Monday, May 24, 2010

A Bath, a Book, a Cup of Tea

Tonight I reserve just for me
A bath, a book, a cup of tea
My day was spent just like the rest
Job and family, I do my best

Laundry, bills, some dishes too
Come, I’ll read that book to you
Dress-up time is always fun
Kids in bed, the day is done

Fast asleep my children lay
This I’ve waited for all day
To take some time to pamper me
My bath, my book, my cup of tea

To your bedside I am drawn
Touch your cheeks, how they are warm
Reaching down to kiss your hair
I close my eyes and say a prayer

Someday you’ll be grown up too
Now’s the time for me and you
So in the bed with you I lay
My bath can wait just one more day.
                                    - Buffi  2002

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Someone said to me... (week 2)

Someone said to me, “You need to wait until you’re married.”
I said, “I’m sorry I can’t. I just turned fifteen.”
Read how I got there

Someone said to me, “You need to wait until you're married.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “I know, Dad. Wait ‘till I’m married. You’ve told me that a million times already. Don’t you trust me?”

“Trust you?” Dad replied with his fist clinched and quickly loosing blood flow. “Of course I trust you. It’s that boy I don’t trust!”

I smiled and went in for a hug, “Oh, Dad, you really are ridiculous. He loves me and he would never make me do anything I don’t want to do, so there is nothing to worry about. You are so old-fashioned! Most of my friends have already done it, you know.”

As the words were falling out of my mouth I tried to catch them, but my hands were not quick enough. That last comment was sure to get me stuck at home again watching reruns of 20/20 with Mom while the rest of my friends were at the party.

But Dad let me go that night and by 8PM I was making out with my boyfriend in a dark basement. There were only three couples at that “party” and by 9PM we were quite alone on the couch. In a very short time, I was swatting my boyfriend’s hands away from me like I was the lone flower stuck in a field of honey bees.

I tried to stay strong, but I trusted him and I loved him. He would never do anything to hurt me. His loving voice whispered, “If you love me, then it’s okay.”

That made sense because he did love me. I broke away from his lips for a second and said, “No! I have to wait until I’m married.” He said, “You have to or you want to? Because I think you don’t want to.”

I pushed him away, fixed my clothes and walked away. My mind played ring-around-the-rosy while I said, “I guess have to and I don’t want to.”

As I stood by the door waiting for him to follow, he gently motioned for me to come back and sit beside him. He looked so cute and pitiful. He had one last plea for me to consider, “Let’s pretend that we’re married.”

“Pretend? Pretend? Did you just really say that? Is that the best you can come up with? I’m not going to pretend!”

He met me at the door, gave me a kiss on the cheek and whispered in my ear, “Then marry me!”

I had dreamt of hearing those words, but not like this. It was only then that I realized Dad was right.
I said, “I'm sorry I can't.  I just turned fifteen.”

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Someone said to me…(week 1)

Someone said to me, “You need a platform if you want to get published.”
I said, “I choose B.”
Read how I got there

 Someone said to me, “You need a platform if you want to get published.”

I replied, “But you don’t understand, I have a platform.”

But they didn’t answer because they couldn’t hear me – even though I waved my hands wildly and hit my forehead with my fist. And if I really did respond to their email, I’m sure I’d be given the scarlet letter for new authors – a big letter ‘S’ for stalker, also known as ‘S’ for spam.

So I looked out my window and decided to speak to the tree that was graciously hanging on my every word. I gently pushed the curtain back so he won’t miss any of my speech.

I began, “My platform is me. I mean my platform is embracing adversity. If you read my book, my platform is clear. Hmmm.. Shit, maybe I don’t have a platform.”

Ahh… self doubt found its way into my heart again. Self doubt is a frequent visitor of many aspiring authors like me. Realizing I was not alone, I said to myself, “If you let self doubt win, then you lose. It’s that simple.”

I stood up to show the tree that I was serious now. “Look, I was given lots of hurdles; an alcoholic parent, abuse and poverty but I’m standing strong on the other side. I always thought I was so different and I longed to be the same. First I longed to be part of the normal-kid-club and then I longed to be part of the normal-mom club. You know, the ones that have it all figured out.”

The glare of the sun interrupted me. “Most of us don’t have it all figured out, you know.”

“Exactly!” I said as I threw my arms in the air. “If you know someone that has it all figured out I would bet you don’t really know them.”

The tree shook a leaf off toward me and said, “So what’s your point? You’re platform sounds more like a therapy session.”

My point is that we all know how it feels to be different. We all have our own struggles and we don’t always have the power to overcome them. I am saying, stand strong, be different, be yourself and don’t give up. My family was weird and screwed up as many familes are. That's why people relate to my story. I'm their sister, mother, daughter or friend. They will cry with me, laugh with me and in the end they will feel there is just one more person in the world that understands.

So, here's my platform:
Individuality and empowerment through acceptance of adversity.

And here's my mantra for today:
If I don’t believe in myself, I can’t expect you to believe in me. I will be published. I truly believe it. I can see it. I can feel it. I will say it out loud.

For writers in the midst of query and rejection letter hell, I say you are not alone. But you have a choice to make.
A) Let one letter from one person who doesn’t know you, determine your fate, or
B) File the letter away, shake off the self doubt and move on.

I said, “I choose B.”

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Please support me with your honesty.