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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


The Houston Writers Guild is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring new authors' voices to readers and enhance literacy in our community. Please consider helping us fund the next anthologies to be published by the HWG Press.

As many of you know I've had the distinct pleasure of holding the post of HWG Press Director for a few months now.
With the help and guidance of my fearless mentors and numerous cohorts and tireless hours from passionate volunteers, we are are the verge of something great: the first anthology published by the internal press of the Houston Writers Guild.
But we need a little bit of your help.

One book isn't enough. We have a grand plan on publishing biannual anthologies of works handpicked from communities of writers. Writers whose words need to be heard...need to be read.
And we can't do it without YOU.
We need like minded people who believe in our creative vision or who have a few dollars burning a hole in their pocket and want to contribute to promoting literacy and to the splendid published works of up and coming authors.  

Please visit our Kickstarter campaign at the link below:

Your donations to this campaign are tax deductible. Please take a moment too to share with others who may want to help build up this great nonprofit organization.
If you are unable to contribute I ask you share this post, this link with at least one person you know who loves reading.
Or who knows the endless possibilities that come with opening a book.

Your support is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

the cross I no longer bear

 Four years ago I started this blog for the sake of my sanity and creative being. And truthfully in part so I wouldn't kill my husband and kids....or  rather lock them out of the house while I soaked in a bubble bath and ate dark chocolate and sipped Merlot.  (Who am I kidding??!! more like guzzling Merlot .)

A way to vent about the normal trial and tribulations that plague wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, women and basically any individual trying to survive life.

A journey to navigate the distance I felt existed between the What-To-Expect moments and the What-The-Fuck moments of my life.

Four years turned into sporadic and bumbling posts that relieved the anxiety and pressure I felt was placed on me by my family and friends...and most of all by myself.

 A series of posts that chronicled the hilariousness and shallowness with which I seem to be failing at life coupled with bitter sweet shit-just-got-real moments.

Then BOOM. Nothing.

It stopped as abruptly as it started.

I could blame it on a million different things....but at the end of the day it's still just another fucking excuse.

Then a whole slew of horrible, evil and wonderful shit happened and I lost track of time. And then lost track of life. Somewhere along the way I threw it all by the wayside and collapsed.  I withdrew from all things requiring more effort, passion and energy than I could muster.  Hell, all the energy I could exert involved reaching for the remote in my elastic-blown sweats covered in Cheetos.

 I fell victim to self-loathing, self-pity and worst of all: donuts.

 One year ago last month down to the exact day I laid flat on my back, legs spread and the world as I knew it took a turn for somewhere in between the pits-of-fiery-Hell-catastrophic-worse and a non-existent-blip-on-the-radar nothingness.

It's that grey area between, maybe some sort of Purgatory if you will, that left a hollow space in between my heart and gut. Metaphorically and physically.

A resounding silence filled my womb....and I never imagined it would be so deafening, so grating.

And so devastating.

And I hadn't even a clue there was anything....anyone to be heard.

My roller-coaster of a life is severely marked by the whipped innards of my female reproductive organs so 9 times out of 10 irregular symptoms are nothing to be alarmed about.

Except when you bleed for 7 weeks. One visit to the dr. and I was that woman. The fat one who gives birth at the all-you-can-eat-buffet in the loo because she doesn't even know she's knocked up.

Yeah, THAT one.

Mind you I did everything medically possible courtesy of the pharmaceutical companies to prevent this very thing.   Of course the irony of this doesn't escape me fully....I have a Depo baby and Nuva Ring baby as proof of the sense of humor Mother Nature has had with my ovaries.

Seems I only get in a family way when I have medically induced balanced hormones.

Go figure.

So there I was laying there, streams of salt falling on the scratchy sheet under my quivering mountainous thighs, and an awkward glance filled with pity and boredom from a nurse who didn't look old enough to be driving...much less holding my hand as my OBGYN ordered the standard blood work and noted the said blip in my chart.

With little time to pull up my pants, I was propelled into a surreal trek down the hall for labs surrounded by women all swollen with seed.

And so it was I squeezed into the only free seat I could find, seething in silence, disgust and jealousy as I scanned the sea of bellies.  And I sent my husband a text informing him of our...non-situation.

A text. Because the tragedy couldn't play out on a phone call that would inevitable take a turn for the loud and dramatic amid the snortling of my blubbering.

Besides. Where would I make said phone call? Trapped in my seat by the overcrowding of fertile uteri.

A text. That warranted a phone call. THE phone call to end all phone calls.

His reaction still resonates with me today. Perhaps this is what has created this cataclysmic divide between us....perhaps this what has urged me to pick up the pen and begin again the journey I so desperately attempted four years before.

Anger. Resentment. Hostility. All three emotions bled through the phone as he hissed at me in disbelief as the blood ran from my womb.

Granted the shock he felt with crippling student loan debt,  low FICA score, a college bound senior, junior highschooler and destructive 5 year old wasn't already enough, he lacked the compassion and solace I needed at that moment.

That moment. It lives in infamy. And cut a jagged gaping hole in the ground where we stood and has left us on the edge of a great divide....that is precariously threatening to swallow us whole.

Solace I sought was found in the stepfather who drove me to said appointment so I wouldn't waste the time and money fussing with valet when I felt so wretched.

Solace found in the moment he took my hand and allowed me to cry with a force I never knew my body could handle.

Compassion found in the moment I realized what I had lost. And how much I never knew I wanted it.  And the screaming he endured for my sake as I headed back to the life I had left behind one hour before.

Compassion in the random phone calls said father figure makes on any given day to make sure I still am holding my shit together.  Or the impromptu workday cupcake delivery to strengthen the quivering facade .

All because I mourned the loss of something I never knew I had....and grieved the loss of someone I never knew I wanted.

It doesn't fail me the blessings I have had in this lifetime.  And it started with my daughter.

I wrote a friend of mine recently and explained the importance of my sun, my moon and stars: my daughter  I don't know if it's a general feeling most parents feel when you welcome that first babe or child into your home and heart....but I like to think it's something kind of special.

A one of a kind non duplicated feeling that only she can emit from me.  I love my children with every fiber of being and soul. Equally.

But my girl represents, IS something more than anyone can understand.  With her first breath in this world she became the catalyst that lead me here.   She is the reason I am still alive, and didn't die of an overdose in some back alley or on some asshole's floor amid a bunch of life sucking losers.

I may have been sober and cleaned up my life, but she gave me a reason to stay that way.  The bond I have with her is selfish, self-serving and maybe a bit co-dependent if examined too closely.

Let's not.   Take it at face value: she was/is my rebirth.  She gave me a purpose I never cared to find, and led me to the family I built and nurtured the growth I needed to be the mother I am.

The mother of tattoos, warts and mouthy G-D's and all.  Like I said, a work in progress.

The grief I felt on that day, in the coming months which brought a laparoscopy, more doctor visits, and more space between me and everyone else was all-consuming.

At times it was so suffocating I was left breathless, gasping for sanity amid unexpected bouts of crying in meetings, lunchtime anger complete with breaking of pencils and slamming of office doors.

Locked down in my office for hours at a time with little to no contact with any one person who may give me that oh-so-sorry look or soapbox about Angels and babies and Heaven and God.

They could take their fairy-tale Gods and Angels. I had no time for them. Leave me the ones of the old...the ones of fresh moist Earth, the swaying branches of the trees, the sweetness of the jasmine outside my house.    The ones who didn't damn me for the nights spent angry and cursing at a starless sky.

Who didn't condemn me for the scathing stares at strollers, onesies and pictures of newborns proudly displayed.

Like I said. It consumed me.  And it left me faithless. And filling with a darkness that allowed no room for the love I so wanted to give.

So it was I pushed away co-workers, friends, my children and finally my husband.

And when I was all alone, I realized even I couldn't stand myself.   This hate and anger building was burning through my body, leaving me scorching everything in my path.

I needed a change before I sobbed my way out of a job. Or was institutionalized .

Trips to understanding therapists brought countless yellow plastic topped salvation....a short-lived and bitter dry mouth aftertaste followed. And I managed.

I managed to make it through.  Through the motions of work. Home. And living.

An echo of the person I once was, I found myself trudging through the motions. Until those motions were not even enough.

Until the endless popping of yellow tops became futile and I found myself staring down the drain at a the tiny blue and white beads of sanity.

And hope.

So I sought hope elsewhere.  I perused MD Web, Pinterest, Facebook and every other outlet I could find inspiration, motivations. Salvation.

Hours spent huddled over my desk, late nights in the dark losing myself in the world wide web seeking a savior for the husk I felt I was becoming.

The dry whispers of my former self were out there somewhere....I just had to find them.

I began with a solid 3 week regime of boot camp.  Losing weight and gaining the pride and self-confidence I felt I lacked seemed to be an easier solution than divorce and cheaper than therapy.

Besides, my years of latent vegan-ism might bring the peace I was so desperately seeking.

And so it was I signed up, committing for a solid year.   Motivated by the excellent and genuinely sweet girl who was our trainer, I began to feel....well, to feel.

Emotions beside anger and pity.  Emotions that didn't leave me reaching for food, flight or fight.

Emotions I knew I wasn't alone with.  And the acceptance of setbacks and wins was even more powerful than the negative energy that had become my norm.

Until August hit. There I was belatedly Spring cleaning my desk and I found a page torn from last years desk calendar stuffed in the bottom of a drawer.

Unearthing that scrap of paper, the bleeding red ink slashed through the 10th and right into my motherfucking heart.

A heart so hardened with ice I have spent the last 13 years attempting to chip away.

A heart now puddled at my feet and splattered on my crisply tailored heels.

A heart I feel cannot be fixed.

The floor dropped out from under me, and I stopped living.  I have laid in bed numerous mornings wasting both my money, my trainer's time, and shamefully pulled the covers back over my head.

The floor opened up and down I fell down this spiraling hole, Alice-ing my way through homework, Open Houses and manager meetings.

Sand digging aside, I have wallowed in my postponed acceptance  for as long as I could.   Postponing the closure I so desperately needed for as long as humanely possible.

Because it's a goodbye I never intended on having.

Amid the unwarranted judgment and advice from co-workers, so-called friends and even family alike, I secretly longed for things to be different.

Longed for that day I laid splayed like a turkey for stuffing to have a different ending.

Mind you I have a fabulous life....on a 40 oz in brown bag budget.

I have 2, nay 4 pretty fabulous kids...when they want to be....or want money or Legos. or bail money.

And who don't hold it against us when we say 'no'.  Or stumble and crash their castles of plastic. Or leave them in the holding tank.

Who with their door slamming, Iphone tweeting, sticky jammed fingers, infrequent phone calls and emails and dropping trow in the front yard selves weaken me at the knees.

And leave me in this bursting-at-the-seams-awe induced state....that I get to wake up everyday to this. To these people. No matter the distance, that some pieces of my soul have attached themselves and are floating around in them. These people I love and adore. And who hold this infinite power of my existence.

Damn. It makes it sound like my kids are horcruxes.  But I guess in a sense they are.

And then there is the husband who may be an asshole 7/10ths of the time, but he's a well meaning asshole.  Sorta.

What he lacks in wealth, he doubles in working two, three jobs, tackling college at middle age and occasionally bringing home the free swag/fruits of said labor in the form of baseball t-shirts and Koozies.

And mowing the lawn of all the neighbors.  And B-B-Q'ing some awesome steaks.

And getting me drunk and giving me a laugh or two.

But now those laughs seem few and far between.

And that between is what brings about this last part.

I don't know where to hit the restart button. I don't know how I get to the part where I rekindle the love, the passion, the want I felt before...the fleeting sense of completeness I failed to grasp tight enough.

The part where I get past the business of dying and the business of living. Where I apologize to old friends when I am a no-show in their hour of need, yielding mop, bread and needed vino.

Where I cringe and freeze over the simplest things like ordering pizza over the phone, putting on pants or going in public.

Where I beg mercy for the deadlines left unmet. For the words falling on inattentive deaf ears time and time again from the little voice hitting me at the waist.

Where I press fast forward to the part where my daughter cuddles on rainy Sundays, the unspoken bond and comfort in her embrace as we lounge around in our Snuggles watching Olivia do her thing.

Or the time machine I need to backtrack to that day.  That day I laid flat on my back. The day that time stood still for me.

The day I lost my hope. My faith.

I am still looking for it, and now seems as good a time as any to resume that journey I started four years ago.