And I Wrote This Book.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

After the Fallen Matzo Ball / Halloween Reminder


Alas, back to me and George...I'd let the matzo ball slip out. Though momentarily terrorized, George quickly composed himself and acted as though nothing happened. I played "Let's pretend" too. But after a wonderful trip to Tahoe, I couldn't control my tears. We sat on his sofa for a talk...
George Costanza | Mockingbird
I faced the door, eyes down, ready to make a grand escape if he said the wrong thing or - more likely - didn't say the right thing. Slowly, I began explaining that I was worried I had stronger feelings for him than he did for me.

"Well," George paused, "When you said you love me, did you mean it? Don't you think it's too soon?" 

Gulp. "Well, I mean, I do say I love you to the postman, but" --my voice dropped-- "I'm starting to fall in love with you, yes." 

George held me somewhat warmly, somewhat tentatively. I nervously eyed the distance between us and his front door. 

"I can't take any more hurt," I shared. "I can't tell you how painful the whole thing was with my ex-husband." I looked directly at George. "I'm getting really scared that I care more about you than you do about me. You never say anything."

He sat quietly. Sh*t! I thought, starting to wriggle away. "I'm going to just go now."

"Why?"

"Because you're not saying anything now either. Why would I stay involved when I have feelings that you don't?"

"Yeah, I probably could be more expressive." The mood shifted. "I'm starting to feel that way," George confessed. "Just give it some time." George rubbed his hand up and down my back. "Have faith," he whispered.

I leaned against his chest, wiped a tear, and said "okay."

-to be continued.
 ----------------------On a completely different note, my annual Halloween reminder: 
PLEASE BOYCOTT HERSHEY'S!! Hershey's gets its chocolate from the West African Ivory Coast, where children are exploited and tortured on cocoa plantations. Hershey's is well informed of this, yet it continues to do business there. This monstrous company monopolizes almost all of the standard cheap candies too. So boycotting them means boycotting Mars, Brachs, Godiva, etc. etc. My best suggestions: (1) Give out mandarins, and kids will never visit you again; (2) Buy fair trade candies, more expensive but you'll sleep easier; or (3) shut out the lights so nobody comes knocking. 
Thank you! Take care, and have a sweet week.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Halloween Erotica, the Original

Halloween started all this poetic erotica madness. I never intended on it, really. I was foggy-eyed* one morning and I set out to write an innocent Halloween poem. As I scrawled notes, though, I realized that my thoughts and words were creating saliva and other sinister sensations. So it began. This one's loosely based on the original original. Enjoy this original one too. Be well. Be safe. Have a sweet week.

*I don't know what this means, but I'm good for loads of unintentional innuendos when foggy-eyed.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Out of the Darkness, Preventing Suicide and Fighting Stigma

Many people prefer to deny life's harsh truths. This doesn't change reality. (Wouldn't that be nice?) Fact is, depression and mental illness are rampant. They strike millions of people who have only one thing in common: they're human. These days and very sadly, most of us have lost loved ones to suicide, whether or not we acknowledge this publicly (or privately). 

Twenty-seven years ago, I lost my brother, Glenn-David Engel, to suicide. He'd been diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia. Only in the past several years have I come out with my story. And I've been honored to serve as Event Chair in 2014 and 2015 for our local Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention.

This year's Walk took place on 10/10. Over 400 folks gathered from as far as 80 miles away to honor loved ones lost to suicide, to support each other, and to fight the stigma attached to mental illness. It was truly awesome. Though the greater community is impoverished in terms of dollars, it's rich in generosity and heart. We raised almost twice as much as ever - a grand total of over $17,400 and counting! I'm so proud! The money goes to the AFSP/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, so it all translates into saving lives and squelching stigma.
 Me at our Remembrance Tree.  -photo by Dawn Horwitz-Person, 10.10.15

Here's the poem I shared during the closing ceremony. Several people approached me afterwards to ask for copies, so I'm posting here - in hopes it offers comfort to as many as possible, as often as needed. 

Thank you. Take gentle care. None of us is alone. Everyone of us is worthy. 

Please Believe

Please believe we know your pain
Your broken soul. That smile you feign.
You say "I'm fine," but that's a lie.
You dare not share your urge to die.
We know your rage, your hate, and shame.
The burn that set your heart aflame.
Consumed by grief - your life, a curse.
Cold lonely days; still
Nights are worse.
Please believe us when we say
Keep holding tight. You'll be okay.
Monstrous ills you cannot halt.
Go gentle now. 
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.
Mental illness has no cure.
You're human with a heart that's pure.
We know not how. We know not when
You will reclaim your life again
Embrace a faith you never knew
You'll be so glad you wrestled through.
Please believe, and hold on tight
As strands of pain fade into light
And tender hues transform your sight.
You're not alone.
Please know it's true.
We're right here
Holding tight
With you.

                                               Photo by Jodi Rives, Out of the Darkness 9.27.14

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Taylor Swift is Here!: IWSG

It's time to join the IWSGers in being loudly, proudly insecure. We encourage and support each other's writing journeys too. This ongoing monthly gathering is thanks to Alex. He's a gift, that Alex.
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Robyn /  Taylor Swift pretend quotes / Taylor Swift actual quotes

Ladies and gentlemen, and Macaulay Culkin, today we welcome one of the richest, most famous, and most popular singer-songwriters of all time! She dominates the industry, and she dated John Mayer! What more is there to say? Here's Taylor Swift!

Dressed in all white, Taylor steps sexily towards center-stage. The audience roars and whistles, as our camera-man scans the crowd. An all White, young, clean-cut mix of Taylor's exes beckons her return to their arms. Taylor quickly surveys the crowd and bursts into song: "We are never ever ever ever getting back together!" John Mayer stands up, flips her off, and storms out the Emergency Exit.

Robyn turns to Taylor, smiling: Well, who needs him, right? All that 'say what you need to say. Say what you need to say. Say what you need to say,' and he never gets to the f*n point. Do you see the irony?
Taylor appears confused. Oh, no. I don't, I don't like to iron. She giggles.

Oh, sweetie. It's a good thing you're so talented and you have beautiful hair and...Robyn eyes Taylor's long sultry legs...Ever consider dating a woman half your height and twice your age?
Slightly shocked but ever-graceful, Taylor composes herself for a response. Well, I'm actually very happy with my current sweetheart, Calvin.  She takes a few small steps back, further from Robyn.
In fairy tales the bad guy is very easy to spot, Taylor continues. The bad guy is always wearing a black cape so you always know who he is. Then you grow up and you realize that Prince Charming is not as easy to find as you thought. You realize the bad guy is not wearing a black cape and he's not easy to spot; he's really funny, and he makes you laugh, and he has perfect hair.
Robyn rolls her eyes. It really isn't all about looks though, right?
No. There's more to life than dating the boy on the football team.
Do you have any words of wisdom for insecure writers, sweetie?
Taylor smiles proudly and looks at the camera. You can write a book about how to ruin someone's perfect day. That seems awfully anti-Taylor Swift of you. I thought you were going to belt out that profound song you wrote. You know, with all kinds of deep, insightful lyrics: 'Shake it off. Shake it off. Shake it off. Shake it off. Shake it off. Shake it off.'
Sure. Taylor smiles, then launches into Shake it off! Shake it off! Shake it off!
The curtains drop, blocking Taylor from view and we cut to a commerical.
 
Colour Me Swiftly has arrived! With two Amazon reviews and an average rating of 2.5 stars, take a look at this adult coloring book:

If Colour Me Swiftly doesn't do it for you, how about Colour Me Good Harry?
This one has a solid five-star review! A review. As in, one. One review. *Robyn sits erect, with chin towards ceiling.* The book's been out since last year.

We hope all this nonsense makes you more confident in your craft. If not, shake it off. Shake it off. Shake it....


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Reasons for Celibacy #351 through 357: Pickles vs Bananas?

Ah, celibacy and freedom. Freedom and celibacy. There are so many reasons to continue this sex-less lifestyle. And now onto Reasons # 351 through 357. Please enjoy, and have a stellar new week.
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REASON #351: 
LIBERALS NEED NOT SEND A MESSAGE CAUSE I WILL BLOCK YOUThank goodness!...NO HIPPIES EITHER OF FAT GIRLS...No? How about hippies of skinny guys like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, or Quagmire? Giggity giggity!

REASON #352: 
hopless romantic looking for love
Hopless? You walk with a limp? You’re allergic to beer? Or is scooting more your thing?

REASON #353: 
My spoon is too big!!! 
Sorry, babe, but that doesn’t make up for an extra small egg-beater.

REASON #354: 
Are pickles a vegetable?
I don’t know, but they work better than bananas.

REASON #355: 
I'M a very good skateboarder
Now, that’s what I’m looking for in a man over 40!

REASON #356: 
Hear I am 
Um? I sea that.

REASON #357: 
Squirters are fun if tasteful
Sweetie, let me break it down for you like this: It’s never tasteful.
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Keep a smile, my friends!