my sketch “after” Da Vinci
my sketch “after” Da Vinci
Yes, I am determined for this, my, country to continue being the home of the free and the brave. Fear does NO good! Emma Lazarus’ poem is ON the Statue of Liberty!
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” These lines are from the poem “The New Colossus,” written by Emma Lazarus in 1883.
My friends from around the world, know that my country is a better place than what you have seen in the past week. One thing I would say is that there are people still fighting for genuine freedom here. Wherever you are work to make the world and your own neighborhoods the best they can be.
I recently returned from a trip to Cabo and loved my interactions with the people of Mexico. I was reminded of the piece I painted several years ago from a photograph of a friend’s family. By the way, I’m against the wall.
Ten minutes later, Sadie pulled me in front of a shabby, metal warehouse. The sign painted above the door read “Ben’s Den.”
“What is this place?”
“I’ll only be a moment, Meta. Will you wait for me out here? I’ll be right back.”
Before I had time to respond, Sadie entered through the shoddy door, allowing me a quick peek before she closed it behind her. The musky smoke Filtering out didn’t come from cigars or cigarettes.
An opium den? I had read about them, but never knew any existed in San Antonio.
Two minutes had passed. Sadie exited the building, her pace had slowed, her glazed eyes and serene.
“Are you okay, Sadie?”
“Perfect. You should go in with me sometime. The owner is a nice young man. Although,” she said, giggling, “Ben has crooked teeth. Makes me cross-eyed if I stare at them too long. Oh, and his face pocks. Big enough for fairies to bed in.” She threw her hands toward the sky. “A beautiful day. Oh, and please don’t tell Miss Fannie. Some things I must keep to myself.”
I wondered what else Sadie kept to herself. Intuition told me she stored secrets the way Mama and I stored canned vegetables.
Excerpt from The Last Bordello
In 2013, I attended a writer’s conference in San Francisco. Guess who was the guest speaker! Yep, Mr. Goosebumps himself, R.L. Stine!
During his keynote Q and A, I stood and thanked him for his books. I told him how my son had grown up reading the Goosebumps series and how, because of them, turned into an avid reader.
Mr. Stine thanked me and went on with his comical keynote. (Yes, he was hysterical and left the audience in stitches. Who would have thunk it?)
(I still have the video but don’t know how to put it here)
Anyway, Mr. Stine said, “Well thank you. That’s nice. Well, my son’s claim to fame was that he never read one. <laughter> No really. He was the right age and everything. And it used to make me nuts. He used to sell parts to his friends. <laughter> He used to come home and say, ‘ Dad you have to put Will in the next book and Jay… I think they paid him 10 bucks to be in Goosebumps.’ <laughter> Of course, I always did.”
What a great writer, speaker and, apparently, a dad.
Here is me and Mr. Stine at the book signing.
Featured image credit.
A friend of mine recently visited The Broad museum in Los Angeles and shared this painting with me. I LOVE IT!
So much creativity, this man, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who I shamefully had never heard of, died much too early.
Read more about him here.
There are those who I remember
And prefer to let them dwell
Within the ghostly shadows of a Nostradamus spell
Whether prophesy or heresy
Or the cost of Simple jealousy
Is life a simple parody?
Since it’s me I know not well?
On a scale from one to Ten on the happiness meter, I’d say that I’m a fairly consistent eight. But, unfortunately, the needle of my frustration o-meter’s is perilously close to the danger zone. Why?
My core belief system, my moral code has not only been challenged, but also marginalized by the flip of a narcissistic man’s hand.
Anyone who has read some of my past blogs know who I am and what I stand for. And, what I acknowledge as my truth, isn’t about to change now. In fact, now, that select politicians have dipped their poisonous swab into my ideology canal, the results will come back as they always have, and this time, with a vengeance. I will continue to fight for the oppressed, for the rights of humanity and stand up against tyranny.
It has come to my attention that many folks did not understand the reason for the “Women’s March.” That’s okay. Hopefully, after so much has been written, they now understand. It wasn’t a protest against, but a march for. A march toward a better place for all humans.
How is that a bad thing?
Yes, I heard that somewhere in the world, there were acts of violence at the women’s march. The one I read about was of a pro-life supporter who was spit upon for her beliefs. Outrageous, in my opinion. I am not pro abortion in any way. I would have done (and tried) anything to have given birth to my two wonderful children who have made me a grandmother.
I am for the right to choose. I know, some of you might not understand this, and it’s too hard to explain in this post.
I also believe that some of the signs carried at various marches were “inappropriate.” Yet the ones who carried them had as much right to do so as the pro-life marchers.
Because, in that march, there was room for everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike who believed in the rights of humanity.
Now, here is my frustration. Four million plus people across the world marched to show their support for equality and since then, my mind has returned to vague memories of the sixties and the more prominent ones in the seventy and eighties. So why didn’t the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) pass? The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women .
“Gender equality, also known as sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality, or equality of the genders, is the view that everyone should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against based on their gender.[This is one of the objectives of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seeks to create equality in law and in social situations, such as in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work.” (see wikipedia for more info on the 9th amendment to the constitution and also the 14th which finally gave rights to same-sex couples.)
The National Organization for Women, N.O.W., founded in 1966, worked toward equal pay for women. How has that worked out so far?
I recently turned, gulp, sixty. Do I really have to do this all over again?
At first thought, you would think him to be a fierce lion of a man. But in his village, everyone knew his heart was bigger than his mane.