tiny glass must have popped out from the eye hole and with it went my itty-bitty circus mom. I begin to cry and damn the caked on cheese that spawned this discovery. There are things unlike sponges that cannot be replaced and although I have hundreds of pictures of her that particular one is now lost forever.

My mom has been dead for so long that she has taken on the mystery of a mythical creature that appears in my reflection when I least expect her. I remember all of the details of our short time together but none of them are in motion. I have ten years worth of vivid pictures, sharing the same power source, rigged with brown extension chords, running down the length of me. To avoid a blackout I turn each picture on slowly in my mind’s eye and watch it until it begins to move. I scrutinize the details. I tug at my senses until I smell her L'air du temps perfume. I slowly conjure up the sound of her voice, her perfect teeth, the softness of her cafĂ© con leche skin, her laugh and the way she always looked at me as if I were the most important person in the world. This is how I have survived twenty-two years without her. I don’t need a stinking peephole to remember these things!

I hold the picture viewer up to the light one more time and stare at her sitting in the little plastic shrine like a Virgensita waiting for a prayer. I say one and put the plastic time machine back where I found it and continue to search for a sponge.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Once upon a time I had a blog. It was dark, brooding and completely ridiculous. I was a slave to it but for all the wrong reasons. I had a friend who was a blogger and a prolific writer to boot. I wanted to be like her and write as much as she’d write. We fought with one another and blogged about it. We fought with other people and blogged about it. We hated, loved, ate, danced, drank and blogged about it. It was out of control! I exploited my thoughts and feelings on a daily basis and revealed myself under the guise of fifty-cent words and half-truths. It was like a hang over that had to be constantly feed to fend off nausea.

The friendship died and the blog went with it. I don’t know which I miss more. Sure, there was a great deal of dysfunction between the person who inspired me and I but the one thing she always encouraged me to do was write. I think that my reluctance towards writing had a great deal to do with her absence. I associated blogging, journaling and even writing essays and fiction with that part of my life.

There are other reasons why I stopped writing. I had nothing left to say. The fire had been snuffed and the desire to be noticed and praised had wilted. I changed everything: my geographical location, my hair and my habits. I convinced myself that I was not interesting enough without the catalysts I believed made me a good writer: drama, drugs, alcohol and self-loathing. I broke up with New York City as well as with that insatiable need to be a sought after party girl. The transition from chaos to peace was painless but the need to write clawed at my insides like a jaguar in captivity.

This is not going to be a forum for every infinitesimal or sordid detail of my life. I am not sure what the theme or purpose of this little corner of the Internet, with my name on it will represent. Like life the journey not the destination is what counts. I may write every day or not. I have wasted too much time worrying about who lurks in the darkness of this mass high way of communication. I feared that old friends would stumble upon my words and laugh at my ill use of commas and newfound confidence. It’s silly, really. But that’s how I felt. What kind of life is that? Not my life anymore, that’s what! I know I have a gift and I’m not going to tuck it into a journal or a folder titled “Things I will Someday Publish” on my desktop.

So visit me if you’d like. Mock me all you want. Write me nasty, anonymous emails until the cows come home. I am not hiding anymore. I am going to be the best writer I can be and the only way for me to achieve this is to write.